Donald Trump laid out his line of attack against Hillary Clinton in a Wednesday speech, criticizing her failure to keep America “safe” as secretary of state and charging that she profited off global trade deals that hurt American workers.
The real estate mogul painted Clinton as a “world-class liar,” yet many of the specifics in both his prepared and off-the-cuff remarks either stretched the truth or were just flat-out untrue. TPM catalogued some of the most blatantly false statements below:
The billionaire businessman went off-script while outlining his proposals to lift restrictions and lower taxes in order to boost the U.S. economy. As he has many times before, Trump asserted that “we are, by the way, the highest taxed nation in the world.”
Politifact, the non-partisan fact-checking outfit, tracked the veracity of Trump’s comments during his New York address in real time and called this claim inaccurate. Data on tax rates from the 34 industrialized nations in the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development found that the U.S. was somewhere near the middle of the pack in 2014, trailing far behind countries such as Norway, New Zealand and Luxembourg.
Trump reiterated his talking point that Clinton supports a “radical 550 percent increase in Syrian refugees coming into the United States,” and that her plan lacked any “way to screen who they are or what they believe.”
Trump has used this alleged lack of screening refugees to justify his proposal to ban Muslims from immigrating to the U.S. until “our country’s representatives can figure out what the hell is going on.” Yet there is already a stringent vetting process in place for refugees coming from Syria and other war-torn Middle Eastern countries. Individuals who the United Nations must first determine to be refugees are referred to the U.S., then face several levels of screening from federal intelligence and security agencies in a process that can take two years or longer to complete.
While Clinton has said that she would call for the U.S. to accept 65,000 Syrian refugees—a 550 percent increase—she also said would “immediately to put into place the mechanisms for vetting the people that we would take in.”
The candidate who kicked off his presidential run with a speech calling Mexican immigrants “criminals” charged on Wednesday that “hundreds of recent immigrants and their children have been convicted of terrorist activity inside the U.S.”
Politifact called this claim “murky,” noting that “most domestic terrorists were either born in the United States (like the Fort Hood, San Bernardino and Orlando shooters), or came here at a very young age (like the Boston Marathon bombers and Chattanooga shooter).”
While the New America Foundation, a Washington, DC think tank, found that 139 immigrants were implicated in jihad-inspired terrorist activity in the U.S., this number is far lower than the number of attacks carried out by anti-government activists, white supremacist and other non-Muslim extremists.
Throughout the 2016 race, Trump has stuck to the claim that he “was among the earliest to criticize the rush to war” in Iraq during the George W. Bush administration. He repeated that statement on Wednesday, saying he opposed the invasion of Iraq “before the war ever started.”
In a 2000 book, Trump claimed he would understand the rationale for a U.S. military intervention if Iraq was found to have nuclear weapons. When asked in 2002 if he supported the invasion, he said, “Yeah I guess so.”
According to Trump, Clinton “soundly slept in her bed” through a 3 a.m. phone call warning that the U.S. Embassy in Benghazi, Libya was under attack in 2012. Trump said Clinton left Ambassador Chris Stevens “helpless to die” and that she “refused” his requests for security.
During her eleven-hour testimony before the House Select Committee on Benghazi, Clinton explained that the news of the attack broke at around 9 p.m. on the East Coast, where she was working from home.
Trump charged that America’s “trade deficit with China soared 40 percent during Hillary Clinton’s time as Secretary of State.”
According to the Washington Post’s fact check of this claim, which Trump had tweeted Tuesday ahead of the speech, the real estate mogul’s estimate overshoots the mark by more than double. The deficit stood at $268 billion when President Barack Obama was elected in 2008 and was at $315 billion when Clinton left the State Department in 2012. That $47 billion change translates to a 17.5 percent increase.
Trump cited conservative author Peter Schweizer’s book “Clinton Cash” as the source for his claim that the former secretary of state accepted a gift of jewelry worth $58,000 from the leaders of Brunei.
While Clinton did receive gold, sapphire and diamond jewelry amounting to that sum from Brunei’s queen, she did not keep the goods as all of the gifts were turned over to the U.S. government as required by federal law.