Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton fact check: How the truth stacks up against rhetoric

Claims from the second presidential debate and how they stacks up with the facts.

 Donald Trump vs Hillary Clinton fact check: How the truth stacks up against rhetoric

Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump. AP

Donald Trump: When Hillary Clinton defended an accused child-rapist in court, she "got him off, and she's seen on two separate occasions, laughing at the girl who was raped."

The facts: Trump's depiction of Clinton laughing at a child rape victim is false, and his statement that she got the man off the hook isn't quite right.

Clinton defended the man in 1975 at the demand of the judge in the case.

According to both Clinton in a recorded interview and later statements by the prosecutor who handled the case, Clinton asked not to be assigned to defend the attacker of Kathy Shelton, but ultimately Clinton agreed to defend the man at the judge's insistence.

According to audio of an interview Clinton gave to a reporter one decade later, Clinton suggested she believed her client, Thomas Alfred Taylor, was guilty, saying that his successful questioning under a polygraph test "forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs."

Despite her discomfort with the case, Clinton aggressively defended her client. In an affidavit to the court, she said a child psychologist had told her that children "from disorganised families," such as the victim, "tend to exaggerate or romanticise sexual experiences."

But it was a misstep by the prosecution that broke in favor of Clinton's client. The crime lab in the case lost a swatch of the victim's underwear that the prosecution had said contained Taylor's semen and the victim's blood. Clinton seized on the mistake, arguing that the absence of evidence fatally undermined the prosecution's case — prompting the prosecutor to offer Clinton's client a plea deal to a lesser charge, "unlawful fondling of a child."

In the recorded interview, Clinton never laughed at Shelton, calling it a "terrible" case and saying it was sad that prosecutors had lost the evidence against her client. But she did laugh at procedural errors in the case, and the judge's request to speak privately with her client at one point.

Donald Trump mischaracterised the record on Hillary Clinton's defense of her husband and her own treatment of women when he brought up Bill Clinton's sexual history and other episodes of the past.

A look at some of the claims in the second presidential debate:

Donald Trump on women linked to Bill Clinton sexually: "Hillary Clinton attacked those same women and attacked them viciously."

The facts: There is no clear, independent evidence that Hillary Clinton "viciously" attacked women who alleged or confirmed sexual contact with her husband.

To be sure, in the 1992 Democratic primaries, she was deeply involved in the Clinton campaign's effort to discredit one accuser, actress Gennifer Flowers, who alleged she had a long-running affair with Bill Clinton. Both Clintons acknowledged past troubles in their marriage but sought to undermine Flowers' claims. Bill Clinton later acknowledged in a 1998 court deposition that he had a sexual encounter with Flowers.

Hillary Clinton was also quoted over the years making disparaging comments about other women linked with her husband.

What is lacking is proof that she engineered efforts to smear their reputation. Diane Blair, a political science professor and long-time Hillary Clinton friend who died in 2000, left behind an account of private interviews with Hillary Clinton in which she told her during the Monica Lewinsky affair that she considered the former White House intern a "narcissistic loony toon."

Donald Trump on Bill Clinton: "He lost his license. He had to pay an $850,000 fine."

The facts: Trump's facts are, at best, jumbled. In 1998, lawyers for Bill Clinton settled with former Arkansas state employee Paul Jones for $850,000 in her four-year lawsuit alleging sexual harassment. It was not a fine, and there was no finding or admission of wrongdoing.

Trump erred in describing the legal consequences of that case. In a related case before the Arkansas State Supreme Court, Clinton was fined $25,000 and his Arkansas law license was suspended for five years. Clinton also faced disbarment before the U.S. Supreme Court but he opted to resign from the court's practice instead of facing any penalties.

Hillary Clinton, in response to a question about her saying that politicians need to have "both a public and a private position" in a 2013 paid speech, said, "As I recall, that was something I said about Abraham Lincoln after having seen the wonderful Steven Spielberg movie called Lincoln. It was a master class watching President Lincoln get the Congress to approve the 13th Amendment."

Donald Trump replied, "She lied. Now she's blaming the lie on the late, great Abraham Lincoln."

The facts: Clinton's recollection is correct.

Clinton invoked the movie "Lincoln," and the deal-making that went into passage of the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery, in an April 2013 speech to the National Multifamily Housing Council.

According to excerpts of the speech included in hacked emails published last week by WikiLeaks, Clinton said politicians must balance "both a public and a private position" while making deals, a process she said was like making sausage.

"It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be," Clinton said according to the excerpts. "But if everybody's watching, you know, all of the backroom discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position."

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Updated Date: Oct 25, 2016 12:13:52 IST