Politifact

PolitiFact: N.Y. pot arrest rate far higher for minorities

PolitiFact: N.Y. pot arrest rate far higher for minorities

Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., says legalizing marijuana would benefit communities of color, particularly in New York City, since people of color are arrested for marijuana possession at a much higher rate than white people, despite similar marijuana use. New York state is exploring legalizing marijuana for recreational use. So are blacks and Latinos arrested ten times as often as white people for...

PolitiFact: Women’s pay-lag figure can be misapplied

On April 10, “Equal Pay Day,” Sen. Tina Smith, D-Minn., tweeted out her support for an end to differential pay for men and women. But there’s a problem with her tweet: The statistics showing that women earn 80 percent of what men earn are overall comparisons and do not specifically compare men and women in the same jobs. After we reached out to Smith’s office, she sent a new...
PolitiFact: Trump numbers on China car tariffs accurate

PolitiFact: Trump numbers on China car tariffs accurate

President Donald Trump took to Twitter to bemoan what he considers unfair practices in the United States’ automobile trade with China. His figures match up with international trade data. But economists raised some important details Trump omitted from his tweet, which put his claim in a slightly different light. Trump’s numbers are drawn from American and Chinese government trade data....
PolitiFact: Coast Guard stops a lot of drugs, not at border

PolitiFact: Coast Guard stops a lot of drugs, not at border

U.S. Rep. John Garamendi, D-Calif., said that if President Donald Trump wants to make the country safer, he should focus more on funding the Coast Guard than on his promised border wall. After all, Garamendi claimed, the Coast Guard confiscates tons of contraband. He is largely accurate about their enforcement efforts, but his remarks omit nuance and need clarification. To start, his office said he...
PolitiFact: File taxes on ‘one card?’ Nope

PolitiFact: File taxes on ‘one card?’ Nope

If you are struggling to finish and file your taxes right now, President Donald Trump’s promise of a much simpler form probably sounds like a godsend. But Trump’s assurance is dubious. There isn’t an option today for filing taxes on a “card” — and there’s nothing in the new law that would create one. The idea for this popped up in November. House Republicans...
PolitiFact roundup

PolitiFact roundup

PolitiFact recently checked a statement President Donald Trump made about the U.S. trade deficit with China; a West Virginia congressman’s claim about the decline of U.S. manufacturing; and a top Republican Party official’s comments about the census using questions about citizenship. Here are summaries of our findings. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. “Last year...

Politifact: Census Bureau often asks about citizenship; census hasn’t

Debate has been heating up ever since the U.S. Commerce Department announced March 26 that it plans to ask respondents to the census whether they are citizens. The department said the purpose of the question is to better enforce the Voting Rights Act. Meanwhile, immigrant rights advocates and Democrats say the question instills fear in immigrant communities and will lead to an undercount of the population...
Politifact: Portrait of U.S. manufacturing leaves some gaps

Politifact: Portrait of U.S. manufacturing leaves some gaps

There’s no question that manufacturing employment in the United States has fallen in recent decades. But did a Republican congressman from West Virginia get it right when he cited a statistic on that point? U.S. Rep. Alex Mooney was broadly accurate when looking at raw employment totals. But the point does not hold up when you factor in population growth — a more telling statistic. (Mooney&rsquo...
Politifact: Trump inflates size of U.S. trade deficit with China

Politifact: Trump inflates size of U.S. trade deficit with China

President Donald Trump has long bemoaned the United States’ trade deficit with China, and he ratcheted up pressure on Beijing by announcing tariffs on up to $60 billion worth of imported Chinese goods. It turns out the numbers he cited on U.S.-China trade are well off the mark. The U.S. deficit with China in goods trade has grown substantially over roughly two decades. The deficit in 1990 was...
PolitiFact: No, Pa. winner Lamb did not praise Trump

PolitiFact: No, Pa. winner Lamb did not praise Trump

Did the campaign of Conor Lamb, winner of last week’s closely watched special election in Pennsylvania’s 18th congressional district,actually say nice things about the president, as President Donald Trump claimed? Lamb said very little about the president during the expedited campaign to fill a seat vacated late last year, and he held off on criticizing the commander-in-chief when many...
PolitiFact: Studies link waiting periods, drops in gun suicides

PolitiFact: Studies link waiting periods, drops in gun suicides

In his first speech on the Senate floor, Sen. Doug Jones, D-Ala., waded into the nation’s debate over gun violence. Jones, who defeated Roy Moore in Alabama’s December 2017 special Senate election, voiced support for steps including a mandatory waiting period on the purchase of firearms. He linked waiting periods to reduced suicide rates. Suicides accounted for just over 60 percent of...
PolitiFact: Parties can share blame for slow appointments

PolitiFact: Parties can share blame for slow appointments

Important government posts are empty, but allocating blame is more complicated than President Donald Trump suggests. Democrats bear some responsibility, but so do Senate Republicans and the Trump White House. Compared with recent presidents, Trump has had the fewest nominees confirmed to date, according to the White House. Among recent presidents, Trump has had the smallest percentage of nominees...
PolitiFact: Most women’s killers are ‘intimate partners’

PolitiFact: Most women’s killers are ‘intimate partners’

New York Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo wants state lawmakers to pass a bill he believes would prevent more women from being murdered by people close to them. The bill would remove guns from people convicted on misdemeanor domestic-violence charges. Guns are currently only taken away if someone has a felony conviction for domestic violence. New York state already has one of the lowest rates of gun-caused death...
PolitiFact: Student loan default rate is not 50 percent

PolitiFact: Student loan default rate is not 50 percent

Former Ohio congressman Dennis Kucinich says young people look with trepidation toward the future because they can’t afford college. We fact-checked his statistics and found he has a point that student debt is a big problem, but he flubbed some of the numbers about the default rate. Kucinich’s claim that “the default rate for students 10 years ago was about 40 percent&rdquo...
PolitiFact: Most guns in crimes obtained illegally

PolitiFact: Most guns in crimes obtained illegally

U.S. Rep. John Faso, R-N.Y., says he opposes some gun-control measures because they target the wrong people. Laws that limit the rights of law-abiding gun owners don’t make sense because most gun crime is committed by those who illegally possess a gun, said Faso. The last time the government tracked this kind of data was in 2004 when the U.S. Bureau of Justice Statistics surveyed inmates in...
PolitiFact: Cruz omits some information on school-safety funds

PolitiFact: Cruz omits some information on school-safety funds

Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, says to prevent school shootings in the future, the country should look to the past. In 2013, he and Sen. Chuck Grassley, R-Iowa, proposed legislation that Cruz said could have prevented the Feb. 14 Parkland, Fla., shooting. “One of the things Grassley-Cruz did was increase funding for school safety by $300 million,” Cruz said, but he said the Obama administration...
PolitiFact: Trump right about Oscar ratings

PolitiFact: Trump right about Oscar ratings

Was President Trump right that 2018 marked a low point for the Oscars? Since the beginning of Nielsen TV audience ratings in 1974, yes. The 2018 show attracted 26.5 million viewers, down almost 20 percent from the 2017 show. (Both were hosted by ABC late-night host Jimmy Kimmel.) Adweek noted that the 2018 Oscars “won’t end up as the year’s highest-rated entertainment telecast,&rdquo...

PolitiFact roundup

PolitiFact recently checked a Georgia politician’s implication that Delta Air Lines gave discounts to Planned Parenthood and two comments by President Trump: on whether someone with training and a gun could have prevented deaths in a 2016 Florida mass shooting, and on the recent Oscars ceremony TV ratings. Here are summaries of our findings. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com....
PolitiFact: No Delta discounts to Planned Parenthood

PolitiFact: No Delta discounts to Planned Parenthood

When Georgia state Sen. Michael Williams, a Republican candidate for governor, criticized Delta Air Lines for ending a discount partnership with the National Rifle Association, he also said, “why not pull it for Planned Parenthood or some of the left organizations out there?” PolitiFact Georgia found no evidence to support Williams’ reference to a Delta discount for Planned Parenthood...
PolitiFact roundup

PolitiFact roundup

PolitiFact recently statistics Vice President Mike Pence cited on terrorist suspects on the Mexican border and claims by two congressmen related to gun violence. Here are summaries of our findings. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. Says that “along the southern border of the U.S.,” the government apprehends “seven individuals a day who are either known or suspected...
PolitiFact: Nebulous link between assault weapons, shootings

PolitiFact: Nebulous link between assault weapons, shootings

Rep. Ted Deutch, D-Fla., claimed mass shootings increased substantially after an assault weapons ban expired in 2004. At least one researcher found a significant increase in mass shootings since the assault weapons ban expired. But overall, experts caution against pegging an increase solely to the ban’s expiration and told us Deutch’s claim is based on a flawed analysis. A federal law...
PolitiFact: Gun law doesn’t bar most mentally ill

PolitiFact: Gun law doesn’t bar most mentally ill

When U.S. House Speaker Paul Ryan cited laws that prevent the mentally ill from obtaining guns, he alluded primarily to a 1968 federal law. The federal Gun Control Act, passed after the 1968 assassinations of Robert F. Kennedy and Martin Luther King Jr., prohibits anyone “who has been adjudicated as a mental defective or has been committed to any mental institution” from possessing a firearm...
PolitiFact: Border is not where most terror suspects are stopped

PolitiFact: Border is not where most terror suspects are stopped

We sought to verify Vice President Mike Pence’s declaration that seven suspected or known terrorists are getting nabbed daily at the border. The FBI’s Terrorist Screening Center says in an FAQ last updated in January 2017 that a “known terrorist” is someone who’s been arrested, charged or convicted in the U.S. or abroad of a crime related to terrorism or terrorist-related...
PolitiFact roundup

PolitiFact roundup

PolitiFact recently checked President Trump’s remark on Britain’s national health system. We also looked at claims by Sen. Bernie Sanders on how many guns are obtained without background checks and by Georgia governor candidate Stacey Adams on poor people in jail because they can’t pay bail. Here are summaries of our findings. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. &ldquo...
PolitiFact: Sanders’ statistic on guns not accurate

PolitiFact: Sanders’ statistic on guns not accurate

Like many other politicians before him, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., repeated a false claim that 40 percent of guns are sold without background checks. Three years after we first debunked this statistic, it’s still not true. It comes from a 20-year-old study by the National Institute of Justice that looked at gun owners’ responses to a 1994 national survey asking how they got their...
PolitiFact: Trump misstates Brits’ angst on health system

PolitiFact: Trump misstates Brits’ angst on health system

As thousands marched in the streets of London recently to protest funding cuts to the British National Health Service, President Donald Trump took to Twitter to criticize the idea of universal health care. We looked at the origins of the march and recent polling statistics about British public opinion on the National Health Service, commonly called the NHS. We also looked at the current funding situation...
PolitiFact roundup

PolitiFact roundup

PolitiFact recently checked a Georgia gubernatorial candidate’s claim about high-speed availability for rural residents; a TV commentator’s statement on the number of immigrants in the country; and a senator’s comment about the nation’s rising national debt. Here are summaries of our findings. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. In Georgia, “25 percent of...
PolitiFact: Number of immigrants is highest but number needs context

PolitiFact: Number of immigrants is highest but number needs context

We wondered if Fox News’ Tucker Carlson was correct in saying the United States has more immigrants than ever. Carlson linked us to reports from the Center for Immigration Studies and Pew Research Center on the growing foreign-born population in the United States, which is now at a record high. The U.S. Census Bureau began asking people where they born in 1850. Large-scale immigration from Europe...
PolitiFact: Blame debatable but Paul is right on rising debt

PolitiFact: Blame debatable but Paul is right on rising debt

“George W. Bush doubled the debt from $5 trillion to $10 trillion. President Obama doubled the debt from $10 trillion to $20 trillion. Now we’re on course to exceed $30 trillion in the next seven years or so.” — Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., on Thursday, Feb. 8, 2018 in a Senate floor speech As the House and Senate were rushing to head off a government shutdown during a late-night...
PolitiFact Georgia: Kemp correct about rural internet

PolitiFact Georgia: Kemp correct about rural internet

Many rural Georgians have been left behind because they don’t have access to high-speed internet, said Brian Kemp, a Republican seeking to become Georgia’s next governor. High-speed internet can help small businesses, improve access to quality health care and spur economic development, said Kemp, currently Georgia’s Secretary of State. We wondered if Kemp was right about the share...
PolitiFact: Trump exaggerates ‘loopholes’ he says let gangs in

PolitiFact: Trump exaggerates ‘loopholes’ he says let gangs in

The White House did not provide on-the-record information to back President Trump’s claim that gang members have taken advantage of loopholes and laws to come in as unaccompanied minors. He linked illegal immigration to the violence of the notorious El Salvadoran MS-13 gang, claiming “open borders” have caused the death of many people in the United States. It’s unclear exactly...
PolitiFact: Coulter’s link of opioids, border wall far-fetched

PolitiFact: Coulter’s link of opioids, border wall far-fetched

In his State of the Union speech, President Donald Trump said a stricter immigration system would help address the country’s opioid epidemic. Ann Coulter, the conservative author and commentator, attempted to provide some context for his comment. There are three claims to address in her tweet: the insinuation that the opioid crisis is limited to or caused by a rise in heroin and fentanyl use...
PolitiFact: Evans’ minimum-wage claim accurate but needs context

PolitiFact: Evans’ minimum-wage claim accurate but needs context

Stacey Evans, a Democrat running to be Georgia’s next governor, claims workers are at an economic disadvantage in part because of the state’s minimum wage. “I want Georgia to be the best place to work, live, and raise a family. Right now, it isn’t,” Evans said on her campaign website. We wondered if Georgia has the lowest minimum wage in the nation, as she says. It does...
PolitiFact roundup: Trump on Mexico, freed terrorists, Apple plans

PolitiFact roundup: Trump on Mexico, freed terrorists, Apple plans

PolitiFact recently checked out three claims by President Donald Trump, on violence in Mexico, U.S. release of terrorists and Apple’s business plans after the new tax cut. Here are summaries of our findings. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. While there are multiple ways to measure danger, there is no single ranking for the most dangerous country in the world. The White...
PolitiFact: Apple ‘investment’ not as big as president said

PolitiFact: Apple ‘investment’ not as big as president said

In his State of the Union address, President Donald Trump led off with the economy, and he drew particular attention to the recently passed tax law. “Since we passed tax cuts, roughly 3 million workers have already gotten tax cut bonuses,” Trump said, adding that Apple plans to invest $350 billion and add 20,000 workers. Apple announced on Jan. 17 a series of initiatives to bolster...
PolitiFact: Trump overstates number of freed-to-fight terrorists

PolitiFact: Trump overstates number of freed-to-fight terrorists

“In the past, we have foolishly released hundreds and hundreds of dangerous terrorists, only to meet them again on the battlefield — including the ISIS leader, al-Baghdadi, who we captured, who we had, who we released.” — President Donald Trump on Tuesday, Jan. 30, 2018 in the 2018 State of the Union address President Donald Trump, in his first State of the Union speech, reaffirmed...
PolitiFact: Most rankings don’t call Mexico ‘most dangerous’

PolitiFact: Most rankings don’t call Mexico ‘most dangerous’

Mexico is “now rated the number one most dangerous country in the world.” — President Donald Trump on Thursday, Jan. 18th, 2018 in a tweet President Donald Trump this claim about Mexico’s security levels recently while defending his desire for a border wall. While there are multiple ways to measure danger, there is no single ranking for the most dangerous country in the...
PolitiFact roundup

PolitiFact roundup

PolitiFact recently checked out a Republican senator’s charge that Donald Trump’s drumbeat about ‘fake news’ gave dictators a new tool; a Georgia governor candidate’s assertion about her impact on changes to the HOPE scholarship program; and a Florida congressman’s comment about U.N. resolutions “against Israel.” Here are summaries of our findings. Full...
PolitiFact: Abrams leaves out some details on HOPE deal

PolitiFact: Abrams leaves out some details on HOPE deal

Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams has taken some heat for co-sponsoring a 2011 bill to revamp the HOPE higher education aid program. Her critics say she cut a deal that hurt poor and minority students. A key point of contention centers on the role of standardized test scores. In this fact-check, we looked at whether Abrams prevented the use of ACT/SAT testing standards in setting eligibility...
PolitiFact: Dictators have adopted ‘fake news’ label

PolitiFact: Dictators have adopted ‘fake news’ label

Hours before President Donald Trump gave his “fake news awards,” one Republican lawmaker took to the Senate floor to deliver a stern warning about undermining journalism. Sen. Jeff Flake, R-Ariz., cautioned that Trump’s anti-press rhetoric, such as calling the New York Times, CNN and ABC News an “enemy of the American people,” serves to embolden repressive governments...
PolitiFact roundup

PolitiFact roundup

PolitiFact recently checked out claims including boasts by Atlanta’s new mayor about the city’s financial condition and by New York’s mayor about that city’s high school graduation rate; and a criticism by Democrats regarding the effect of the new tax cut. Here are summaries of our findings. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. “Atlanta is on its strongest...
PolitiFact: N.Y. mayor right about graduation rate increase

PolitiFact: N.Y. mayor right about graduation rate increase

Schools in New York City have one feature the rest of the state’s schools do not: They’re under the exclusive control of the mayor. New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio claimed graduation rates have soared by 50 percent since that power was granted. The New York State Legislature gave then-Mayor Michael Bloomberg control over the city’s schools in 2002. Before 2002, only about half...
PolitiFact: Atlanta mayor’s fiscal boast holds up

PolitiFact: Atlanta mayor’s fiscal boast holds up

In large measure, Atlanta Mayor Keisha Lance Bottoms’ boast about the city’s solid financial situation holds up. There are some caveats about the exact numbers that support it. Plus, measures of financial strength are always somewhat subjective. A few key indicators give a broad picture of how well any municipality is doing. One is the bond rating, which indicates the risk of lending money...
PolitiFact: In number of bills signed, Trump ranks last

PolitiFact: In number of bills signed, Trump ranks last

President Donald Trump made this claim that he’s enacted more legislation than any other president at a West Palm Beach, Fla., fire station. This was a variation on an earlier, Mostly True assertion by his former press secretary Sean Spicer that Trump has “worked with Congress to pass more legislation in his first 100 days than any president since Truman.” Eight months have passed...
PolitiFact: Abrams’ cost claim isn’t true for all child care

PolitiFact: Abrams’ cost claim isn’t true for all child care

While announcing her child-care plan, Georgia Democratic gubernatorial candidate Stacey Abrams claimed that the average cost of child care in Georgia is more than the average in-state tuition. The claim first appeared Nov.15 in a tweet promoting “The Bold Action for a Bright Future Plan.” Abrams’ campaign pulled this information from the Economic Policy Institute, a left-leaning...
PolitiFact: Cagle links ‘sanctuary cities,’ homicides; data doesn’t

PolitiFact: Cagle links ‘sanctuary cities,’ homicides; data doesn’t

Casey Cagle, who is running for governor, told an Atlanta news station that the City of Decatur may be in violation of a state law prohibiting sanctuary cities. “Sanctuary city” is a term commonly used for a jurisdiction that limits its cooperation with immigration authorities. “Well, they are not cooperating with (U.S. Customs and Immigration Enforcement), and the important feature...
PolitiFact: Group used wrong numbers to rip Ga. county’s voter rolls

PolitiFact: Group used wrong numbers to rip Ga. county’s voter rolls

An Indianapolis-based advocacy group issued a news release Sept. 25 with a stunning headline: “24 states show corrupted voter rolls.” The Public Interest Legal Foundation, which aims to keep voter rolls as up-to-date as possible, had sent letters to nearly 250 counties. Bryan County, Georgia, was among them. The group’s letter to county elections supervisor Cindy Reynolds said the...
Kemp partly right about calls to remove Founding Father statues

Kemp partly right about calls to remove Founding Father statues

Amid the debate over Confederate statues, Georgia Republican gubernatorial candidate Brian Kemp suggested a similar controversy is brewing over the Founding Fathers. For us fact-checkers, the key question is whether there is a cry to get rid of statues of Washington and Jefferson. A few people have said that, but whether there’s much of a drive is less certain. Between emailing the Kemp campaign...
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