Fact-checking the first (and only) VP debate

9NEWS @ 9.10/4/2016i

KUSA - Our team of researchers fact-check claims made on stage at the first and only vice presidential debate Tuesday night.

CLAIM (by Kaine): Trump promised to ban Muslims from immigrating to U.S.
VERDICT: True

Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”

In explaining his decision, Trump said, “We have no idea who is coming into our country, no idea if they like us or hate us … I wrote something today that is very salient…and probably not very politically correct. But I don’t care.”

CLAIM (by Pence): The FBI says it can’t vet Syrian refugees entering the U.S.
VERDICT: misleading

The idea that the FBI couldn’t vet refugees comes from testimony FBI Director James Comey gave to Congress on a Republican bill that would require security officials to certify every refugee entering the U.S.

"Could I certify to there being no risk associated with an individual?" Comey said. "The bureau doesn't take positions on legislation, and we don't get involved in policy decisions. But that practically would be impossible."

That sounds like it backs up Pence’s claim, but what Comey meant was that he couldn’t guarantee a risk-free process.

The process for vetting a refugee can take up to two years and involves multiple security clearance checks.

He also told the committee that the U.S has gotten “dramatically” better at that vetting process.

CLAIM (By Pence): The Trump campaign gives virtually every cent to charitable causes
VERDICT: False
The Trump Foundation has come under fire for being used for a variety of non-charitable causes, including propping up his own presidential campaign, settling lawsuits, and was ordered to stop raising funds in New York.

CLAIM (By Pence): Indiana has a balanced budget
VERDICT: True, needs context
Indiana, like most states, is required by law to balance the state budget.

CLAIM (By Pence): Bill Clinton called Obamacare crazy
VERDICT: True, needs context
Bill Clinton called Obamacare “a crazy system,” and “the craziest thing in the world,” for people who earn too much to qualify for subsidies, but are too poor to afford their premiums, and he used this as a way to talk about Hillary Clinton’s plan to fix those problems.

CLAIM (By Kaine): Donald Trump want to get rid of the minimum wage.
VERDICT: True, needs context
Donald Trump has said that he does not think that the federal government should set a minimum wage, and instead it should be left up to the states. Mike Pence voted against raising the federal minimum wage to $7.25 when he was a congressman.

CLAIM (By Kaine): Trump’s plan would cost 3 million jobs
VERDICT: Speculative
Moody’s Analytics released a report estimating that under Trump’s economic plan, there would be 3.5 million fewer jobs by the end of his presidency and income would stagnate.

CLAIM (By Kaine): Mike Pence had to give his tax returns to Donald Trump even though Trump won’t release his.
VERDICT: Unprovable
Pence released 10 years of his tax returns to the public in September 2016, but it is not clear whether he had to give his tax returns to Donald Trump before he was named the Vice Presidential candidate.

CLAIM (By Pence):  Clinton wants to raise taxes by $1 trillion.
VERDICT: Needs context
The increase would be over 10 years, and most of it would come from the top 1 percent of income earners. 95 percent of taxpayers wouldn’t see an increase.

CLAIM (By Kaine): You will look in vain to find evidence of Trump apologizing.
VERDICT: needs context

Trump apologized generally for things he’s said that “may have caused personal pain” during this campaign. He also expressed regret over his feud with Megyn Kelly. But Trump hasn’t apologized to the people Kaine rattled off during the debate, namely Sen. John McCain and the Kahn family.

CLAIM  (By Kaine): Trump supports nuclear proliferation.
VERDICT: need context

The sound bite Kaine is referencing for this accusation comes from two places: a CNN debate where Trump said Japan could benefit from developing nuclear weapons and an April interview with with Fox News Sunday’s Chris Wallace.

Here’s the exchange with Wallace in context:
         
Trump: "Many other countries have nukes. It's not like, gee whiz, nobody has them. So, North Korea has nukes. Japan has a problem with that. I mean, they have a big problem with that. Maybe they would in fact be better off if they defend themselves from North Korea."

Wallace: "With nukes?"

Trump: "Maybe they would be better off — including with nukes, yes, including with nukes."

You can read more about Trump’s statements about nuclear weapons by clicking here.

Copyright 2016 KUSA


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