Donald Trump Live Debate Fact Check: Real-Time Answers To Questions About His Claims

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Republican Presidential candidate Donald Trump. (Getty)

Stay with this page for a live, real-time fact check of Donald Trump’s major statements made during the first Presidential debate on Monday night. The debate gets underway at 9 p.m. Eastern Time, 6 p.m. Pacific. This page will be updated regularly during the 90 minutes until the debate ends.

Keep scrolling down the page for the latest fact check.

And for those who want to follow the debate and the live fact check all in one place, here is a live stream of the Donald Trump vs. Hillary Clinton debate, in the following video from The Washington Post. Adjust the volume in the lower right-hand corner of the video.

Will Trump continue to engage in what writer Charles P. Pierce calls “post-truth politics” at the Hofstra University debate on Monday? The campaign of his opponent Hillary Clinton fears that he will, and has called on debate moderator Lester Holt to fact check Trump in real time during the debate.

“All we’re asking is that, if Donald Trump lies, that it’s pointed out,” Clinton Campaign Manager Robbie Mook said in an ABC News interview over the weekend. “It’s unfair to ask for Hillary both to play traffic cop while with Trump, make sure that his lies are corrected, and also to present her vision for what she wants to do for the American people.”

But the Trump campaign took the opposite position, with Campaign Manager Kellyanne Conway saying that it is not “the job of the media to go and be these virtual fact-checkers and that these debate moderators should somehow do their bidding.”

But The New York Times published an article on Saturday that documented 31 Trump “whoppers” over the course of a single week, from September 15 to September 21, while Politico did a similar study, fact checking every statement by both Clinton and Trump over a five-day period starting September 17, finding “87 erroneous statements in five days,” by Trump.

“The conclusion is inescapable,” Politico wrote. “Trump’s mishandling of facts and propensity for exaggeration so greatly exceed Clinton’s as to make the comparison almost ludicrous.”

How will Trump fare on Monday night? Check back here as soon as the debate begins for live fact-check updates.

There are a number of sources for live, real-time fact checking.

FactCheck.org will run a live fact-check on its Twitter account, as will PolitiFact on its Twitter.

Washington Post fact-checker Glenn Kessler will have a go at it on his Twitter feed, and Wired Magazine will post a fact checking live blog at this link.

Many of the most important tweets from those fact checkers will be incorporated below as the debate moves on.



Trump claims that thousands of jobs have left states like Ohio and Michigan and other midwestern states.

Fact: According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, Michigan unemployment dropped from 11.6 percent in 2009 to 4.5 percent today. Ohio unemployment plunged from 8.8 percent to 4.7 percent and North Carolina’s rate dropped from 9.7 percent to 4.6 percent.


Trump said his father gave him a “a small loan” to start his business.

Fact: Trump’s father loaned him $14 million.


Trump claimed that he never called global warming a hoax. He did — a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese.


Trump called NAFTA “the worst trade deal maybe ever signed anywhere.”

Fact: Unemployment has declined in Ohio since NAFTA was signed in 1993, from 6.4 percent to 4.7 percent.


Trump said that Clinton plans to impose a large tax increase.

Fact: Clinton proposes, and has in fact promised, no tax increases on households with less than $250,000 per year in income. She proposes a program of tax hikes on high-income families and individuals.




Trump says Clinton has been fighting ISIS “your entire adult life.”

Fact: The origins of ISIS have been traced back to 2004 at the earliest, when Clinton was 56 years old.


From the Wired Magazine live blog:

“The country has created nearly 15 million new jobs since the depths of the recession, but that wasn’t when President Obama took office. The lowest point for employment was in February 2010, more than a year into the Obama administration.”


Trump said that he “doesn’t mind” releasing his tax returns.

Fact: Trump has been making the same promise for more than a year, but has never released his taxes. Moderator Lester Holt points out that he is under no restriction about releasing his returns.


Trump says that paying zero income tax “makes me smart.”




Trump says that the country needs a president who knows about money.

Fact: A study at the University of Texas shows that his real estate investments have underperformed by 57 percent.


Did Trump just admit that he pays no taxes, and stiffs his contractors?



Trump denies that he said he would try to negotiate down the national debt.

Fact: He did, as reported by The New York Times.


Trump say that inner cities are so dangerous that African-Americans are “living in hell.”

Fact: While murder rates have gone up recently in some cities including Chicago, as Trump says, rates have dropped in many other areas across the country and remain drastically below the rates of the early 1990s.


Trump contradicted moderator Lester Holt who said that stop-and-frisk laws are unconstitutional.

Fact: In a landmark decision on August 12, 2013, a federal judge did rule that stop-and-frisk violated the Fourth and 14th amendments of the United States Constitution.


Trump says that murders in New York have gone up.

Fact: In the first three months of 2016 New York City saw a “historic” drop in murders — down 21 percent from the first quarter of 2015.



Trump claims that Hillary Clinton started the so-called “birther” movement.

Fact: Politifact rates the claim “false.” Though Trump claims that Clinton’s friend Sydney Blumenthal has admitted that Trump’s claim about Clinton and the birther movement is true, that too is false. Blumenthal denies that allegation, and only one reporter makes the claim that Blumenthal mentioned Obama’s birth certificate — and that reporter admits he has no evidence that the conversation ever happened.


Trump say that “we don’t know” that Russia was behind the hack of the Democratic National Committee and other hacks.

Fact: The FBI and U.S. intelligence officials agree that the DNC hack and other hacks were the work of Russian-backed agents.


Trump said Clinton’s claim that he supported the war in Iraq was “wrong.”

Fact: Trump made public statements in favor of the war well ahead of the March 20, 2003 United States invasion of Iraq, which kicked off the Iraq War. In 2002 he told radio host Howard Stern that he supported invading Iraq. He supported the war as late as August of 2004, when an interview with Trump was published in Esquire — 17 months after the invasion.





Trump claims that the U.S. is not attacking ISIS hard enough.

Fact: According to Defense Department data, the U.S. and other coalition forces has struck ISIS with bombing and missile raids 9,883 times in Iraq and 5,251 in Syria for a total of 15,134 strikes, as of September 20. As of May 31, the latest date for which data was available, the strikes had destroyed 26,374 targets ranging from buildings to oil wells to ISIS fighter positions.




Trump claims that NATO has started a new anti-terrorism operation in response to his criticisms.

Fact: NATO has not made any such change. NATO did create an assistant secretary general for intelligence and security to head a new Joint Intelligence and Security Division. The change is not considered a major one by defense experts, as NATO members have long complained about problems sharing intelligence, and the new position is meant to address that issue.



Trump claims he never called pregnancy an inconvenience for employers.

Fact: He did. His quote from a 2004 interview was as follows: “[Pregnancy is] a wonderful thing for the woman, it’s a wonderful thing for the husband, it’s certainly an inconvenience for a business. And whether people want to say that or not, the fact is it is an inconvenience for a person that is running a business.”


That’s the end of the debate, folks. Thanks very much for sticking with us on our live fact check of Donald Trump. We’ll be back with you on October 9 for the next debate.