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Fact Check: The GOP rush to blame Clinton

  • ASSOCIATED PRESS

    Republican Vice Presidential Nominee Gov. Mike Pence of Indiana speaks during the third day session of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland, Wednesday, July 20, 2016.

WASHINGTON » Donald Trump’s new running mate and other Republicans are wrongly accusing Hillary Clinton of speaking with indifference about the death of Americans in Benghazi, Libya — twisting her comments out of context to make their indictment.

A look at some of the claims from the stage of the Republican National Convention on Wednesday night and how they compare with the facts:

INDIANA GOV. MIKE PENCE, Trump’s choice for vice president: “It was Hillary Clinton who left Americans in harm’s way in Benghazi and after four Americans fell, said: “What difference, at this point, does it make?”

TEXAS SEN. TED CRUZ: “Theirs is the party that … responds to the death of Americans at Benghazi by asking, What difference does it make?”

THE FACTS: At no point has Clinton said — or even implied — that it makes no difference whether Americans died in the Benghazi attacks.

Clinton’s well-known quote came at a January 2013 Senate hearing when she was pressed about the motive for the attack that killed four Americans, including Ambassador Christopher Stevens. Her point was that it was less important to understand the reason for the attack than in knowing what to do about it. Republicans have persistently criticized the Obama administration for initially and wrongly blaming the attack on an anti-U.S. protest.

Clinton’ fuller remarks on that subject from the hearing: “With all due respect, the fact is we had four dead Americans. Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night who decided that they’d they go kill some Americans? What difference at this point does it make? It is our job to figure out what happened and do everything we can to prevent it from ever happening again, senator.”

She went on: “It is, from my perspective, less important today looking backwards as to why these militants decided they did it than to find them and bring them to justice, and then maybe we’ll figure out what was going on in the meantime.”

Whether Clinton as secretary of state acted properly in that crisis is a matter of enduring debate. But she was not, as Pence and Cruz suggested, cold about the fact that Americans died.

PENCE: “In my home state of Indiana we prove every day that you can build a growing economy on balanced budgets, low taxes.”

THE FACTS: While true, Pence’s balanced-budget claim isn’t much to brag about. He’s required to do that by law, as is every state except Vermont. And his biggest contribution to “low taxes” was a reduction of Indiana’s income-tax rate from 3.4 percent to 3.3 percent last year — a savings of about $50 a year for someone with $50,000 in taxable income.

NEWT GINGRICH, former House speaker: “Iran — the world’s leading sponsor of terrorism — is close to having nuclear weapons.”

THE FACTS: It’s not as close at it had been before a nuclear pact completed a year ago between Iran and world powers. The deal suspends oil, trade and financial sanctions in return for Iran rolling back its nuclear program.

Before the deal, Iran was just a few months away from having enough weapons-grade uranium to build 10 to 12 nuclear weapons, according to the U.S. government. Now, if Iran were to race toward an atomic weapon, the Obama administration and most independent experts say it would need at least a year, which they say would be enough time to discover the effort and intervene.

GINGRICH: “So when you hear about Hillary’s dishonesty, or the emails, or taking millions from the Saudis and other Middle Eastern dictatorships — remember, this is not about politics.”

THE FACTS: Clinton was not personally paid for making any speeches in Saudi Arabia or other Mideast nations. Instead, it was the Clinton Foundation, the family charity that she briefly headed after leaving the State Department, that received millions in donations from Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, Qatar and several other Mideast nations. Most of those donations were made before she took a leadership role in the charity after stepping down as secretary of state in 2013. Her husband, former President Bill Clinton, was personally paid $300,000 each for speeches to two companies in Saudi Arabia and $600,000 for a speech sponsored by a UAE government initiative.

CRUZ: “There is a better vision for our future: A return to freedom. … On health care, your freedom to choose your own doctor, without Obamacare.”

THE FACTS: Without “Obamacare” or some replacement, millions of people would lose health insurance, which could make it tough for them to choose a doctor. About 20 million people have gained health insurance since the law passed, and experts attribute most of that to the law.

FLORIDA GOV. RICK SCOTT: “We’ve allowed our military to decay, and we project weakness on the international stage.”

THE FACTS: The U.S. continues to have the most powerful military in the world. Although defense spending has declined with the end of the war in Iraq and the drawdown of NATO forces in Afghanistan, in 2015 the United States still spent nearly $600 billion on its armed forces — more than the spending by the next seven biggest-spending nations combined. China, the second-biggest spender, has a defense budget less than a third of the Pentagon’s.

GINGRICH: The terrorism danger to the United States “is even worse than September 11th, when 19 hijackers murdered almost 3,000 Americans.”

THE FACTS: Such an assertion fits the GOP convention’s theme of raising fears about the nation’s current political leadership, but it’s a stretch to say the danger has escalated since the 9/11 attacks. Terrorist groups such as the Islamic State group have exploited social media to promote sudden and frightening acts of violence, and some mass killers in the last year have publicly espoused radical ideology.

But in the last 15 years the nation has spent massively on new security systems. The FBI has reinvented itself into a terrorism-fighting agency, securing surveillance powers that have diminished the likelihood of a coordinated attack in multiple cities. The FBI says it’s tracking roughly 1,000 people it views as having terrorist aspirations. And airline security measures have made it much tougher to hijack planes.

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      • For those who, unlike Hillary Diane Rodham Clinton, do NOT have a tortured relation with Truth and would like some first hand insight into the modus operandi of this would be President and her nominal “husband”, take a gander at this recently published item:

        https://www.amazon.com/Crisis-Character-Discloses-Firsthand-Experience/dp/1455568872

        Crisis of Character: A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They Operate Hardcover– June 28, 2016
        by Gary J. Byrne (Author)

        Posted directly outside President Clinton’s Oval Office, Former Secret Service uniformed officer Gary Byrne reveals what he observed of Hillary Clinton’s character and the culture inside the White House while protecting the First Family in CRISIS OF CHARACTER, the most anticipated book of the 2016 election.

        About the Author – – GARY J. BYRNE served in federal law enforcement for nearly thirty years, in the U.S. Air Force Security Police, the Uniformed Division of the Secret Service, and most recently as a Federal Air Marshal. While serving as a Secret Service Officer, Gary protected President Bill Clinton and the First Family in the White House.

        Top Customer Reviews
        5.0 out of 5 stars
        A Quick Read, but Not an Easy One
        By Texas Teacher on June 28, 2016
        Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
        This is a book that, while quick to read, is not easy to read. We all know the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the Clintons–their personal relationship, the love or lack thereof of country, their unfettered desire for power, and now, thanks to this book, their equally unfettered desire to satisfy themselves at all costs. The author of the book clearly shows that he has no political axe to grind. Indeed, it is out of dedication to upholding the honor of this country and its viability into the future, that he writes. No doubt, the spinners of truth will say that this book was conveniently published to try and destroy Mrs. Clinton’s chance to be the president. If that is what you believe, don’t read this book. However, if you want to know the character of who may indeed occupy the Oval Office, hold the nuclear football, run the military, and tiptoe through difficult matters of diplomacy, this is a must-read.

        5.0 out of 5 stars
        Terrific account of the Secret Service life and what really goes on… a lot like House of Cards.
        By L.Lop on June 28, 2016
        Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
        I am the author of Thriller: Nukes: The case of nuclear terrorists (A Sean Ryan Story) (Volume 1), positively reviewed by Hillary Clinton by the way (or by a staffer) when she was a senator. My book dealt with our homeland security and terrorism and so I was eager to get this book about what the officers of the secret service really go through protecting the president. I was not disappointed.

        I know the author of House of Cards, Michael Dobbs, modeled the USA version of his story after the Clintons. Many things we knew already in this story, if we lived through the Clinton years and a lot of these antics of theirs were also supported by many other books and documents. They had no respect at all for authority, rules, or the secret service and people in uniform then and they still don’t seem to care, from what I read today about the Benghazi reports and Mrs Clinton’s response “Let’s move on” she said almost without any emotion or a tear in her eye about the dead. After concluding her discourse, she smiles, inappropriately because we are talking about four people that have not just died, but has been tortured and died horribly and her lies to the public overtly and without apology. To say she is cold and insensitive is an understatement. Based on seeing her recent behavior and responses at age 64, a time when most people mellow, I don’t doubt she cursed and treated these good officers with contempt when she was much younger and less guarded in the 90’s. I saw some of her interviews of that time, looking so young, she was obstinate, had a quick answer for everything and seem very combative, justifying everything. I also took the time to read her emails online, and they match her personality. Someone that seeks foreign policy and updates advice from outsiders rather than their own staff while Secretary of State, makes me think she wants to play by her own rules, outside of the inner team or circle. She wrote a lot of emails about Libya and Benghazi to Sid Bloomenthal, and he wasn’t even part of the staff. So her early behavior during the Clinton presidency does not surprise me and believe this story 100%. They brought in their own big staff of interns and fired the travel staff to put in her own staff, and threatened then with IRS audits and other means to get her way. Not a nice person. An abuse of power, for sure.

        The author feels that the Clinton’s treated them like “furniture” and were ungrateful of the fact they were there to take a bullet for them. The contrast between the Clinton’s and the old school Papa Bush and Barbara, was so well presented. Clinton’s cheating on his wife with Monica is a great story and presents many aspects that we didn’t know, and much that we already knew. But that wasn’t a shocker for the reader, after all, other presidents had mistresses too. Lewinsky flipping her dress to show her thong to Clinton in front of the officers, was no different than Marylin singing happy birthday seductively to JFK! They just want to broadcast their indiscreation, it’s a turn on for them it seems. The American People are tolerant of these things, but it’s the lying they can’t stand.

        None of this is fiction, for sure. Very believable. Do not believe the 1 star reviews because they are obviously planted, this book is good. You can tell right way, they are planted because there are either honest 5 star reviews, like mine or 1 star reviews that don’t go into detail. I see fewer 4 and 3 stars, which is an obvious sign that the one stars seem to be manipulations. Obviously the democratic party wants to discredit the book because it might affect their campaign. I don’t think it will because nothing that is told here goes to their issues or policies. It talks about character.

        Having edited several other historical books, I think it is well written, edited and presented. What is outstanding about this book is how it is told, from the point of view of one person. The language, the way he explains his experiences, reminds me of a World War II book I edited as well.

        The marketing was of course taking advantage of the election frenzy, but I don’t fault the publisher for that, it’s marketing and if you don’t catch the wave you won’t sell the book and of course we won’t find out the truth. But, this book, is in no way fiction or made up. Having followed this topic for such a long time, I have found so many other independent sources that confirm this information. These are the quintessential Clintons as we know them well. You either love them or hate them.

        Does Hillary Clinton have an issue with her character? Maybe. I don’t think that just because she curses like a truck driver, and she is insesitive that could make her a bad president. Plenty of males in top positions have been insufferable, and insensitive. The problem is her disdain for everything in uniform and poor performance when it came to a military decision in Benghazi and lately trying to throw her own boss under the bus to excuse her lack of action. This book explains where it comes from. She was asking the officers not to wear uniforms then and didn’t even want to see them around. The author explains how they had to hide in the closet when she came around.

        Militarily, they wanted to take away weapons from the military men “they wanted to help but not use force”. The author says it’s like a doctor wanting to operate without using a scalpel. It is so right, because this exactly what happened in Benghazi, she didn’t want to send force to protect at the beginning, and when trouble started it was too late to have them rush in. The author points out this happened before in another situation. And, it will happen again because Today, on June 28th, 2016, her response to the Benghazi report shows that she hasn’t changed her tune. Certainly the Clinton presidency was one scandal after another, always damage repair to extensive PR at the expense of the tax payer. Descriptions of lavish parties that were really a way to sell the Clinton brand and not the White House. This woman was already running for office then, setting things up for her future.

        I strongly recommend that you read this book. More than Clinton Cash, this book is far more believable and an easy read. And, it also provides a lot of interesting information about the life of the secret service officers that risk their lives daily to protect our elected officials, and in this case, with the Clintons, they did not seem to show full appreciation when they took a bullet to protect them.

        • One of the top candidates being considered for former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton’s Running mate in 2016 has had some email problems of his own.
          Tom Vilsack, the former governor of Iowa and President Barack Obama’s current secretary of agriculture, was caught up in a 2004 scandal that resulted in emails being “inadvertently” destroyed. Vilsack partially blamed himself for destroying emails regarding the Iowa Department of Economic Development Foundation. The Des Moines Register had requested the emails. – via The Daily Caller

    • AP is correct and many newspaper and media are reporting the appalling lies of the Republican Convention. Trump is insulting Republicans by assuming they are uneducated yahoos who will buy anything he and his allies put out.

      Hillary has been investigated more than any of them and has never been charged or convicted of any crime ever.

      • lol, republicans are uneducated yahoos. The only thing republicans can do is to lie because they have no ideas. It is a real shame that today’s republicans have abandoned republican values.

        • What difference at this point does it make. Let’s move on. We only lost four. Plenty more pigs in a blanket.

        • It’s an algorithm that works every time for the former first couple:

          First and foremost keep everything off the official records that could be subject to FOIA retrieval (that’s why the private server) to maintain plausible deniability.

          Next delay, delay, delay.

          File affadavits that lie, lie, lie.

          Then publicly deny, deny, deny.

          Final step after months have passed: “Oh, you know, that’s OLD stuff that I long ago answered to everyone’s complete satisfaction, so let’s move on.”

          Or as Obi Won Kenobi instructs those of a weaker mind: “These aren’t the droids you are looking for. They can pass through this checkpoint.”

        • And what is the product of democrat values? Here are your party’s results:
          Inflaming an ever increasing racial divide.

          Impoverishing the largest progressive run state, California, with the highest percentage of those living under the poverty line.

          Ignoring our soon to be insolvent entitlement programs (Social Security Disability next year).

          Presiding over the slowest economic recovery, the lowest labor participation rate in 4 decades.

          Squandering US influence in the world at the expense of vital national interests, particularly the Middle East.

          Negotiating a nuclear agreement that will set of a nuclear arms race in the Middle East and actually shelter the Iranian nuclear weapons program.

          An immigration policy that amounts to the dissolution of our borders in order to import democrat party voters.

          Use of the IRS like a sort of political gestapo to shut up conservative groups.

          Supporting the sale of baby body parts.

          These appear to be the guiding principles of the Democrat party, either by design or by ignorance, aimed at a slow destruction of the country.

  • Conventions serve to unify the party. Conventions, literally speaking, are party meetings. At its convention, a party nominates candidates for president and vice president, along with taking care of other party business, such as establishing rules for future nominations.

    Conventions are showcases for the presidential ticket. All the major broadcast and cable networks cover the conventions extensively, giving parties the equivalent of hundreds of millions of dollars in media exposure. In contrast to other sorts of political events, the media generally lets the parties set the program, and make their case to the American public in a relatively uninterrupted way. It’s a unique, once-per-cycle opportunity.

    So from a Conventions 101 standpoint, what happened in Cleveland on Wednesday night was a potential disaster for Trump and the Republicans. Cruz, the second-place finisher in the primaries, conspicuously refused to endorse Trump, and left the stage to a chorus of boos. An unusually large number of Republicans have also declined to endorse Trump, including Ohio Gov. John Kasich, who isn’t appearing at the convention even though his state is hosting it. But those defections might be forgotten about for a few days, provided that the party put on its best face in Cleveland. Cruz’s refusal to endorse Trump, however, which he seemed to draw out for emphasis to embarrass Trump, took place at center stage. It was bad from both a uniting-the-party standpoint and from a showcasing-the-ticket standpoint. It was among the most dramatic events that we’ve seen at a convention in recent years…..per NS @ 538.

    • What’s the difference at this point, they are dead, let’s just forget about it and move on. Vote your conscience.
      She was extremely careless, could have and probably caused American lives. Let’s just move on. Vote your conscience.
      She was unsophisticated. Vote your conscience.
      “foreign entities who made payments to the Clinton Foundation and to Mr. Clinton through high speaking fees received favors from Mrs. Clinton’s State Department in return.” Vote your conscience.
      She didn’t lie to the FBI. Vote your conscience.
      I turned over all official emails. Vote your conscience .

  • The Bush’s didn’t attend or endorse TheDonald, Jeb signed the pledge too. I remember reading a line in an article where George W. Bush saying Ted Cruz was a SOB and couldn’t stand em and NOW I know why!

    • Getting TheDonald elected to the post of the POTUS is greater than than his family! It’s about saving the Constitution for all people that he serves as a seated politician. If Cruz can’t get over the brutal personal nominee race he’s full of it! Ted is really “Lying Ted” not endorsing TheDonald in which he and 16 GOP candidates enjoyed putting the onus on the TheDonald to sign the pledge to the GoP.

  • First off the terms “Associated Press” and “fact check” are incompatible. AP has become a voice for the democrat party/left wing. Clearly biased headlines, content, and story selection are the norm, such as this supposed “fact check”. Clinton did say “what difference does it make…” when it came to the question of why the US ambassador to Libya was killed. Then she lied repeatedly about it, to include misleading bereaved family members. Lying seems to be Clinton’s default position given the findings of the FBI investigation of her email/classified information scandal.

    On Iran we just now hear about secret agreements with Iran which will allow them to accelerate their production of uranium much sooner than publicly stated in the US-Iran agreement. We also hear reports of open attempts to obtain weapons technology in Germany and we see continuing missile testing for what could only be nuclear delivery systems. This agreement has postponed a conflict we could possibly manage today and guaranteed a future conflict that we may not be able to manage. Clinton’s role in laying the groundwork for this mistake can’t be dismissed.

    US spends more on the military: This is classic leftist misdirection. The amount we need to spend is defined by our security needs. Dollar totals tell us nothing about whether we have the forces needed to protect our vital interests and comparisons with other nations, such as China, are meaningless given their dictatorial control of costs and manpower.

    • I wouldn’t be surprised Chinese metal used to build the ships contain some amount of melamine. The Quality Control ain’t there, just go to your local hardware store or pet food outlet and put those Chinese products to use and you’ll witness the outcome of it’s quality

    • Well said.

      As far as our alleged “news” media is concerned, their primary task is not to discover and report the news as journalists, but rather to take dictation from the Religious Left and rather than present the news, prevent it from reaching the public.

  • There’s this lump of bile that rises up from the back of my throat. “Top News” from the AP? C’mon, I expect better from even our little dopey HSA.

  • Were’s my option on the ballot for NONE OF THE ABOVE. Now is the time to get rid of this 2 party system that has been nothing short of a dismal failure for our country.

  • Haaaaaaaaaaaa! More “Damage Control” from the MSM. Yeah! We all get it the AP is in the tank with the Clintons.Facts Vs The GOP Oh Please. Here’s a few of my favorites…why doesn’t the AP mention that Iran has Constantly violated the Iran Nuke deal? This is Fact! And yes our military has indeed declined in strength during this administration! This too is Fact.Yesterday while channel surfing…… Watching the GOP convention , Did you notice the different between the MSM opinions “Vs Foxnews? Complete oposites ! it was hilarious how NBC spins their story! Yep we all get it! Sorry AP nice try but NO cigar.The MSM is simply full of Baloney????

  • Senate committee hearing in January 2013: “Was it because of a protest or was it because of guys out for a walk one night and decided they’d go kill some Americans,” Clinton said. “What difference – at this point, what difference does it make?”

    Yeah she said it!

  • This isn’t a “FACT CHECK”, this is “let us help you to see that the Republicans statements are not as bad as they may seem. Clinton is still the worst candidate for the office of President. Her record clearly shows that to be the case. You can’t change facts, only spin them for your own ideologies.

  • OK folks come next week,lets see if the AP ALSO does a “Fact Check poll” on Sweet Hillary . I’d like to see all of her accomplishments. That will be a blast! How the AP Spins for Sweet Hillary…..you know it’s going to be hilarious. Haaaaaaaa! I’m telling y’all the AP is in the tank with the Clintons.

    Question? When The Donald becomes the POTUS,is this going to be another repeat of the Bush administration? When all of the MSM were ganging up on GW. Remember all the trash they spun? Which brings to mind, One of my favorite . “The War in Iraq was for the OIL”. Remember that one? lol.
    You can bet the AP along with others like the NYTimes & Washington Post will be in full attack mode. IMUA

  • “Her point was that it was less important to understand the reason for the attack than in knowing what to do about it.”>>> Let’s “localize” this to see he ridiculous this statement is. Termites. When termites are discovered the FIRST thing they do is look for what MADE them appear. Moisture? Wood laying around? THEN they eradicate them once knowing what made them appear. Analyzing MOTIVE first DETERMINES the gameplan of action…second.

  • No matter what is presented here the Trump supporters will continue to support him, even those who stand to lose their benefits. There ar many reasons for this and the biggest I think is that people hav become stirred into frenzy to believe everything they are fed by the Trumo campaign and the Republcans with their scare tactics. You cannot blame many for their disillusionment. But at the same time we need to fact-check before we put any weight on claims and promises by either party. We need to be aware that it was BOTH parties that led us to where we are at. The Democrats with their spend before it’s earned policy and the Republicans with their constant foot dragging effort to sabotage the Democrats which resulted in much of the very problems they claim they want to solve.

  • fact check:

    despite the female felon’s heavy media blitz and millions upon millions of kickback donations, ohio is tied between the felon and the combover.

    the female felon is having trust and integrity problems even with hardcore gruber voters. her arms dealing with repressive governments that donate to the clinton foundation and her approval of weapons deals with manufacturers that donate to the clinton foundation is appalling. that her inner coconspirators worked for both the state department and the clinton foundation at the same time, soliciting donations while approving arms and uranium deals is suspect.

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    “foreign entities who made payments to the Clinton Foundation and to Mr. Clinton through high speaking fees received favors from Mrs. Clinton’s State Department in return.”

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