AP FACT CHECK: Trump, Clinton and their debate claims

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, left and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump listen to a question from Moderator Chris Wallace of FOX News during the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (Joe Raedle/Pool via AP)
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, left and Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump listen to a question from Moderator Chris Wallace of FOX News during the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (Joe Raedle/Pool via AP)

WASHINGTON (AP) — Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump both struggled in the final presidential debate to explain comments from their past. A look at some of the claims from the debate.

CLINTON, on Trump’s charge that she called for open borders in a 2013 speech to a Brazilian bank: “I was talking about energy.”

THE FACTS: She was actually talking about more than energy, but apparently less than an open border that immigrants can spill across at will, according to the partial transcript released by WikiLeaks.

Clinton said in the speech that “my dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, sometime in the future with energy that is as green as sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere.” The remarks suggest a broad interest in open trade but were not necessarily evidence that she would support the unfettered movement of people, as Trump charged


CLINTON: “I want to make college debt free.”

THE FACTS: Clinton might aspire to that lofty goal, but she has only proposed making college tuition free for in-state students who go to a public college or university. Even with expanded grant aid, room and board can lead students to borrow.

Clinton would have the government pay for in-state tuition at public colleges and universities for students from families earning less than $125,000 a year. Students would still need to foot the bill for housing and food, which makes up more than half of the average $18,943 sticker price at a four-year public university, according to the College Board.

But Trump is correct that government would shoulder higher costs with Clinton’s plan.

Her plan would cost the federal government an estimated $500 billion over 10 years, with additional costs possibly for state governments.


TRUMP: “Her plan is going to raise taxes and even double your taxes.”

THE FACTS: Clinton’s plan wouldn’t raise taxes at all for 95 percent of Americans, according to the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. The very wealthiest would take the greatest hit, though a doubling is highly questionable.

Two-thirds of her proposed increases would hit the top 0.1 percent of richest Americans, the center estimates. The main components of her tax plan: a minimum 30 percent tax on those earning at least $1 million a year, and a 5 percent tax surcharge for those earning more than $5 million a year. She would also cap the value of tax deductions and exclusions for wealthier taxpayers.


CLINTON on her opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership trade deal: “It didn’t meet my test.”

THE FACTS: It met her test when she was secretary of state and she promoted it worldwide.

Hacked emails from Clinton’s campaign, released Wednesday by WikiLeaks, showed that Jake Sullivan, her top foreign policy adviser, called her a “big champion” of the deal and worried about how to handle the issue in the face of Sen. Bernie Sanders’ opposition. She later flip-flopped into opposition during the Democratic primaries against Sanders.

Clinton says she no longer backs the proposed trade deal as written because it does not provide enough protections for U.S. workers on wages, jobs and the country’s national security. Yet the final deal also includes some of the strongest labor protections of any U.S. trade agreement.


TRUMP: “Hillary Clinton wanted the (border) wall. Hillary Clinton fought for the wall in 2006 or thereabouts. Now, she never gets anything done, so naturally it wasn’t built.”

THE FACTS: He’s partly right. As a senator from New York, Clinton did support the 2006 Secure Fence Act, which authorized the construction of hundreds of miles of fencing along the U.S.-Mexico border.

But it was built, contrary to Trump’s assertion. Nearly 700 miles of fencing was put in place during President George W. Bush’s second term and the beginning of President Barack Obama’s first term.

The fencing is placed largely in urban areas along the nearly 2,000-mile frontier. It is not the type of solid wall that Trump has pledged to construct at Mexico’s expense. The fence has miles-long gaps and gates built in to allow landowners access to their property on the south side of the fencing. Immigrants have been known to go over and around the fence.

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