By Karen Rubin, News & Photo Features
The Hillary for America campaign has issued 19 pages of Donald Trump’s lies, including the seven the Republican presidential candidate uses most often, as a guide to be used in the upcoming debate at Hofstra University, Long Island, on Monday, September 26.
The campaign is calling out the moderator, Lester Holt, of the first Presidential Election debate, as well as reporters and viewers to hold Trump to account.
For his part, Trump has warned the moderator will be “afraid” to attack Hillary Clinton and that if he is attacked, it is only proof that the system is “rigged” against him.
Expectations are so skewed that the fear is Trump only has to appear calm, even if ill-informed or shallow and lacking in any real understanding of policies, while Hillary Clinton has to be perfectly in command but also “attractive” and not too “studied” or scripted. In this, Hillary, a trail-blazer for women’s rights, will experience the same kind of gender-bias as when she became Arkansas’ First Lady and wanted to be known as Hillary Rodham, instead of Mrs. Clinton, and when in 1992, campaigning for her husband, Bill Clinton, she said she didn’t want to back cookies and stand by her man like Tammy Wynette.
A misplaced comma in a phrase could cost her the debate while the big question for Trump is whether he will be able to resist his verbal tick of calling her “Crooked” Hillary.
But Donald Trump’s, who has used his background as a Realty TV star as his strongest advantage in the campaign so far has won PolitiFact’s “Liar of the Year” award, after it rated 70 percent of his claims as “four Pinnochios” or “Pants on Fire.”
“Debates are about each candidate laying out their vision for America, not making things up. Donald Trump has shown a clear pattern of repeating provably false lies and hoping no one corrects him. Voters and viewers should keep track: any candidate who tells this many lies clearly can’t win the debate on the merits,” said HFA Communications Director Jennifer Palmieri.
The campaign issued a handy guide to Trump’s Seven Deadly Lies
1. FALSE: Trump opposed the Iraq War.
Washington Post: Trump: “I was totally against the war in Iraq.” // Four Pinocchios.”
As our timeline shows, Trump was not ‘totally’ against the Iraq War. Trump expressed lukewarm support the first time he was asked about it on Sept. 11, 2002, and was not clearly against it until he was quoted in the August 2004 Esquire cover story. (We even made a video documenting how this is a bogus claim.) Yet he repeatedly claims he opposed the war from the beginning — and thus, earns Four Pinocchios.”
- FALSE: Trump opposed intervention in Libya.
Factcheck.org: Donald Trump on Libya, May 20 interview on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe”: I would have stayed out of Libya.” // False.
“Trump’s claim that he ‘would have stayed out of Libya’ doesn’t square with his comments at the time. In February 2011, Trump, referring to Gadhafi, said that the U.S. should go into Libya ‘on a humanitarian basis’ and ‘knock this guy out very quickly, very surgically, very effectively and save the lives.’”
- FALSE: Clinton supports open borders.
PolitiFact: Trump says Clinton wants to create ‘totally open borders.’ // False
“This is a huge distortion of Clinton’s proposals. Clinton has praised work already done to secure the border, and she said she supported a 2013 bill that would have invested billions more in border security while creating a path to citizenship for some undocumented immigrants. Her plan calls for protecting the border and targeting deportation to criminals and security threats.”
- FALSE: Clinton wants to get rid of the Second Amendment.
ABC News: “Claim: Hillary Clinton wants to abolish the Second Amendment” // False.
“When Trump made this same claim earlier in the cycle, Politifact rated the claim false after finding no evidence of Clinton ever advocating for the abolishment of the Second Amendment… Bottom line: there’s no evidence to support Trump’s claim.
PolitiFact: “Donald Trump falsely claims Hillary Clinton ‘wants to abolish the 2nd Amendment,’” // False.
“We found no evidence of Clinton ever saying verbatim or suggesting explicitly that she wants to abolish the Second Amendment, and the bulk of Clinton’s comments suggest the opposite. She has repeatedly said she wants to protect the right to bear arms while enacting measures to prevent gun violence.”
- FALSE: President Obama and Clinton founded ISIS.
Washington Post: “Is Obama the founder of ISIS?” // Absolutely not.
“Absolutely not. It’s like saying that Ronald Reagan is the founder of al-Qaeda because the arms he sent to the mujahideen in Afghanistan after the Soviet invasion led to the creation of al-Qaeda. It’s a ludicrous claim.”
Washington Post: “Trump also claims Hillary Clinton was a “co-founder” of ISIS. Does that make sense?” // No.
“No. Within the administration, Clinton was one of the loudest forces for keeping a residual force in Iraq and for intervening in Syria, such as arming the rebels. So the criticism especially does not apply to her, since she advocated a more hawkish policy than was undertaken by Obama.”
- FALSE: Clinton would allow 620,000 refugees into the U.S. with no vetting.
Washington Post: Trump: “This includes her plan to bring in 620,000 new refugees from Syria and that region over a short period of time.” // This is an “invented figure.”
“Trump has used this number before, but it stems from the unverified assumption that Clinton, who has called for 55,000 additional refugees from Syria, would continue at that pace for every year of her first term, on top of the Obama administration’s proposal for 100,000 refugees for fiscal year 2017. Trump then multiplies 155,000 times four years to reach 620,000 refugees. Clinton has never proposed such a “plan,” so this is an invented figure.”
Washington Post: Trump: “Under the Clinton plan, you’d be admitting hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East with no system to vet them, or to prevent the radicalization of the children and their children.” // “It’s false…”
“Trump has repeatedly made this “hundreds of thousands” claim, usually referring to Syria, but it’s false… Trump also falsely claims there is “no system to vet” refugees. The process actually takes two more years, after vetting that starts with the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees and then continues with checks by U.S. intelligence and security agencies.”
- FALSE: Trump will make Mexico pay for the wall.
NPR Fact Check: Trump: “And Mexico will pay for the wall. 100 percent.” // Mexican President “would not pay” for the wall.
“After his meeting with Donald Trump today, Mexican President Enrique Peña Nieto reiterated his insistence that Mexico would not pay for construction of a border wall. Peña Nieto said he made that clear to Trump during their meeting, although Trump told reporters that the issue of payment was not discussed. — Scott Horsley”
For the rest of the18 pages of Trump’s lies see The Briefing here.
“Our concern about Trump’s record of lying is what that means for how the debate unfolds and how viewers should judge,” Jennifer Palmieri said on a press call.
Trump should be expected to present his solutions – explain what his solutions are, demonstrate the knowledge and judgment. But so far, Trump has shown clear pattern of lying, expecting no one to correct them, she said.
“We have provided 19 pages of lies Trump has told during the campaign,” she said. Politifact has rated 70% of his claims as untrue; Factchecker gave him 47 ‘Four Pinnochios’ and rated 47 ‘Pants on Fire.’ He beat out all modern presidential candidates for fact checking – he was awarded the Lie of the Year and Trump was named the Liar of the Year.
“We think this warrants particular focus because his level of lying is unprecedented in American politics – reporters should keep this in mind,”
“Trump is a very unconventional, unusual, challenging candidate – recognize it’s true for press and moderators. It’s unprecedented in modern times to hold a conference to talk about special precautions because the opponent is a habitual liar, but we think it is necessary.
“When Trump has been chosen as Politifact’s Liar of the Year, for the moderator to let lies go unchallenged, gives Trump an unfair advantage. It is the role of moderator, particularly in this case, to call out those lies, and do so in real time.
“Clinton has a responsibility to defend herself – her own record. But given the historic record of how much Trump lies, it can’t be only on her to call him out if the moderator isn’t willing to stand up and challenge lies. We’ve provided 19 pages of them for helpful reference, plus the 7 he uses most often. This is unusual, but that’s the year we are in, that’s the campaign Trump is running, and it requires that kind of role for the moderator.”
Palmieri said that Trump would probably do what he could to “get under her skin,” but “good luck. We’ve all seen her endure tough questions – 11 hours during the Benghazi hearings. Trump may think he will be the first to get under her skin, but I doubt it.”
As for expectations of how Trump might perform, We had a dry run during the Commander-in-Chief forum which demonstrated that Trump could control his demeanor, and the concern is that will be the sole criteria for handing him the “win” in the debate.
“But maintaining demeanor and not becoming unhinged is not the standard for being considered President of the United States.” What should be the standard is that you demonstrate that you understand problems, have solutions, that you can explain them, that you have adequate knowledge, judgment to do the job “and that’s certainly what she is coming to the debate to do, and that’s what voters should judge Trump on as well.”
How Trump behaves and whether or not he maintains a calm demeanor is up to him, and we think that is within his power – I wouldn’t describe that as what we are pending a lot of time on. A good deal of our prep is thinking through the argument she would put forward that she would do – it is a useful exercise at debate as well as what closing arguments for last few weeks of campaign will be as well.
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