AJC Truth-o-Meter


PolitiFact roundup: immigrants, crime and the opioid crisis

PolitiFact last week looked at a senator’s claim about how many welfare benefits go to immigrants, the president’s attribution of the opioid crisis to fewer drug prosecutions, and the attorney general’s linking Chicago crime to its ‘sanctuary city’ policing. Summaries of our findings are here. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. “Half of all immigrant...
Numbers don’t back Sessions’ claim on Chicago ‘criminal aliens’

Numbers don’t back Sessions’ claim on Chicago ‘criminal aliens’

When Chicago filed a lawsuit Aug. 7 to block the U.S. Justice Department from withholding federal grant money for police from “sanctuary cities,” U.S. Attorney Jeff Sessions reacted swiftly and fiercely. Chicago says its Police Department “will not question crime victims, witnesses and other law-abiding residents about their legal status.” It also will not use immigration status...
Drug prosecutions did drop, but opioid link not proven

Drug prosecutions did drop, but opioid link not proven

President Donald Trump took a swipe at former President Barack Obama as he renewed his pledge to tackle the opioid epidemic. Trump said, speaking after a briefing on the issue, that opioid overdose deaths have nearly quadrupled since 1999 but overall drug prosecutions declined in recent years — a trend Trump vowed to reverse. We found Trump is correct that federal drug prosecutions declined...
Perdue right, immigrants use more welfare programs

Perdue right, immigrants use more welfare programs

One argument supporters make for limiting legal immigration is that a significant share of immigrants end up on social welfare programs, as Sens. David Perdue, R-Ga., and Tom Cotton, R-Ark., wrote in a USA Today op-ed article. Research has found that about 50 percent of households headed by an immigrant (living here legally or illegally) do benefit from government assistance programs. In many of those...
PolitiFact: Mostly true claims on sanctions, prisoners and employees

PolitiFact: Mostly true claims on sanctions, prisoners and employees

PolitiFact last week looked at three claims by three politicians that were all at least mostly true, on sanctions on North Korea, the cost of housing prisoners, and the number of employees misclassified as contractors. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. “United Nations Resolution is the single largest economic sanctions package ever on North Korea. Over one billion dollars in...
Evans right, many workers classified incorrectly

Evans right, many workers classified incorrectly

With health care policy in limbo in Washington, the politicians who would like to be Georgia’s next governor are staking out their own policy outlines. Democratic State Rep. Stacey Evans favors expanding Medicaid, but said the state could take other action as well. We decided to check Evans’ number of misclassified workers, and found she’s on safe ground. Some businesses avoid treating...
Harris correct on costs of keeping prisoners

Harris correct on costs of keeping prisoners

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris believes taxpayers aren’t “getting a good return on investment” when it comes to California’s prison system. The California Democrat told the Women Unshackled forum in Washington D.C. in July that alternatives to locking up inmates, such as drug treatment programs, are far cheaper and sometimes more effective than prison sentences. Harris made criminal...
N. Korea sanctions are biggest, but real cost depends on enforcement

N. Korea sanctions are biggest, but real cost depends on enforcement

President Donald Trump applauded a new resolution passed by the United Nations Security Council to impose sanctions against North Korea and labeled it as the largest economic punishment yet on the nation. We found Trump was largely right about the resolution’s provisions, but experts cautioned that the true financial impact of the sanctions depend on future enforcement by member nations. We...
PolitiFact finds some truth in claims on economy, Obamacare

PolitiFact finds some truth in claims on economy, Obamacare

PolitiFact last week looked at claims about economic growth under President Barack Obama, corporate profits under President Donald Trump and the number of Georgians uninsured under Obamacare. Here are abbreviated versions of our fact checks. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. In economic growth, “Obama’s best year was slower than Bill Clinton’s worst year.” &mdash...
Obamacare leaves thousands uninsured, but GOP bills would, too

Obamacare leaves thousands uninsured, but GOP bills would, too

Sen. David Perdue, R-Ga., was unhappy about the Senate’s failure to pass a bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. He said one consequence was the effect for thousands of poor people in Georgia. The data we found showed that he correctly stated that even with Obamacare, 300,000 Georgians below the poverty line can’t get insurance. However, Perdue glosses over the fact...
Profit numbers back Trump’s claim but don’t tell full story

Profit numbers back Trump’s claim but don’t tell full story

In what has become a regular occurrence, Donald Trump took to Twitter this week to tout the nation’s economic performance on his watch. In a tweet Tuesday morning, Trump praised some of the commentary about the Trump-era economy on “Fox & Friends”: ” ‘Corporations have NEVER made as much money as they are making now.’ Thank you Stuart Varney @foxandfriends Jobs...
Gingrich right, more growth under Clinton than Obama

Gingrich right, more growth under Clinton than Obama

How bad was the economy under President Barack Obama? Pretty bad, argues former House Speaker Newt Gingrich. In economic growth, “Obama’s best year was slower than Bill Clinton’s worst year,” Gingrich told Fox News’ Maria Bartiromo on July 23, 2017. “That’s astonishing.” We’ve previously looked at why it’s so hard these days for the United...
PolitiFact: Exaggerations on red tape, gas prices and defense costs

PolitiFact: Exaggerations on red tape, gas prices and defense costs

PolitiFact last week looked at claims about government bureaucracy, gasoline prices and defense spending by the vice president, a senator and the president. Here are abbreviated versions of our fact checks. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. President Donald Trump “has signed more laws cutting through federal red tape than any president in American history and has already saved...
Trump’s defense budget increase isn’t biggest and isn’t done

Trump’s defense budget increase isn’t biggest and isn’t done

President Donald Trump ticked off his presidential accomplishments in front of a warm crowd in Youngstown, Ohio, saying he was already keeping his promises to strengthen the military with record defense expenditures. This isn’t the first time he’s trumpeted big spending for the military. In an address to Congress in March, Trump said his budget “calls for one of the largest increases...
Schumer wrong, gas prices sometimes do go down

Schumer wrong, gas prices sometimes do go down

What goes up must come down, the old saying goes. But, according to Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., that’s not the case for oil prices. As part of a round of appearances to tout a new Democratic economic-policy agenda, Schumer took a moment on “ABC’s This Week” to promote his party’s plan to curb mergers that aren’t in the interest of consumers....
Trump signed many laws, but Pence counts savings not yet realized

Trump signed many laws, but Pence counts savings not yet realized

Vice President Mike Pence says that when it comes to deregulation, President Donald Trump’s record is historic. But it’s not so easy to quantify laws that cut red tape. Experts we spoke with said that other presidents have cut through more red tape than Trump so far, citing the Paperwork Reduction Act of 1995, Regulatory Flexibility Act of 1980, and the Unfunded Mandates Reform Act of...
PolitiFact: Claims on Medicare suit, Ga. business climate hold truth

PolitiFact: Claims on Medicare suit, Ga. business climate hold truth

PolitiFact last week looked at statements from two candidates for governor of Georgia, one about a Medicare-fraud lawsuit and one about the state’s climate for business. We also checked a Wisconsin senator’s statement that people pay a smaller portion of health care costs out of their own pockets today than they did decades ago. Here are abbreviated versions of our fact checks. Full versions...
Sen. Johnson correct, health cost people pay themselves has fallen

Sen. Johnson correct, health cost people pay themselves has fallen

Amid the Senate’s efforts to pass a new health bill, U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., has been adamant that spending on health care must come down. We examined whether he’s right about the big drop in the percentage of health care costs paid directly by the people served. The structure of American health care has changed plenty over the decades. According to a May 2008 article in the American...
Cagle calls Georgia No. 1 for business but rankings vary

Cagle calls Georgia No. 1 for business but rankings vary

Lt. Gov. Casey Cagle has pitched his candidacy for Georgia governor as a promise to maintain Georgia’s reputation as one of the most business-friendly states in the country. “Keep Georgia the No. 1 state to do business,” the Republican’s campaign website says. In saying Georgia is the No. 1 state to do business, Cagle was citing a list put together by Site Selection, a magazine...
Evans can rightly claim big win in Medicare-fraud case

Evans can rightly claim big win in Medicare-fraud case

Rep. Stacey Evans, D-Smyrna, is running for governor of Georgia, and she’s touting a major Medicare fraud case she argued with her private law practice in a campaign video. She argued a civil lawsuit she argued alongside three other firms representing the U.S. government against DaVita HealthCare Partners Inc., a leading provider of dialysis services in the United States. They represented two...
PolitiFact: Many crimes can be tied to collusion

PolitiFact: Many crimes can be tied to collusion

PolitiFact last week looked at statements about whether collusion is a crime, health insurance and Medicaid in particular. Here are abbreviated versions of our fact checks. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. “Collusion is not illegal.” — Eric Bolling on Tuesday, July 11, 2017, in comments on “Fox News Specialists” Bolling’s statement came after Donald...
PolitiFact: Senator’s claim about Medicaid’s share of deficit is flawed

PolitiFact: Senator’s claim about Medicaid’s share of deficit is flawed

U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa., defended the Senate health care bill’s curbing of Medicaid spending by calling Medicaid the single-biggest driver of the federal budget deficit. Toomey said the proposed cuts to Medicaid spending would slow the growth of entitlement programs, which he claimed are “driving the fiscal train wreck we’re on” in a “Morning Joe” interview...
PolitiFact: The actions of collusion could lead to a number of charges

PolitiFact: The actions of collusion could lead to a number of charges

Following Sean Hannity’s exclusive interview with Donald Trump Jr., Fox News host Eric Bolling repeated an argument the network’s personalities have used before — that even if someone from the Trump campaign colluded with the Russian government, collusion itself is not a crime. Bolling and his “Fox News Specialists” co-hosts Eboni Williams and Kat Timpf appeared on the...
Trump adviser has a point, but shaky number, on health bill score

Trump adviser has a point, but shaky number, on health bill score

White House Legislative Affairs Director Marc Short said recently that the CBO is counting millions of nonexistent people in its estimate of the number of Americans who stand to lose insurance coverage under the Senate’s proposed health care bill. Short’s claim is a variation on a recent Republican talking point: The CBO report did not use its most recent baseline estimates when scoring...
PolitiFact: Trump wrong on CNN ratings, misstated gas price low

PolitiFact: Trump wrong on CNN ratings, misstated gas price low

PolitiFact last week looked at statements by the president on CNN ratings and low gas prices, and a comment by an that Trump had never promoted violence. Here are abbreviated versions of our fact checks. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. CNN’s ratings are “way down.” — Donald Trump on Tuesday, June 27th, 2017 in a tweet Trump is flat wrong. Trump’s claim...
Trump’s words show that yes, he has encouraged violence

Trump’s words show that yes, he has encouraged violence

Has President Donald Trump promoted violence? At a White House briefing, White House spokeswoman Sarah Huckabee Sanders answered with a definitive no. We’re not considering Trump’s tweet of a GIF showing him body-slamming a figure labeled CNN at a professional wrestling match, which Trump sent several days after Huckabee Sanders’ comment. However, the record shows at least one clear...
Trump hailed low price July 4, but gas price has been lower

Trump hailed low price July 4, but gas price has been lower

On July 4, one of the major travel weekends, President Donald Trump tweeted, “Gas prices are the lowest in the U.S. in over ten years! I would like to see them go even lower.” On the one hand, the American Automobile Association told PolitiFact that gasoline prices were the lowest they have been on Independence Day weekend in 12 years — since 2005. “Gas prices have been declining...
Trump way off on CNN ratings

Trump way off on CNN ratings

Days before President Donald Trump tweeted a video of him assaulting a CNN logo, Trump took aim at another place he said CNN was hurting: its ratings. “Fake News CNN is looking at big management changes now that they got caught falsely pushing their phony Russian stories,” Trump tweeted June 27, before adding: “Ratings way down!” The reality TV star-turned-president has a well-documented...
PolitiFact checks politicians’ comments on Senate health care bill

PolitiFact checks politicians’ comments on Senate health care bill

The Senate’s health care bill to replace Obamacare was the focus of lots of people last week, and PolitiFact, too. We looked at comments about the bill by three prominent politicians, and found a little truth. Here are abbreviated versions of our fact checks. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. The Senate bill “hands enormous tax cuts to the rich and to the drug and insurance...

Ryan leaves much out in describing report on Senate bill’s effect

One of the complaints about the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, is it requires everyone to have insurance. To one degree or another, both the Senate and House bills do away with that requirement. When asked about the estimated 22 million people who would become uninsured under the Senate bill, House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., emphasized the upside, giving people the freedom to choose...
PolitiFact: Coulter no-deport numbers were right, Trump tweets weren’t

PolitiFact: Coulter no-deport numbers were right, Trump tweets weren’t

PolitiFact last week found two recent Donald Trump tweets lacked full truth, and Ann Coulter’s comment on Trump’s immigration policy so far had the numbers right but described the effect as ‘amnesty,’ a term open to lots of interpretation. Here are abbreviated versions of our fact checks. Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com. “The new Rasmussen Poll, one of...
PolitiFact: Coulter correct on no-deportation number; ‘amnesty’ is debatable

PolitiFact: Coulter correct on no-deportation number; ‘amnesty’ is debatable

Conservative pundit Ann Coulter, a staunch supporter of Donald Trump during the presidential campaign, called him out for stalling on immigration promises, including deportation of hundreds of thousands of young immigrants. Her tweet linked to an article from conservative news outlet The Daily Caller, headlined “Nearly 100,000 ‘Dreamers’ Granted Amnesty In Trump’s Opening Months&rdquo...
Trump’s tweet overlooks millions covered who weren’t before

Trump’s tweet overlooks millions covered who weren’t before

In its drive to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, popularly known as Obamacare, the Trump administration turned to Twitter with a list of how bad the program is. An accompanying video described multiple failings. One of its assertions jumped out at us as particularly wrong: that Obamacare has led to fewer health insurance options for millions of Americans. Before passage of the Affordable...
Donald Trump tweet on 50 percent approval cherry-picks polling data

Donald Trump tweet on 50 percent approval cherry-picks polling data

President Donald Trump opened his first Father’s Day as president with a bright-and-early boast about his poll numbers. “The new Rasmussen Poll, one of the most accurate in the 2016 Election, just out with a Trump 50% Approval Rating. That’s higher than O’s #’s!” Rasmussen Reports retweeted the president’s message (and so did more than 21,000 other accounts)...
PolitiFact: Ossoff, Sanders on health bill; Handel on Iran: None ‘True’

PolitiFact: Ossoff, Sanders on health bill; Handel on Iran: None ‘True’

PolitiFact last week found Jon Ossoff’s assessment of an impact of Republicans’ health care bill went too far. So did Karen Handel in saying Iran has violated the 2015 nuclear deal. And Sen. Bernie Sanders was also off in his comparison of Democrats’ and Republicans’ allowing debate on Obamacare and its proposed replacement. Here are abbreviated versions of our fact checks...
PolitiFact: Sanders misleads in chart on health care bill processes

PolitiFact: Sanders misleads in chart on health care bill processes

Sen. Bernie Sanders tweeted a graphic that tried to make that argument in stark statistical terms that Senate Republicans are working in secret to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act. The graphic, which Sanders tweeted on June 13, 2017, limits its comparison to the Senate, and it looks at 2009 to 2010, when the Affordable Care Act was under consideration, and 2017, for the legislation the Senate...
PolitiFact: Handel says Iran broke nuclear deal; Monitors say Iran’s complying

PolitiFact: Handel says Iran broke nuclear deal; Monitors say Iran’s complying

In the campaign for Georgia’s 6th, Congressional District, Republican Karen Handel has been sharply critical of the 2015 agreement for Iran to scale back its nuclear program in exchange for relief from economic sanctions. “From the things that I have seen, they are and (have) already violated the terms of the deal,” Handel said in a June 8 debate against Democrat Jon Ossoff ahead...
PolitiFact: Ossoff presumes too much about GOP health care bill

PolitiFact: Ossoff presumes too much about GOP health care bill

The treatment of pre-existing conditions has emerged as one of the thorniest issues in health care, which dominated the final debate in the special election to fill Georgia’s 6th Congressional District seat. Democrat Jon Ossoff said the House Republican’s American Health Care Act, “guts protections against massive price hikes for Georgians with pre-existing conditions.” Both...
PolitiFact review: Trump overstated requirements of climate deal

PolitiFact review: Trump overstated requirements of climate deal

In addition to one of President Trump’s stated reasons for pulling the United States out of the Paris climate accord, PolitiFact last week paid attention to the Tuesday debate between candidates in Georgia’s 6th District congressional race. We looked at statements by Democrat Jon Ossoff about Republican Karen Handel’s past role in reduced funding for breast cancer screening and by...
Clinton bases deterred-voter claim on flawed report

Clinton bases deterred-voter claim on flawed report

While reflecting on the 2016 presidential election, Hillary Clinton was asked why she didn’t campaign more in Wisconsin, a state that hadn’t gone Republican since 1984, but one she lost to Donald Trump. Appearing May 31 at a conference in California sponsored by the Vox Media site Recode, Clinton replied by saying “we thought we were doing really well in Wisconsin,” but &ldquo...
Handel’s, Ossoff’s claims on opponent’s fund sources contain truth

Handel’s, Ossoff’s claims on opponent’s fund sources contain truth

The special election to fill a closely contested Georgia congressional seat has broken a campaign cash record. With about $36 million spent, it is now the most expensive race for Congress the country has ever seen. The seat, left vacant when President Donald Trump named Tom Price as secretary of health and human services, had been a solid Republican seat for years. But Democrats think they may be...
Gore correct on Florida drought, but it’s not too unusual

Gore correct on Florida drought, but it’s not too unusual

Criticizing President Donald Trump’s “reckless” decision to pull out of the Paris climate change agreement, Former Vice President Al Gore said evidence abounds that climate change is real, and people “don’t have to rely on the virtually unanimous opinion of the scientific community anymore. “Mother nature is telling us every night on the TV news now is like a nature...
PolitiFact: Handel overstates U.S. money in Iran aiding terrorists

PolitiFact: Handel overstates U.S. money in Iran aiding terrorists

Karen Handel said in the debate Tuesday night that in the Barack Obama-era deal with Iran, “Nearly $2 billion in cash was flown over to Iran, money that the Obama administration has admitted is being used for terrorists and to support further activities there.” Handel’s staff pointed to a March 17, 2016, letter from the State Department saying Iran had received about $1.7 billion...
PolitiFact: Ossoff claim about Handel, breast screenings has some basis

PolitiFact: Ossoff claim about Handel, breast screenings has some basis

The Democratic contender for Georgia’s open congressional seat, Jon Ossoff, accused his Republican opponent of spearheading a controversial decision to cut off funding for breast cancer screenings. Ossoff charged that Karen Handel, while working as a top official at Susan G. Komen for the Cure foundation, worked to pull funding for screenings performed by Planned Parenthood. &ldquo...
PolitiFact: GOP ad about ISIS wrong; so is Sanders on Trump tax plan

PolitiFact: GOP ad about ISIS wrong; so is Sanders on Trump tax plan

Last week PolitiFact looked at Health and Human Secretary Tom Price’s claim about new federal spending to combat the opioid epidemic, a political ad’s claim about ISIS infiltrators in the United States, Sen. Bernie Sanders’ interpretation of how President Trump’s tax proposals would affect three very rich families. Here are abbreviated versions of our fact checks. Full versions...
PolitiFact: Sanders misstates impact on rich of Trump’s tax plan

PolitiFact: Sanders misstates impact on rich of Trump’s tax plan

Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., called President Donald Trump’s budget a massive transfer of wealth from working families, the elderly, children, the sick and the poor to the top 1 percent. “Why is it more important to give a $100 billion tax break to 3 of the wealthiest families than to feed, house and educate 15 million people?” Sanders tweeted May 25. The accusation runs away with...
PolitiFact: Ad against Ossoff incorrect about Syrians ‘infiltrating’ U.S. for ISIS

PolitiFact: Ad against Ossoff incorrect about Syrians ‘infiltrating’ U.S. for ISIS

An ad by the National Republican Congressional Committee against 6th District Democratic congressional candidate Jon Ossoff begins, “ISIS is infiltrating America and using Syrians to do it,” and continues, “The FBI warned we can’t safely screen every Syrian. Yet Jon Ossoff’s liberal party bosses brought 10,000 Syrian refugees to America. And Ossoff supports their dangerous...
PolitiFact: New budget funds aren’t whole story on opioid epidemic

PolitiFact: New budget funds aren’t whole story on opioid epidemic

Tom Price, secretary for Health and Human Services, and Kellyanne Conway, counselor to President Trump, reiterated Trump’s commitment to end the opioid crisis when they visited New Hampshire this month a week after it was announced that the administration planned to cut the Office of National Drug Control Policy’s budget by $364 million, about 95 percent. The proposed cut in Trump&rsquo...
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