Twisting the truth

Stuart Kusdono and Noor Naji

Politicians have a bad reputation of playing loose with the facts. Whether or not the candidates this year fit that stereotype is anyone’s guess.


Hillary Clinton


  1. Gay Marriage: Hillary Clinton has lied on multiple issues, but one she continues to deny is the issue of gay marriage. In 2002, during an MSNBC interview, Clinton was asked if gay marriage should be recognized in New York City. She responded with a firm and simple, “No.”

Later in 2004 on the Senate floor, Clinton said that “marriage is a sacred bond between ‘man and woman.’” However in 2013, Clinton established her view as in favor of gay marriage. In another interview later the next year with the National Public Radio, Clinton said that she was consistent on the issue and claimed to have had a “strong record” of supporting gay marriage.


  1. “We now have more jobs in solar than we do in oil”:  According to a study done by Politifact New Hampshire, oil companies produce 10 times more jobs than those in solar.

This claim is also supported by independent data from the federal government. And while the solar energy power industry might be growing faster with an increase of jobs at the moment, it still has yet to dominate the oil industry. According to the Solar Foundation, the source that Clinton used in her claim, jobs created by the solar industry saw a dramatic increase with the hiring of 174,000 workers in the field. And the Bureau of Labor Statistics showed a decrease in gas and oil company’s jobs.

However, these statistics put together are misleading. The solar industry’s statistic includes the jobs of electricians, plumbers, and pipefitters, whereas the oil company statistic does not include many jobs such as manufacturers, researchers, or gas station workers.


  1. E-Mails: The most infamous lie of them all. Clinton’ use of a private server to send work-related emails has resulted in her receiving a great amount of criticism from both political parties. However, what seems to be worst is not the fact that she did it, but her evolving and creative lies about the emails.  She said that what she did was in “accordance with the rules and the regulations.” However, the FBI and a federal judge said otherwise, saying that she “violated government policy.”


Donald Trump


  1. Taxes: “America is one of the highest-taxed nations in the world.”

When it comes to corporate taxes, Donald Trump is not wrong. America does indeed have the third highest corporate taxes, according to Politifact. However, Trump’s statement here is intentionally misleading in that it suggests America has one of the highest overall taxes, which is far from the truth.

Compared to other OECD countries, America’s overall income taxes across households of various incomes rank far from the top. More specifically, America ranks 38 out of 155 nations according to And when taking into account effective income tax rates (rates after deductions), this ranking falls even lower.


  1. ISIS: “[Obama] is the founder of ISIS. I would say the cofounder would be crooked Hillary Clinton.”

This is yet more manipulative rhetoric from Trump to scapegoat the rise of Middle Eastern terrorism on Obama and Hillary Clinton. Trump falsely paints his opponents as villains–as terrorists, even–without any evidence to back up his serious allegations.

There is some arguable evidence that the Obama administration’s foreign policies indirectly created the vacuum through which ISIS was able to develop. However, when asked in an interview in Florida in August last month whether this was what he meant, Trump denied and flatly said that Obama founded ISIS, literally.

  1. 9/11:  “I watched when the World Trade Center came tumbling down, and I watched in Jersey City, N.J., where thousands and thousands of people were cheering as that building was coming down. Thousands of people were cheering.”Perhaps one of the more infamous lies, Trump paints a terrible scene of people supporting terrorism. This serves to add to Trump’s rhetoric of instilling fear and hatred towards Arab Americans and Muslims, a rhetoric that invokes bigotry. This particular claim had been debunked repeatedly by local police in the area at the time, and there were no validated sources that supported Trump’s claim of seeing thousands of people cheering.