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Tuesday, October 24, 2017

Donald Trump gave a speech Wednesday in New York City attacking Hillary Clinton’s economic and foreign policy positions and record. But how do you know if what he said was true or false? Test your lie-detecting skills below in The National Memo’s fun new fact-checking game, “Go Fact-Check Yourself”! If you think a quote is true, write down “Sad! But True” on a piece of paper. If you think it’s not, write “World-Class Liar.”

It’s fun for the entire family! Play with friends and acquaintances. It’s great for parties!

Quote: “I started off in Brooklyn, New York, not so long ago, with a small loan and built a business that today is worth well over $10 billion.”

Answer: World-Class Liar

Donald Trump’s first major construction deal (to build Manhattan’s Grand Hyatt Hotel in 1978) relied on a loan of $1 million from his father. Adjusting for inflation, that would amount to more than $6.8 million today. His dad also joined with Hyatt to guarantee the $70 million construction loan for the hotel, and later on, Trump would draw $9 million more out of his inheritance.

Trump’s $10 billion self-assessment is also up for debate. Forbes’ latest estimate has him at $4.5 billion. Of course, without seeing Trump’s tax returns, no one can know for sure.

Quote: “Hillary Clinton supports a radical 550 percent increase in Syrian refugees coming into the United States, and that’s an increase over President Obama’s already very high number. Under her plan, we would admit hundreds of thousands of refugees from the most dangerous countries on Earth — with no way to screen who they are or what they believe.”

Answer: World-Class Liar

Soon after the Paris bombings last fall, President Obama said that the United States would accept 10,000 Syrian refugees in fiscal year 2016. But by the end of May this year, less than 3,000 had been resettled. The 550 percent increase that Clinton supports would only result in 65,000—less than two percent of the total number of refugees from that country. According to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, there are about 4.9 million Syrian refugees.

Refugees arriving in the United States undergo “more rigorous screening than anyone else […] allow[ed] into the United States.” Several U.S. agencies, including the FBI, the State Department, and the Department of Homeland Security conduct multiple rounds of screenings and interviews.

Quote: “In just four years, Secretary Clinton managed to almost single-handedly destabilize the entire Middle East. Her invasion of Libya handed the country over to the ISIS barbarians. Thanks to Hillary Clinton, Iran is now the dominant Islamic power in the Middle East, and on the road to nuclear weapons. Hillary Clinton’s support for violent regime change in Syria has thrown the country into one of the bloodiest civil wars anyone has ever seen – while giving ISIS a launching pad for terrorism against the West. She helped force out a friendly regime in Egypt and replace it with the radical Muslim Brotherhood. … It all started with her bad judgment in supporting the War in Iraq in the first place. Though I was not in government service, I was among the earliest to criticize the rush to war, and yes, even before the war ever started.”

The Trump Truth Scale: World-Class Liar

If Hillary Clinton was able to single-handedly control the state of affairs in the Middle East to the extent that Donald Trump stated, then she would be roughly as powerful as Voldemort. And even if you think that Hillary Clinton is as evil as Voldemort, you must admit that she doesn’t have any magical powers, because magic isn’t real.

These points oversimplify the range of factors and actors that were present in determining the momentous changes within the Middle East. For example, in 2011 Clinton was one of a group of Obama advisors that supported airstrikes in Libya that included UN Ambassador Susan Rice and Samantha Power (then on the National Security Council). The resulting bombings (there were no American ground troops) soon became part of a NATO operation.

Regarding the War in Iraq, Trump told Howard Stern in September 2002 that he supported invading the country. In January 2003, he equivocated when asked about whether or not he supported invading Iraq. Only after the Spring 2003 invasion did he begin to say that he was opposed to the war.

Photo: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivers a speech during a campaign event at the Trump Soho Hotel in Manhattan, New York City, U.S., June 22, 2016. REUTERS/Mike Segar

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