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PolitiFact parses truth from fiction at he final Clinton-Trump debate

The final Clinton-Trump debate was marked by a flurry of charges and countercharges.

Those non-partisan fact-checkers from PolitiFact were there until the final exchange, trying to parse political truth from political fiction.

Want to see how they fared? Abbreviated versions of our fact checks are below.

Want to comment on our rulings or suggest one of your own? Just go to our Facebook page ( You can also follow us on Twitter (

Full versions can be found at

Donald Trump:

“Heroin … pours across our southern borders.” 

Mexican heroin accounted for 45 percent of the total weight of heroin the DEA seized and analyzed in 2012 (South American heroin accounted for 51 percent).

By 2014, the proportion of Mexican heroin had grown to 79 percent (South American heroin made up about 17 percent), DEA spokesman Russell Baer told PolitiFact in September.

The vast majority of heroin in the United States comes from Mexico and South America.

We rated Trump’s claim True.

Hillary Clinton:

“We have 33,000 people a year who die from guns.”

She’s correct that all deaths from guns have exceeded 33,000 during the most recent three years for which we have data.

That said, it’s worth noting that roughly two-thirds of these were suicides.

We rated Clinton’s claim Mostly True.


Says Hillary Clinton “wanted the wall.”

Clinton voted in 2006 for 700 miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border, but not for the taller, longer concrete wall that he vows to build.

The statement is partially accurate but takes things out of context.

We rated Clinton’s statement Half True.


“There was even a time when (Donald Trump) didn’t get an Emmy for his TV program three years in a row and he started tweeting that the Emmys were rigged.”

 Trump never directly makes that accusation. He calls the system unfair and political.

But he doesn’t go as far as to allege that the process is being rigged or tampered.

We rated Clinton’s claim Half True.


Says Hillary Clinton’s “plan is going to raise taxes and even double your taxes.”

An analysis by the Urban Institute-Brookings Institution Tax Policy Center concluded that “in 2017, taxpayers in the top 1 percent of the income distribution — those with incomes above $730,000 in 2015 dollars — would see their tax burdens increase more than $78,000.”

However, taxpayers in the bottom 95 percent of the income spectrum — those earning less than $300,000 — “would see little change in average after-tax income,” the Tax Policy Center found.

Analysts said it’s possible that specific wealthy taxpayers with a certain confluence of income streams might see their taxes double, but that would be the exception that proves the rule.

We rated Trump’s statement Mostly False.


“What the District of Columbia was trying to do (with its handgun ban) was to protect toddlers from guns.”

City leaders did specifically cite the danger posed to children in trying to keep in place gun regulations, but the regulations were also a widespread ban on unregistered weapons, not just gun safety measures.

Child safety wasn’t the sole topic cited by defenders of the city’s gun control ordinance, and the Heller decision dealt with a much broader issue than protecting toddlers from firearm deaths or injuries.

We rated Clinton’s statement Half True.


“What I have put forward does not add a penny to the debt.”

An independent analysis found Clinton’s proposals would add a relatively small amount to the debt, $200 billion over a decade.

The Clinton campaign says a new business tax plan will address that, though the proposal hasn’t been independently analyzed.

Regardless, Clinton’s explanation leaves out the fact that debt would still rise by about $9 trillion over 10 years because of current policies. Clinton’s proposals don’t stem that increase.

Clinton’s statement is partially accurate but leaves out important details.

We rated Clinton’s statement    Half True.


When Hillary Clinton “ran the State Department, $6 billion was missing. How do you miss $6 billion? You ran the State Department, $6 billion was either stolen — they don’t know.”

 The $6 billion figure comes from a State Department inspector general report that found paperwork for various contracts had been mismanaged. The $6 billion was not missing or stolen — it had been doled out in a number of contracts — but the paperwork was missing.


We rate Trump’s claim Pants on Fire.

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