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Fact-checking the Hofstra debate

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential

Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton on stage at the Hofstra University debate in Hempstead on Monday, Sept. 26, 2016. Photo Credit: Newsday / Alejandra Villa

After 90 minutes of Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton, can you believe your ears? Should you?

Here’s what the fact-checkers say:

TRUMP’S FORTUNE

Trump during the debate said he began his business empire with a “small loan” from his father. He previously has given a figure — $1 million. Clinton said the number was $14 million.

A 1985 casino-license document showed that Donald Trump owed his father and father’s businesses about $14 million. There was also his big inheritance when Fred Trump died. (Washington Post)

NAFTA

Trump said former President Bill Clinton signed the NAFTA trade deal.

Actually, it was signed in 1992 by President George H.W. Bush before Clinton took office. Bill Clinton supported and implemented the agreement. (Factcheck.org)

TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP

Trump said Clinton flip-flopped on the TPP trade deal. He’s largely right.

Clinton in 2012 said the then-evolving deal was the “gold standard” for trade deals. By last year, in her primary campaign vs. TPP opponent Bernie Sanders, she was backing away. (PolitiFact)

TRUMP’S TAX RETURNS

Trump repeated his reasons for not releasing his tax returns — because they are under audit — and said the financial disclosure statements he provided revealed more.

But there’s much that remains hidden. The two most obvious pieces of the puzzle missing without Trump’s tax returns are the effective rate of tax he pays on his income, and the extent and nature of his charitable giving. (PolitiFact)

Clinton said that in past years when Trump’s tax information became public — when he was seeking casino licenses of Atlantic City — they showed he paid no taxes.

Public records do indicate that there were two years in the 1970s when Trump paid nothing in federal taxes. But the same public records show three other years in which Trump did pay federal income taxes. (PolitiFact)

GUN VIOLENCE

Clinton said gun violence is the leading cause of death for young black men.

That is true, as long as you define “young” as being between the ages of 15 and 24. (PolitiFact)

ISIS

Blaming Clinton for failing to effectively stem the growth of ISIS, Trump said, “You’ve been fighting ISIS your entire adult life.”

The Islamic State group grew out of an al-Qaida spinoff — al-Qaida in Iraq — in 2013, the year Clinton left the State Department. (The Associated Press)

CLIMATE CHANGE

Clinton accused Mr. Trump of saying that climate change was a hoax perpetrated by China. He retorted that he never said it.

In 2012, Mr. Trump tweeted, “The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing noncompetitive.” (The New York Times)

THE ‘BIRTHER’ THEORY

Trump tried to pin the origins of the claim that President Barack Obama wasn’t born in the United States on Clinton, and said he should be credited for making Obama show his birth certificate in 2011.

There’s an extensive record of Trump promoting the birther claim and raising doubts about the birth certificate for years afterward. (The Washington Post)

PAYING FOR COLLEGE

Clinton said she has called for “making college debt-free so more young people can get their education.”

Clinton has proposed making college tuition-free for in-state students who go to a public college or university. But tuition- free doesn’t equate to debt-free.

Under her plan, the government would pay for in-state tuition at public colleges and universities for students from families earning less than $125,000 a year. That would leave students still bearing the cost of room and board, which makes up more than half of the average $18,943 sticker price at a four-year public university, according to the College Board. (The Associated Press)

IRAQ WAR

Trump said again he was opposed to the Iraq War from the outset.

In a September 2002 interview in which Trump said he supported the looming Iraq invasion. (PolitiFact)

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