The Pot Calling the Kettle Black

Last week I noted the irony that Donald Trump went on the attack against Bill Clinton for being a “rapist” when all kinds of allegations of sexual assault, harassment, and yes, even rape, have also been made against Donald Trump. It was a question of the pot calling the kettle black.

Now, just a week later, Trump got around to making his “major” speech attacking Hillary Clinton, the one that he wanted to make before the massacre at the Pulse Orlando nightclub derailed his plans.

Trump’s central allegation was that Hillary Clinton is a “world class liar.” Trump supported that theme by doing what he does best, and much better than Hillary Clinton: by repeatedly lying about her record.

Factcheck.org noted the following half-truths, exaggerations, or just outright lies made by Trump during his speech:

  • Trump falsely claimed that U.S. Ambassador to Libya Chris Stevens “was left helpless to die as Hillary Clinton soundly slept in her bed.” Two emails from Clinton show that she was awake after it was learned that Stevens had died in the attack on the diplomatic facility in Benghazi.
  • Trump misleadingly claimed that Clinton “accepted $58,000 in jewelry from the government of Brunei when she was secretary of state.” He didn’t mention that the gift was accepted on behalf of the United States, and that it was transferred to the General Services Administration.
  • Trump claimed without any evidence that Clinton “wants to spend hundreds of billions of dollars to settle Middle Eastern refugees in the United States.” The numbers don’t add up. The total refugee budget was $1.67 billion in fiscal 2016, so it is unlikely that Clinton could add “hundreds of billions” to the budget for refugee assistance.
  • Trump overstated his case when he claimed the U.S. “trade deficit with China soared 40 percent during Hillary Clinton’s time as secretary of state.” It went up 17 percent, and we note that trade is under the purview of the Commerce Department, not the State Department.
  • Trump blamed Clinton for the “disastrous strategy of announcing our departure from Iraq, handing large parts of the country over to ISIS and the ISIS killers.” The departure date was set by President George W. Bush. President Obama made the ultimate call to keep the scheduled departure date, not Clinton.
  • Trump falsely claimed that Clinton would “end virtually all immigration enforcement and thus create totally open borders for the United States.” Clinton supported a Senate immigration bill that would create a path to citizenship for those in the country illegally, but it also would have included large investments in border security.
  • Trump falsely claimed that the private server that Clinton used as secretary of state “was easily hacked by foreign governments.” Attempts were made to hack into Clinton’s server, but the identity of the hackers has not been determined and there has been no evidence to date that any of them were successful.
  • Trump falsely claimed that “Hillary Clinton’s State Department approved the transfer of 20 percent of America’s uranium holdings to Russia.” The transfer was approved by a committee headed by the Treasury Department and made up of nine voting members throughout government, including one from the State Department.
  • Trump claimed he was opposed to the Iraq war “before the war ever started.” There is no evidence of that.
  • Trump wrongly said that “real wages for our workers have not been raised for 18 years.” Average weekly earnings for production and non-supervisory employees are up 10 percent, adjusted for inflation and seasonal factors, over that time period.
  • Trump described the North American Free Trade Agreement as “Bill Clinton’s disastrous and totally disastrous NAFTA.” President Clinton signed the legislation to implement NAFTA, but the agreement itself was negotiated and signed by President George H. W. Bush.

Factcheck.org and Politifact.com have previously noted that Trump is by far the most factually-challenged candidate of any of the 20 or so candidates who ran for or tried to run for President in this previous year. The least factually challenged? Yup, Hillary Clinton.

About a1skeptic

A disturbed citizen and skeptic. I should stop reading the newspaper. Or watching TV. I should turn off NPR and disconnect from the Internet. We’d all be better off.
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