Fact check: Clinton, Trump misleading voters during debates

Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, left, stands with Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton at the first presidential debate at Hofstra University, Monday, Sept. 26, 2016, in Hempstead, N.Y. (AP Photo/ Evan Vucci)

AUSTIN (KXAN) — It only took minutes for the attacks to start flying Monday night in the first presidential debate. Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton targeted each other’s weaknesses within the first 20 minutes.

“When you have your staff taking the Fifth Amendment, taking the Fifth, so they’re not prosecuted. When you have the man that set-up the illegal server, taking the Fifth, I think it’s disgraceful and believe me, this country thinks it’s disgraceful, really thinks it’s disgraceful also,” said Donald Trump.

Hillary Clinton: “Do the thousands of people that you have stiffed over the course of your business not deserve some kind of apology from someone who has taken their labor, taken the goods that they produced and then refuse to pay them? I can only say that I’m certainly relieved that my late-father never did business with you.”

But they did mislead voters in several ways. I’ll highlight several examples beginning with Clinton’s views on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP).

Trans-Pacific Partnership- (misleading)

Both Trump and Clinton say they are against the Trans-Pacific Partnership deal.

“I was against it once it was finally negotiated. I wrote about that in my…,” said Clinton before interrupted by Trump. “You called it the gold standard…. and then you heard what I said about it and all of a sudden you were against it,” said Trump.

“Donald I know you live in your own reality. That is not the facts. I did say, I hoped it would be,” said Clinton.

That is misleading. In November 2012, at Techport in Australis she said, “This TPP sets the gold standard in trade agreements.”

She then came out against the partnership when she ran for president.

Tax returns- (false)

PolitiFact found Trumps claims about his tax returns to be False (PolitiFact)
PolitiFact found Trumps claims about his tax returns to be False (PolitiFact)

On to Donald Trump’s tax returns. Clinton said “He didn’t pay any federal income tax.” Trump responded saying “That makes me smart.” Clinton retorted saying “So if he’s paid zero, that means zero for troops, zero for vets.”

Trump defended not showing his returns and said, “You will learn more about Donald Trump by going down to the federal elections where I filed a 104 page financial statements of sorts,” said Trump.

PolitiFact found this false. He did file Executive Branch Personnel Public Financial Disclosure Report, nearly 100 pages of records, but tax returns would show: his effective tax rate, the types of taxes he pays, and how much he gives in charity.

It’s not required by law but important information. That’s why for 40 years Democrats and Republicans have released their returns.

Housing crisis- (mostly true)

PolitiFact found Clinton's statements about Trump supporting the housing crisis to be mostly true (PolitiFact)
PolitiFact found Clinton’s statements about Trump supporting the housing crisis to be mostly true (PolitiFact)

Clinton says Donald Trump “was one of the people who rooted for the housing crisis. He said back in 2006, ‘Gee, I hope it does collapse because then I can go in and buy some and make some money.'”

PolitiFact found this mostly true. Trumps says he “saw great opportunities” when the crisis hit.

Iraq war- (false)

Trump: “I did not support the war in Iraq.”

CNN graded that remark False. Trump was on the record as supportive of the Iraq War as early as a month before Congress voted to authorize military action.

College costs

Clinton called for “making college debt free so more young people can get their education.”

AP stated the facts are: Clinton has proposed making college tuition free for in-state students who go to a public college or university. But tuition free doesn’t equate to debt free.

The next debate will involve the vice presidential candidates a week from today in Virginia. The next presidential debate will take place Oct. 9 in St. Louis. The third and final presidential debate will showdown in Las Vegas on Oct. 19.

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