US presidential debate: A quick fact-check on round 2 of Trump versus Clinton

US presidential nominees Democrat Hillary Clinton and Republican Donald Trump during their presidential town hall debate at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri, on October 9, 2016. (Reuters)

The second US presidential debate went to the floor on Monday morning at Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri and the among the first issues that were raised was the controversial tape of Republican nominee Donald Trump talking about groping and making unwanted sexual advances on women.

What was said: While Trump dismissed the tape as “locker-room” banter, he said he had never actually groped or kissed women without their consent. “No, I did not,” he said.

Fact: However, there have been several allegations against Trump by several women of such actions, according to the New York Times. In the 1990s, Jill Harth accused Trump of groping her, even filing a lawsuit. The Republican nominee was, however, not convicted.

What was said: Trump said the US had given $150 billion to Iran, a terrorist state

Fact: The US is not giving any of its money to Iran as part of an international nuclear arms deal meant to prevent the construction of weapons, according to the Guardian. The deal systematically unfreezes assets that belong to Iran. However, sanctions related to the nation’s nuclear program led to it being frozen again. Sanctions related to human rights, terrorism and other issues also remain in place.

What was said: While stating he is well-informed about the Islamic State (IS), Trump claimed the Islamic militant group had spread to over 32 countries.

Fact: IS does not operate in 32 countries. It is largely based in Syria and Iraq. It has affiliates in several other countries, significantly in Egypt, Libya, Afghanistan, Yemen and Nigeria. The group however uses social media propaganda to recruit from as widely possible.

What was said: “There is a thing called clean coal. Coal will last for 1,000 years in this country,” Trump claimed.

Fact: The coal industry has been in a decline, in part due to the natural gas industry. However, “clean coal” does really exist, especially considering the high carbon emissions that burning coal gives out.

What was said: Much like in the past, Trump repeatedly targeted Obamacare, President Obama’s Affordable Care Act, saying the whole thing was a fraud and that it didn’t work.

Fact: The exaggerated the cost of the Act. For instance, the cost of the coverage expansion in Obama’s health care law is nowhere near what the government spends on Medicare and Medicaid, according to Associated Press. The government will spend $110 billion this year on “Obamacare” coverage. By comparison, Medicare will cost an estimated $590 billion, and the federal share of Medicaid will amount to $370 billion.


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