PolitiFact Stories

Syndicate content
The latest word on what the candidates are saying from Politifact.com
Updated: 2 hours 53 min ago

Test yourself with our new free game: PolitiTruth

Thu, 11/16/2017 - 07:16
Think you can tell the difference between True and False? Do you really know what is fake news?  Now you can test yourself, and see how you stack up against everyone else, with our new game PolitiTruth. PolitiTruth is a mobile app available for Iphone and Android that lets you see the statements we at PolitiFact fact-check and let you in on the action.   Swipe right for False, left for True.   It's as simple as that.   But trust me, sorting out fact from fiction isn't as easy as it seems. We're rolling this new app out to our Truth Squad ... >>More
Categories: Politics

House presses Jeff Sessions on Trump campaign's Russia ties, Clinton special counsel

Tue, 11/14/2017 - 15:17
Attorney General Jeff Sessions faced a barrage of questions from lawmakers about whether he misled Congress by claiming he was unaware of new links revealed between the Donald Trump campaign and Russian contacts. Since Sessions’ last Capitol Hill testimony in October, two former campaign advisers said they discussed Russia-related outreach efforts and travel plans with Sessions during the campaign, including an offer to broker a meeting between then-candidate Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. During his Nov. 14 testimony before the House Judiciary Committee, Sessions also faced questions about appointing a special counsel to investigate former Secretary of State Hillary ... >>More
Categories: Politics

What you need to know about newly revealed Trump campaign-Russia ties

Thu, 11/09/2017 - 03:00
A year ago this week, Donald Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks issued a bold declaration just days after Trump’s electoral win: "There was no communication between the campaign and any foreign entity during the campaign." This claim has proved demonstrably false, as a series of revelations have shown members of Trump’s campaign met with Russian officials during the 2016 election. Since our last update in August of previously undisclosed Trump campaign-Russia links, one former campaign adviser has admitted to the FBI that he used his Russian contacts to try to broker a meeting between then-candidate Trump and Russian President Vladimir Putin. ... >>More
Categories: Politics

Explaining the Virginia election results: The White House curse

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 12:31
As late as a few hours before the polls closed on Tuesday night, pundits were thinking Republican Ed Gillespie could pull off an upset in Virginia’s open-seat gubernatorial race. When the votes were tallied, however, they showed that Gillespie’s bid ran aground in a Democratic wave. Not only did Gillespie lose to Democratic Lt. Gov. Ralph Northam by a nine-point margin, 54 percent to 45 percent, his Republican Party also lost the other statewide offices on the ballot and were even in danger of seeing 17 seats flip in the state House, enough to give Democrats control. The Democratic tide ... >>More
Categories: Politics

The facts on mass shootings in the United States

Wed, 11/08/2017 - 08:29
The massacre of 26 worshipers at a rural Texas church is the latest in a grisly series of mass shootings across America in recent years. With each tragedy, we hear arguments about gun violence, mental health, how much firearms should be regulated and what’s driving the prevalence of mass shootings. PolitiFact has worked for years to research these topics to help explain talking points used by all sides of the debate. Here are some answers to some questions you may have. How do we define mass shootings? There is no widely accepted definition of mass shootings. People use either broad ... >>More
Categories: Politics

Donald Trump and the fish food dump: How early reports got it wrong

Mon, 11/06/2017 - 11:07
It was a story that seemed to reinforce stereotypes of President Donald Trump: On a visit to Japan, he was handed a box of food for a ritual feeding of carp, and after doling out a few spoons’ worth, he got impatient and dumped the rest of the box all at once. Initial reports of the food dump -- like this early video from CNN -- suggested that Trump acted on his own. This pushed the late-night Twitterverse and blogosphere into a tizzy. The website Jezebel posted a story headlined, "Big Stupid Baby Dumps Load Of Fish Food On Japanese ... >>More
Categories: Politics

Donald Trump said Donna Brazile called Democratic primary 'rigged,' but did she?

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 12:29
For months, President Donald Trump has said the Democratic primary was fixed to make Hillary Clinton the Democratic presidential nominee. Now Trump says former Democratic National Committee chairwoman Donna Brazile even backs him up. "Donna Brazile just stated the DNC RIGGED the system to illegally steal the Primary from Bernie Sanders. Bought and paid for by Crooked H…." he tweeted on Nov. 2, 2017. See Figure 1 on PolitiFact.com Trump was referring to Brazile’s forthcoming book, Hacks: The Inside Story of the Break-ins and Breakdowns that Put Donald Trump in the White House. Brazile, however, tweeted several responses to Trump ... >>More
Categories: Politics

Congress urges tech giants to fortify against foreign meddling before next election

Fri, 11/03/2017 - 09:20
How did the most powerful tech companies in America let Russia and other malicious actors co-opt their platforms to sow discord and undermine U.S. democracy in the run up to the 2016 presidential election? That question hung over congressional hearings this week as lawmakers grilled top executives from Facebook, Twitter and Google. Members cajoled the tech giants to shoulder more responsibility for their outsized role in American political discourse as next year’s midterm election nears. "I'm sure as you began your businesses and they grew, it was the idea of bringing people together and not tearing people apart," Rep. Brad ... >>More
Categories: Politics

John Kelly, the Civil War and the compromise that almost was

Thu, 11/02/2017 - 06:23
The uproar that followed White House chief of staff John Kelly’s comment about the roots of the Civil War stands as Exhibit A of the potential problems that come when an official uses shorthand to talk about the country’s history of slavery. Here is the key excerpt of Kelly’s Oct. 30 interview with Fox News host Laura Ingraham. Ingraham had brought up the issue of removing statues of Confederate leaders. Kelly said: "It's inconceivable to me that you would take what we think now and apply it back then. I think it's just very, very dangerous. It shows you what ... >>More
Categories: Politics

Is the diversity visa program a tool for terrorists?

Wed, 11/01/2017 - 10:12
President Donald Trump said that the suspect in an Oct. 31 terrorist attack in New York City came to the United States through a diversity visa program, which he wants to eliminate. Authorities say Sayfullo Saipov, the suspected driver of the truck that killed at least eight people and injured about a dozen others in a bicycle path, entered the United States from Uzbekistan under the diversity visa program. Trump tweeted on Nov. 1, "The terrorist came into our country through what is called the "Diversity Visa Lottery Program," a Chuck Schumer beauty. I want merit based." (We rated his ... >>More
Categories: Politics

Was George Papadopoulos just a ‘volunteer’? We review the evidence

Tue, 10/31/2017 - 13:26
President Donald Trump and prominent allies have repeatedly referred to former campaign aide George Papadopoulos as a mere "volunteer" after news broke that he had pled guilty to lying to the FBI in its Russia investigation. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders repeated the word "volunteer" no fewer than 10 times as reporters asked about Papadopoulos — namely, his efforts to put Russian entities in touch with the campaign uncovered by Special Counsel Robert Mueller. Papadopoulos’ role with the campaign’s foreign policy team "was extremely limited, it was a volunteer position," she said, adding he was a "member of a volunteer ... >>More
Categories: Politics

Did a criminal leak land the CNN scoop on Mueller probe? Not necessarily

Tue, 10/31/2017 - 10:29
After CNN broke the news that special counsel Robert Mueller’s grand jury had approved its first charges, Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., denounced the leak as criminal behavior. "It is kind of ironic that the people in charge of investigating the law and executing the law would violate the law," Gowdy told Fox News Sunday. "Make no mistake, disclosing grand jury material is a violation of the law. So as a former prosecutor, I am disappointed that you and I are having the conversation because somebody violated their oath of secrecy." CNN reported that anyone charged by the grand jury could ... >>More
Categories: Politics

We've got a treat for you, but it's just for today

Tue, 10/31/2017 - 06:13
Do you like to be frightened? Here’s a scary thought: Some people refer to this as the "Post Truth Era." Eek! Has twisting the truth gotten so out of hand that it’s now become an Era?! Does this mean politicians and pundits can now be excused for ignoring the facts? Not on our watch. We’ll continue to shine a light in dark corners and scare those who are masking the truth. But we need your help. Join the Truth Squad today. Here's what we are doing just for Halloween. Anyone who donates any amount today will get a Pants on ... >>More
Categories: Politics

What you need to know about Manafort indictment, Papadopoulos guilty plea

Mon, 10/30/2017 - 13:36
The special counsel’s investigation into possible ties between Donald Trump’s presidential campaign and Russia escalated dramatically with news that former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort and his business associate were indicted on a dozen felony counts, including money laundering. Separately, a foreign policy adviser to the campaign pleaded guilty to misleading the FBI about outreach efforts to Russian government officials. These mark the most significant developments to date in special counsel Robert Mueller’s five-month-old investigation. Here’s what you need to know. The charges against Manafort and Gates The 12 charges against Manafort and Gates fall broadly into three categories: failing ... >>More
Categories: Politics

How important was George Papadopoulos on Donald Trump's foreign-policy team?

Mon, 10/30/2017 - 13:28
How important was George Papadopoulos in the foreign policy team of then-candidate Donald Trump? It depends on whom you ask. On Oct. 30, court papers revealed that Papadopoulos had pled guilty to lying to the FBI earlier that month. The case involved efforts by Papadopoulos, in his capacity as a Trump campaign staffer, to allegedly connect other campaign staff with officials representing Russia, including the possibility of securing "thousands of emails" about Hillary Clinton. White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders took issue with any notion that Papadopoulos was a key member of the campaign team hours after the guilty ... >>More
Categories: Politics

Donald Trump declares public health emergency over opioid crisis. Here’s what that means

Mon, 10/30/2017 - 04:55
President Donald Trump characterized the U.S. opioid epidemic as a national public health emergency and directed the executive government to "use every appropriate emergency authority" to fight the crisis. "Ending the epidemic will require mobilization of government, local communities, and private organizations. It will require the resolve of our entire country," Trump said in a speech from the White House on Oct. 26. More than 64,000 people died in 2016 from drug overdoses, the majority of which were linked to opioids,  such as oxycodone, synthetic opioids such as fentanyl, and the illicit drug heroin. CDC found that the number of ... >>More
Categories: Politics

Mailbag: 'I am so very disappointed'

Fri, 10/27/2017 - 12:01
Taxes, guns and football dominated recent emails about our work from PolitiFact readers. Here’s a sampling of emails we received, edited for clarity and length. *** One reader wrote us about the Pants on Fire we gave President Donald Trump for saying that ending the estate tax would "protect millions of small businesses and the American farmer." We found that only 5,460 estates even pay the tax each year, and of those, about 80 represented small businesses or farms. "Yes, the estate tax claim by the president is exaggerated. But as a small business owner, I have spent a lot ... >>More
Categories: Politics

Will a border wall stop drugs from coming into the United States?

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 10:32
President Donald Trump claims his promised border wall with Mexico will stop drugs from coming into the United States and help solve the nation’s drug epidemic. More than 64,000 people died in 2016 from drug overdoses, the majority of which were linked to opioids, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Trump declared the opioid epidemic a public health emergency Oct. 26 at the White House.  In light of Trump’s declaration, we wanted to revisit his claims about the impact a southern border wall would have on the U.S. drug problem. Several experts cast doubt on the wall’s potential effect. ... >>More
Categories: Politics

Why you should be skeptical of the Trump White House's promised $4,000 'raise'

Thu, 10/26/2017 - 05:00
In its bid to sell a tax overhaul proposal, the White House has boiled down a series of complicated policy changes into an alluring talking point: The plan means a $4,000 raise for the typical family. "The average American family would get a $4,000 raise under the President’s tax cut plan. So how could any member of Congress be against it?" tweeted White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders on Oct. 22. See Figure 1 on PolitiFact.com She reiterated the figure in a tweet later the same day: "What would your family do w/ a $4,000 raise from the President’s ... >>More
Categories: Politics

What you need to know about Hillary Clinton, Russia, and uranium

Tue, 10/24/2017 - 07:57
A 2016 campaign attack involving former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton and her role in a uranium sale that involved Russia is back in the news. With new revelations, increased media attention and reader requests, we decided to take another look. Because the details of the story are murky and based in part on anonymous sources, we won’t put any claims to the Truth-O-Meter. Instead, we’ll explain what we knew previously, what new information has come to light, and what we still don’t know. What we knew before This complex tale involves a company with significant U.S. uranium assets, the Clinton ... >>More
Categories: Politics