Donald Trump’s Boldest Lies From the First 2016 Presidential Debate

A lot was said during the first presidential debate of 2016, including a ton of falsehoods from Donald Trump. Here were his boldest lies.

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All eyes were on Lester Holt Monday night as he moderated the first presidential debate between Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. Going into the event, many questioned the degree to which the NBC news anchor would fact-check the two candidates. Curiously, however, the chief of the Commission on Presidential Debates said before the debate that fact-checking the event should be left to the candidates. That made for a lot of unchecked untruths—a ton from one candidate in particular. So, because Holt wouldn't point out for you exactly when Trump was lying, we did the dirty work for him. Below, we've compiled his biggest, boldest lies from the first presidential debate.

Trump said he received a “very small loan” from his father.

Trump has said in interviews that the loan totaled $1 million. He has never disclosed when the loan was given, but if it was in 1968, when he graduated from college, that's $6.8 million in 2016 dollars. Furthermore, according to the U.S Small Business Administration, the median small business loan in 2013 was just $130,000-$140,000. It's also important to note that Trump's alleged loan doesn’t account for the $40 million inheritance he received in 1974.

He claimed he never said climate change is a Chinese hoax.

When pressed by Clinton, Trump insisted that he didn’t say this — but the tweets don’t lie. His exact words: 

The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make U.S. manufacturing non-competitive.

Trump insisted he never supported invading Iraq.

In a Sept. 11, 2002 interview, Howard Stern asked Trump directly if he supported an Iraq invasion. “Yeah, I guess so,” he responded. “I wish the first time it was done correctly.”


Trump said he won the police union endorsement "today."

Actually, the Fraternal Order of Police endorsed Donald Trump for president over a week ago. The union praised him for his “real commitment to law enforcement.”

He claimed stop and frisk wasn’t declared unconstitutional in New York. 

When asked how he would heal the "racial divide" in America, Trump said he supported "stop and frisk," the police practice of indiscriminately stopping pedestrians and checking them for contraband. When Holt replied that stop-and-frisk was ruled unconstitutional in New York, Trump said Holt was "wrong." He wasn't: A U.S. judge ruled in 2013 that stop-and-frisk was an unconstitutional policing practice. In her decision, Judge Shira Scheindlin wrote, "Many police practices may be useful for fighting crime — preventive detention or coerced confessions, for example — but because they are unconstitutional they cannot be used, no matter how effective."


Trump claimed stop-and-frisk worked "very well," brought crime way down.

Experts disagree on the effectiveness of stop-and-frisk in reducing crime in New York City, with many concluding that crime fell in New York unrelated to the the rate of stops. An analysis by the Brennan Center found that there was statistically no relationship between stop and frisk and crime rate in New York City.

Trump refuted that he said pregnancy is an "inconvenience" to employers.

Trump says he didn’t say it, but there’s video. In a 2004 Dateline interview, he said pregnancy is "a wonderful thing for the woman, it's a wonderful thing for the husband, it's certainly an inconvenience for a business. And whether people want to say that or not, the fact is it is an inconvenience for a person that is running a business."


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