Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton engaged in their first presidential debate last night. Trump, as usual, stretched the truth as far as he could take it. Here are just a few of the lies that he tried to pass off as truths.
1. He claimed that New York’s stop-and-frisk law was both effective and constitutional.
When the moderator asked Trump about the “racial divide” in America, Trump attempted to change the focus. He turned the attention to stop-and-frisk laws that allow police officers to randomly stop and search pedestrians for contraband. The laws, a longheld controversial measure, were deemed unconstitutional by a New York judge in 2013. This was based their tendency to overlap with racial profiling and police misconduct. Donald Trump didn’t know this. He even tried to correct the moderator when he said that stop-and-frisk laws were illegal. Trump also claimed that stop-and-frisk laws were effective. But studies have been mixed at best and negative at worst.
2. He said that Clinton’s proposed tax raises would be the largest in history.
Hillary Clinton does want to raise taxes to pay for more social and educational programs. Her hikes would be limited to the wealthy and they wouldn’t be the largest in history. If Clinton is elected, she promises to raise taxes for the top one percent of Americans that make more than $730,000 a year. This includes a four percent surcharge to individuals with gross incomes of more than $5 million. Clinton has also said that she will increase capital gains on high-income investors. According to experts at the Tax Policy Center, there have been several bigger tax raises in American history, including ones for the middle class and not just the wealthy.
3. He denied his statements asserting that climate change is a hoax.
Hillary Clinton had a few words for Trump about his disbelief in global warming, especially his assertion that it was “made up by the Chinese.” Trump tried to backpedal, but the truth can be found in multiple speeches, interviews and even tweets that Trump has authored.
“The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive,” he tweeted in 2012.
“Global warming is an expensive hoax!” he tweeted in 2013.
He also denied the situation in 2015 when talking to CNN: “I am not a believer in climate change.”
4. He said that Clinton’s campaign started the “birther” movement during Obama’s presidency.
Trump has been an outspoken member of the “birther” movement that questions Barack Obama’s birth in the United States. He tried to shift the blame to Clinton’s team, during the debate. Trump claimed that a staffer by the name of Sidney Blumenthal originally started the rumors during her 2008 campaign. Blumenthal denies saying this at all. Research into Clinton’s 2008 campaign has revealed that Blumenthal wasn’t on her payroll in 2008. Records from the Federal Election Commission confirm it.
5. He claimed that he’s legally unable to release his tax returns.
It’s a long-standing tradition for presidential candidates to release their federal income tax returns to the public. Trump has refused to do so, however, claiming that he’s bound by law to keep his tax returns to himself because he’s under audit by the IRS. This is untrue. The IRS has no restrictions on audit subjects releasing their tax records. He is at liberty to share them whenever he likes. Trump’s refusal makes him the first person involved in a presidential debate to do so since Gerald Ford in 1976.
These are just five of the lies told by Donald Trump during the debate. Regardless of one’s personal views, it’s important to fact-check claims by presidential candidates, especially ones with a history of stretching the truth.