Reality Check: Trump wrong on ‘debunked’ accusers, Clinton stretches truth on Trump tower workers

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MILWAUKEE - Donald Trump incorrectly said during the final presidential debate that several women who are accusing him of unwanted sexual advances have been "debunked," a FOX6 Reality Check found.

However, Hillary Clinton overstated Trump's interactions with illegal immigrants and wrongly accused him of inviting espionage against Americans.debate4

Trump's accusers

Nine women have accused Trump of groping them, kissing them, or other inappropriate acts. At Wednesday's final presidential debate in Las Vegas, Trump said the women were either looking for fame or that the Clinton campaign was behind their claims.Donald Trump

"Those stories have been largely debunked. Those people – I don’t know those people," Trump told moderator Chris Wallace.

Trump's assertion that the women's stories had been "debunked" is false, Reality Check found.

While Trump denies wrongdoing, none of the women's claims have been disproved. In the case of Summer Zervos, who accuses Trump of groping her, the Trump campaign put out a statement from Zervos' first cousin that questions her story.

"I think Summer wishes she could still be on reality TV, and in an effort to get that back she’s saying all of these negative things about Mr. Trump. That’s not how she talked about him before," wrote John Barry, whom the Trump campaign says is the first cousin of Zervos.

Summer Zervos

Summer Zervos

Yet, Barry's statement offers no evidence to disprove Zervos' claim that Trump groped her.

In a second case, in which Jessica Leeds accuses Trump of groping her on an airplane, the Trump campaign provided an alleged witness who refutes Leeds' story.

Jessica Leeds

Jessica Leeds

"Not only did he not do so (and I was present at all times) but it was she that was the one being flirtatious," Anthony Gilberthorpe told New York Post. The article says the Trump campaign arranged the interview, and Gilberthorpe offered no evidence.

The Trump campaign has also disputed the claims of Natasha Stoynoff, but People magazine published the accounts of six people who corroborate Stoynoff's story.

The Trump campaign has not provided evidence to refute a handful of other stories, Politifact reported.

Women's appearance

Clinton accused Trump of denying the women's claims based on his belief that they weren't good looking.

"He held a number of big rallies, where he said he could not possibly have done those things to those women because they were not attractive enough," Clinton said.

"I did not say that. I did not say that," Trump responded.

"He went on to say, 'Look at her. I don't think so.' About another woman, he said 'That wouldn't be my first choice,'" Clinton continued.

Trump's denial is misleading, Reality Check found.

At an Oct. 14 rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, Trump addressed one of the accusations.

"Yeah, I’m gonna go after her," Trump told his supporters in a mocking tone. "Believe me, she would not be my first choice. That I can tell you."


Undocumented labor at Trump Tower

Clinton questioned whether Trump was being hypocritical on one of his key issues, immigration, but her claim goes too far.

Trump has long pledged to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border and that anyone who is in the U.S. illegally could be deported under a Trump administration. However, he has said that his priority would be deporting drug dealers and other criminals.

Clinton questioned whether Trump had previously benefited from work performed by people who were in the U.S. illegally.

"He used undocumented labor to build the Trump Tower," Clinton said. "He underpaid undocumented workers and, when they complained, he basically said what a lot of employers do. 'You complain, I’ll get you deported.'"trump-tower

Clinton's claim needs clarification, according to Reality Check.

News reports indicate that dozens of illegal immigrants from Poland did work on the Trump Tower project in New York, which started in 1979.

In 1983, a union representing the workers sued, claiming the immigrant workers had been underpaid. The case dragged on for years before Trump settled it for an undisclosed sum in 1999.

However, no news articles from the time period indicate that Trump threatened the workers with deportation. In fact, Trump said under oath that he hadn't spoken with any of the workers.


Clinton later attacked Trump's character by tying him to Russian president Vladamir Putin. "You encouraged espionage against our people," she charged.

The assertion also needs clarification, Reality Check found.

During a speech in late July, Trump did invite Russia to hack emails.

"Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing," Trump said. "I think you will be rewarded mightily by our press."

Trump was referring to Clinton's emails, not the emails of Americans as a whole. He has long faulted Clinton for deleting certain emails -- her staff says they were personal in nature -- before a federal investigation of her use of a private server while she was secretary of state.

An FBI investigation found that some classified material passed over Clinton's server and called the practice "extremely careless." No criminal charges were filed.


  • Suzanne Derge

    Your station’s reporting on the debate and the election on a whole is disgusting and over the top biased. All you can do is keep the Clinton lies going and repeating them over and over and over. Those women that have made statements against Trump have been debunked. Why didn’t you call Clinton out on giving classified information out on the response time of the nuclear protocol? Talk about showing everyone except her blind minions how incompetent she is be announcing top secret information on live TV. How about reporting about the emails on how corrupt she is or the videos from Project Veritas? How about exposing the Clinton Foundation how she takes money from all these other countries to stick in her foundation for favors from the state department. How about how she is responsible for the deaths of our soldiers and ambassador in Benghazi!!!! No, you focus on lies about some women planted by the Clinton machine to make up lies. Your profession is the reason why so many people are sick and tired of everything. Instead of doing your job, you take the lines fed to her only from Clinton machine. Worlds worse reporting award.

    • duhhh

      you are very misinformed and sound ignorant. these are facts, facts are not biased. I guess the truth hurts you more than the candidates.

      • Suzanne

        Apparently you are the one that does not know the facts. You have nothing to back you up besides the ignorant talking points spouted by the news. That is all they are the talking points because they don’t want the truth out there. The world knows about the corruption and yet the news media tries to keep the American public in the dark.

  • Always Outspoken

    This article keeps demanding EVIDENCE that Trump didn’t assault these women, but why is there no demand for EVIDENCE that the assaults occurred? The accusations are based SOLELY on the statements these women have made, but the media is reporting the alleged assaults as though they are bona fide occurrences. Apparently in the eyes of the media Trump is considered guilty until proven innocent.

    Furthermore, it’s quite coincidental that none of these accusations were made until just after the release of the “locker room talk” tape – and we’re now up to 9 “victims” coming forward in just a few weeks – perfect timing to disrupt the challenge posed to Hillary.

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