Donald Trump “stretched the facts” at least 16 times during the first 2016 presidential debate, according to the New York Times. Meanwhile, the Washington Post debunked at least 14 statements made by Trump.
Trump, the Republican nominee, faced off against former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for the first time since the billionaire businessman won the nomination in July. Critics referred to his performance, during which Trump frequently interrupted and talked over his Democratic challenger, as “surreal.”
At the heart of his debate missteps were the CEO’s frequent diversions from the truth. Trump lied about topics ranging from foreign policy and the United States’ role in creating ISIS to sexist remarks he’s made about women.
During a heated exchange between the two candidates, Trump accused Clinton of being ineffective at preventing terrorist activity. He argued that the former First Lady both doesn’t have a plan to fight ISIS and is putting the nation in danger by publishing her strategy for the Middle East diplomacy on her website.
“You’re telling the enemy everything you want to do,” Trump charged. “No wonder you’ve been fighting ISIS your entire adult life.”
In truth, that would be impossible. While the Islamic terror group sprang up following the American invasion of Iraq in 2003, which toppled Saddam Hussein’s dictatorship, the Islamic State wouldn’t officially break off from Al Qaeda until 2014. Clinton had stepped down as Secretary of State two years prior to focus on her campaign.
Elsewhere in the debate, Clinton struck at Trump’s views on climate change, which he has called an elaborate fiction. “Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese,” she said. “I think it’s real.”
“I did not,” Trump responded. “I do not say that.”
Trump’s tweets say otherwise. On Nov. 6, 2012, the CEO tweeted, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing noncompetitive.” He has since claimed the assertion was a joke.
In addition, Trump outright denied telling a Miss Universe contestant to lose weight in 2006.
Alicia Machado, who was born in Venezuela, became the first person to win the beauty competition after it was purchased by Trump. After her history-making victory, Machado has claimed that Trump bullied her — which would make sense given his history of calling women “pigs,” “dogs,” and “fat slobs.”
“He called this woman ‘Miss Piggy,’” Clinton said. “Then he called her ‘Miss Housekeeping,’ because she was Latina. Donald, she has a name.”
“Where did you find this?” Trump shot back. “Where did you find this?”
While the Times reports that Clinton lied just once during the 90-minute debate — denying her repeated support of the Trans-Pacific Partnership — the paper of record estimates that Trump lied once every 5.29 minutes.
His debate performance, though, amounts to an average day for Donald Trump, at least when it comes to telling the truth.
Over the course of a single week, Politico tallied up every single instance of Trump’s “misrepresentations, exaggerations, and half truths.” The politics website found that the Republican nominee lied 87 times during the week of September 18 — overstating the cost of government regulation and falsely claiming that unemployment is higher than it is in Ohio and North Carolina.
Trump’s lie ratio in the Politico survey came out to one lie every 3 minutes and 15 seconds. In contrast, Clinton — who is viewed as “untrustworthy” by 63 percent of Americans — misstated the facts just eight times over the exact same week.
A separate report from PolitiFact, a Tampa Bay Times-owned venture that fact-checks the statements of political leaders, showed that 76 percent of the remarks it has vetted from Trump have been found to be either “mostly false,” “false,” or “pants on fire.” The latter of which constitutes the agency’s worst rating.
“No other politician has as many statements rated so far down the dial,” PolitiFact has said. “It’s unlike anything we’ve ever seen.”