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FACT CHECK: Truthful, Liar, or Pants on Fire at The Third Presidential Debate

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FACT CHECK: Truthful, Liar, or Pants on Fire at The Third Presidential Debate

Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump squared off for their third and final presidential debate on Wednesday night.

Going into the debate, Clinton had a significant nationwide lead over Trump, a significant lead in statewide polls, and multiple allegations of sexual assault have emerged against the real estate mogul. Trump has denied the reports, and in recent days he has accused the media of election rigging and tried to argue that there will be widespread voter fraud.

The debate was divided into six segments of 15 minutes each. The topics for those segments, selected by Fox News’ Chris Wallace, were: “Debt and entitlements,” “Immigration,” “Economy,” “Supreme Court,” “Foreign hot spots” and “Fitness to be President.” After getting through all of his questions, Wallace surprised both candidates with a final question that was clearly intended to show which was best prepared to lead the nation. He asked them to give a closing statement.

Wallace made clear before the debate that he did not intend to fact check the candidates claims, instead merely serving to keep the debate on schedule. That said, Pacific Tribune staff were on hand to fact check both candidates during the debate and below are the results of our findings.

Donald Trump said the election is “rigged”.

FALSE: A comprehensive investigation into claims of voter fraud found just 31 cases of actual voter fraud amongst a billion votes cast.

Mr. Trump said Justice Ginsburg insulted his supporters.

FALSE: She expressed concern her opinion of him. She said nothing about his supporters.

Mr. Trump said Justice Ginsburg apologized.

She did not. She said her comments were “ill advised.”

Clinton said she was talking about energy when she mentioned “open borders” in a private speech.

TRUE: That appears to be true. When taken in full context, the quote in question reads “My dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, some time in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.”

Trump said ICE endorsed him.

FALSE: Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is a federal agency that does not endorse political candidates. It seems that Mr. Trump is referring to an employee union that represents some (not all) employees which did endorse him.

Trump said Clinton supported building a wall with Mexico in 2006.

TRUE: While she did vote in favor of 700 miles of fencing on the 1,989-mile-long border, that is a far cry from the border wall Mr. Trump is proposing.

Donald Trump claims that Chicago has the “strictest gun laws in the country” and called it a “disaster”.

FALSE: While Mr. Trump has repeated this line numerous times throughout his campaign, the facts say otherwise. Even the Chicago Police department has disputed that fact, saying it is a common misconception that Chicago has the country’s strictest gun control, and the department’s officials have contended that gang members face worse sanctions from their gangs for losing a gun than they do by the courts for illegally possessing one. Police have also emphasized that most guns used in Chicago crimes were bought outside of the city or state, where regulations are not as strict. 

So, is Chicago the strictest?

FALSE: According to Roseanna Ander, the founder and executive director of the University of Chicago Crime Lab, Chicago’s regulations are actually similar to those of other major cities. The Crime Lab works to reduce violence through scientific analysis and research. Even in the past, when Chicago had tougher gun regulations, its handgun ban was rivaled by the “restrictive gun laws” of New York and the “onerous” process to get a permit and have a gun in Los Angeles, Ander said.

Trump claimed illegal immigrants are treated better than veterans.

FALSE: When Politifact looked into this statement, they found it to have no basis in reality.

Secretary Clinton claimed that Mr. Trump exploited undocumented labor to build the Trump Tower. He underpaid undocumented workers and when they complained, he basically said what a lot of employers do – you complain I’ll get you deported.     

TRUE: In 1980, a contractor working for Trump hired Polish workers in the country illegally to clear the site on Fifth Avenue in Manhattan where Trump Tower would later be built. The contractor was later fined $570,000 by federal regulators. Trump has repeatedly claimed he was unaware the workers were in the country illegally and the truth remains somewhat murky. But some published reports have suggested Trump not only knew about the workers’ status but instigated their hiring.There were also reports that he threatened to turn the workers into immigration authorities after some complained about work conditions. In addition to this, a number of other employees have sued him over the years citing that they were exploited.

Trump called the Clinton foundation a ” criminal enterprise”

FALSE: See next fact about the work the Clinton Foundation actually does.

Trump said the Clinton Foundation took millions from the Saudi Arabia and Qatar.

TRUE: It did, and it spent those millions providing 11.5 million HIV/AIDS patients (over half of all people with the disease) with treatment. It’s also provided treatment for more than 36 million people with tropical diseases.

Clinton said 90% of the money the Clinton Foundation brings in is spent on programing.

FALSE: According to Charity Watch, the number is more along the lines of 88%.

Trump said that he contributes to the Trump Foundation saying “people contribute, I contribute.”

FALSE: A recent investigation found that Mr. Trump hasn’t contributed to his foundation since 2008.

Mr Trump said that “100 percent goes to different charities, including a lot of military. I don’t get anything. I don’t buy boats. I don’t buy planes.”

FALSE: A recent investigation found that Mr. Trump purchased a $20,000 painting of himself with foundation funds and had that painting shipped to Trump National Golf Course in New York.

Donald Trump claims that “Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama left a huge vacuum in Iraq by pulling out too quickly.”

FALSE: Mr. Trump and his running mate have made this claim several times throughout the campaign. When checked out by Politifact, they found that “it puts too much emphasis on Clinton’s role, when the key decisions and discussions took place between the White House itself and Iraqi leaders.

The Obama administration wanted to insulate American troops from legal action in Iraq. That was a political minefield in Iraq. While there is room for debate on whether American negotiators could have found a way around that problem, there is no reason to believe the administration simply walked away from a deal to keep U.S. troops in Iraq.

The claim has an element of truth, but it leaves out much key information that would give a different impression.”

Donald Trump claims that he did not say that he could not have sexually assaulted women because they were not beautiful enough.

FALSE: Mr. Trump is recorded on camera at campaign rallies saying that the women who have alleged sexual assault against him were not beautiful enough for him to have sexually assaulted. Multiple news outlets have covered his statement. Here’s just one.

Secretary Clinton claimed that “federal government sued Trump for housing discrimination.”

TRUE: Politifact found this statement to be true.

Donald Trump said “wrong” when Mrs. Clinton claimed that he went after a disabled reporter.

FALSE: There is video of Mr. Trump mocking the Reporter. Many outlets have covered it.

Donald Trump claims that “millions of people are registered to vote that shouldn’t be registered to vote.”

FALSE: When factcheck.org looked into the facts, they found that his claims don’t quite add up. Mr. Trump cited a report that found 1.8 million deceased people remain on voter registration rolls. But the report did not find evidence of wrongdoing, and numerous studies have found such voter fraud is virtually nonexistent.

When Secretary Clinton claimed that Donald Trump was in favor of the invasion of Iraq, Mr. Trump interjected with “wrong” as if to imply that he in fact never supported the war in Iraq.

FALSE: While Mr. Trump has repeatedly denied that he supported the Iraq war, the facts show otherwise.

Secretary Clinton claims that Bernie Sanders has said that Mr. Trump “is the most dangerous candidate in modern American history.”

TRUE: Turns out that Mr. Sanders did in fact call Donald Trump’s campaign dangerous at a recent campaign rally in Michigan.

When pressed on his statements around nuclear proliferation, Donald Trump said that Secretary Clinton was lying when she alleged that he is on record as saying ““If they do, they do. Good luck, enjoy yourself, folks.” In a somewhat strange prebutal, he said “you won’t find a quote” and then went on to try to explain that he really meant to “defend yourself.”

FALSE: At a campaign rally in Rothschild, Wisconsin this past April, Trump is in fact on record as saying “If they do, they do. Good luck, enjoy yourself, folks.” He said it in that exact context and here is the video to prove it. While he very well may have intended it to mean to defend yourself, it’s important to keep in mind the context of the comment. He was speaking about the possibility of North Korea and Japan engaging in a nuclear war.

(Additional fact-check research and reporting by Ben Rettinhouse)

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