Tuesday, 20 Oct 2020

All of Donald Trump's lies during first presidential debate with Joe Biden

Donald Trump and Joe Biden went head-to-head in the first presidential debate last night and, as you might expect, it got very messy.

The fiery encounter saw Trump, 74, repeatedly interrupt Biden, 77, throughout, as both candidates attacked each other’s character and records in office.

The Democratic nominee even told the President to ‘shut up’ at one point as the men argued over the nomination for the new Supreme Court Justice.

But among the insults and un-presidential behaviour, there were a lot of claims to unpack and fact-check.

White supremacists

When asked to condemn white supremacists and the violence that has rocked US cities like Kenosha and Portland, Trump tried to shift the blame on anti-fascist group Antifa.

‘I would say almost everything I see is from the left wing, not from the right wing,’ he said.

He added: ‘Somebody’s got to do something about Antifa and the left because this is not right-wing problem… this is a left wing problem.’

The facts: Earlier this month, the FBI’s director Christopher Wray said ‘racially motivated violent extremism’ is driven mostly by white supremacists, and it makes up the majority of domestic terrorism threats.

Trump’s taxes

The president said he paid ‘millions of dollars’ in federal income taxes in 2016 and 2017.

The facts: According to the New York Times, tax documents show Trump paid just $750 in federal income taxes in both years.

The records also reportedly show he paid no federal income taxes in 10 of the 15 years before he became president, and is carrying a total of $421 million in loans and debt.

Environment

What Trump said: ‘I’m all for electric cars. I have given big incentives for electric cars.’

The facts: Trump’s administration has repeatedly threatened to end a $7,500 tax credit for electric vehicles.

In 2019, the US Government said the move would save them $2.5 billion over a decade.

The credit has already been dropped for Tesla and GM cars.

Children and coronavirus

Trump once again made the false claim that children are not vulnerable to Covid-19.

The facts: This is proven false due to the many children who have died from the virus, and the children who have been infected.

Research has suggested children can spread the virus even if they never show symptoms.

Covid-19 vaccine

What Trump said: ‘We’re weeks away from a vaccine.’

The facts: The chief scientific adviser to the US vaccine programme, Moncef Slaoui, said there is a ‘very, very low chance’ of a vaccine being ready by the end of October.

America’s top coronavirus doctor Dr Anthony Fauci also said he believes a coronavirus vaccine may be proven safe and effective by November or December.

But he warned there might not be enough doses for every American until April 2021.

Obama’s economy

What Biden said: ‘We left him a booming economy. And he caused the recession.’

The facts: As vice president, Biden helped oversee the recovery from the 2007-2009 financial crisis, which took years.

In President Barack Obama’s second term the economy added about 2.5 million jobs per year.

That’s better than the around 2.1 million per year during Trump’s first three years in office.

By February, just before the coronavirus crisis hit, US unemployment was hitting 50-year lows, helping boost wages for those making the least and drawing in more workers from the sidelines than many economists had thought possible.

Trump’s rallies

What Trump said: ‘I’ll have 25,000, 35,000, people show up at airports.’

The facts: While the president has previously attracted tens of thousands of supporters to his rallies, airport hangars cannot fit crowds that big, especially with social distancing measures.

One of Trump’s rallies at an airport in Michigan had an estimated 10,000 people, while another at a Virginia airport had an estimated 3,000 people.

The president has a history of exaggerating the size of his crowds, most notably after his inauguration in 2017, when his then Press Secretary Sean Spicer claimed it drew ‘the largest audience ever to witness an inauguration, period, both in person and around the globe’.

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