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updated: 10/19/2016 11:19 PM

AP FACT CHECK: Trump, Clinton and their debate claims

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  • Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump debates Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (Mark Ralston/Pool via AP)

    Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump debates Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton during the third presidential debate at UNLV in Las Vegas, Wednesday, Oct. 19, 2016. (Mark Ralston/Pool via AP)

 
Associated Press

WASHINGTON -- 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:

TRUMP: Responding to allegations from at least nine women that he groped them or kissed them without their permission: "Those stories have been largely debunked."

THE FACTS: Not true. None of the allegations have been proven false, and since they surfaced, more people have come forward to corroborate their stories.

This week, for example, People Magazine said that a half-dozen people have backed up its reporter Natasha Stoynoff, who has said that Trump forced himself on her in 2005 while she was interviewing him at his Florida mansion for a piece about the anniversary of his marriage to Melania Knauss, a former model.

At least two people say that Stoynoff called them and told them about Trump's behavior in the hours and days after she says it occurred. Three other people say Stoynoff told them about Trump's behavior years ago. Trump has repeatedly said he has evidence that would disprove the allegations, but he has yet to provide it. He has questioned why Stoynoff didn't include her allegations in the story and defended himself by criticizing Stoynoff's physical attractiveness.

"Take a look. You take a look. Look at her, look at her words, you tell me what you think. I don't think so," Trump said at a recent rally.

TRUMP: "If you look at your voter rolls you will see millions of people that are registered to vote, millions -- this isn't coming from me, this is coming from Pew report and other places -- millions of people that are registered to vote that shouldn't be registered to vote."

THE FACTS: Trump asserted this to support his charge that the presidential election is "rigged," but it doesn't prove his point. A 2012 report from the Pew Charitable Trusts did find that 24 million voter registrations on the books are either no longer valid or inaccurate in some way. Some were failures to remove names of people who had died or moved, blamed on "antiquated" state registration systems. But the report didn't find or even discuss any evidence of voting fraud.

CLINTON: Asked about her reference in a 2013 speech to a Brazilian bank as part of her "dream of a hemispheric common market," Clinton said she was "talking only about energy. We trade more energy with our neighbors than we do with the rest of the world combined."

THE FACTS: Clinton's speech in May 2013 to Banco Itau was not simply about energy, but it also referenced other forms of open trade, according to the partial transcript released by WikiLeaks. Clinton said that "my dream is a hemispheric common market, with open trade and open borders, sometime in the future with energy that is as green and sustainable as we can get it, powering growth and opportunity for every person in the hemisphere." In other partial transcripts released by WikiLeaks, Clinton cautioned that the rules of such unfettered trade also needed to be fair.

CLINTON: "I don't add a penny to the national debt."

THE FACTS: Not true, according to the nonpartisan Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget. It estimates her increased spending in areas such as infrastructure, more financial aid for college students and early childhood education would increase the national debt by $200 billion over 10 years. That is far less than their estimate for Donald Trump, whose proposals they predict would add $5.3 trillion over 10 years. But it's also more than a penny.

TRUMP: Insurance premiums under the Obama health care law next year "are going to go up over 100 percent."

THE FACTS: Premiums are going up, and by double digits in many states, but to say it's over 100 percent is pure hyperbole.

The full impact of next year's premium increases is going to take time to sort out and vary across the country. Full information will be available Nov. 1 when the HealthCare.gov market goes live.

A study this summer by the nonpartisan Kaiser Family Foundation looked at 14 metro areas with complete information and found premiums were rising in 12 of them. The average increase for a popular option called the "lowest-cost silver plan" was 11 percent.

Since then, some states have reported higher numbers. California's marketplace projected an average increase of 13.2 percent. The three insurers in Tennessee's market got increases of 44 percent, 46 percent and 62 percent on average. In Minnesota customers will see increases ranging from 50 percent to 67 percent.

Many consumers receive subsidies that will offset the rising premiums, but an estimated 9 million people buy individual policies outside the health law's markets and pay full freight. Many will be shocked when they get their renewal notices.

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 costs can lead to 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 was correct when he said 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: The violence that occurred at his campaign rallies "was started by" Hillary Clinton, whose operatives paid people to "cause fights, do bad things." He said the proof of this was "all on tape."

THE FACTS: Unclear. A selectively edited video released on Wednesday by conservative activist James O'Keefe does show Democratic operative Scott Foval appearing to boast about provoking violent reactions at Trump rallies. But Foval was not directly employed by either the Clinton campaign or the Democratic National Committee, both of which have denounced his comments. DNC chairwoman Donna Brazile says she doesn't believe that people working for Democrats incited violence or employed the tactics Foval described.

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: Almost, but not quite. 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. 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.

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: "President Obama has moved millions of people out ... millions of people have been moved out of this country."

THE FACTS: That's true. Obama has overseen the deportation of more than 2.5 million immigrants since taking office in January 2009.

During Obama's first term hundreds of thousands of immigrants were deported annually, following a trend of increasing deportations started under President George W. Bush. The administration set a record in 2014 when more than 409,000 people were sent home. During his second term, deportations have steadily declined as he has opted to focus immigration enforcement resources on finding and deporting serious criminals and those who pose a threat to national security or public safety.

But Trump also claims that "nobody knows about it, nobody talks about it" and that's far from the truth. Obama has been dubbed "the deporter in chief" by immigration advocates and opponents of his immigration enforcement policies.

CLINTON: "I disagreed with the way the court applied the Second Amendment" in the District of Columbia vs. Heller decision in 2008. "I was upset because unfortunately dozens of toddlers injure themselves and even kill people with guns ... But there's no doubt I respect the Second Amendment, that I believe there's an individual right to bear arms."

THE FACTS: While Clinton emphasized the protection of children from gun accidents, the main holding in that case was far broader: that individuals have a right to own guns, at least in their homes and for self-defense. The case marked the first time the court said that individuals have a Second Amendment right to own a gun. The decision struck down Washington's ban on handgun ownership as well as a separate requirement that people who have other guns store them either with trigger locks or disassembled. The court said both provisions violate the Second Amendment.

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.

TRUMP: "So I just left some high representatives of India. They're growing at 8 percent. China is growing at 7 percent. And that for them is a catastrophically low number. We are growing, our last report came out, and it's right around the 1 percent level and I think it's going down. Last week, as you know, the end of last week, they came out with an anemic jobs report. A terrible jobs report."

THE FACTS: China and India are growing faster in large part because they're playing catch up to the United States, the world's largest economy. Those two Asian countries are starting from a much lower baseline with a much larger population than the United States, meaning that by definition that they should be growing faster. Economists would warn of a dangerous bubble if the United States grew that quickly and financial markets would fear a devastating recession to follow.

But China and India aren't any better off than the U.S., said former Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke in an analysis released Wednesday. On a per capita basis, China has just 10 percent of the United States' income. India has about 6 percent.

Factoring in life expectancy, inequality and leisure, Bernanke notes that the United States comes off even better. And the September jobs report that Trump calls "terrible" is actually viewed by most economists as encouraging. Employers added 156,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate ticked up to 5 percent because more Americans felt confident enough to start looking for jobs, a positive sign.

TRUMP: "Last week, as you know, the end of last week, they came out with an anemic jobs report. A terrible jobs report."

THE FACTS: The September jobs report that Trump calls "terrible" is actually viewed by most economists as encouraging. Employers added 156,000 jobs last month and the unemployment rate ticked up to 5 percent because more Americans felt confident enough to start looking for jobs, a positive sign.

TRUMP: Referring to a 2010 U.S.-Russia treaty limiting both countries to 1,550 strategic nuclear warheads, Trump said, "They create warheads. We can't."

The FACTS: Incorrect. The New START treaty, which Trump called "Start Up," does not prevent either the U.S. or Russia from building nuclear warheads. It restricts each country to a total of 1,550 warheads deployed on bombers, submarines and in underground silos and requires that this limit be reached by February 2018.

Trump also said that after the treaty was signed, "They expanded and we didn't."

It's true that the Russians have increased the number of their deployed warheads to 1,796, and the U.S. warhead total has dropped to 1,367. But it also is true that their total was far below that of the U.S. when the treaty went into effect in 2010. New data published by the State Department this month showed that although Russia has added to its warhead total, its inventory of missile launchers, such as underground silos, has shrunk.

Hans Kristensen of the Federation of American Scientists, who closely tracks U.S. and Russian strategic forces, says the rise in Russian deployed warheads is temporary and is to be followed by the retirement of older nuclear weapons so that Moscow gets under the treaty limits. "Russian compliance with the treaty by 2018 is not in doubt," he wrote recently.

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