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This story originally appeared on Business Insider
President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden took the stage for the last time on Thursday night in a controversial and fiery debate ahead of the November general election.
NBC's Kristen Welker moderated the debate and the evening focused on six key topics: COVID-19, race, climate change, national security, leadership and American families. The debate started at 9 p.m. ET and Welker allocated 15 minutes of discussion for each topic.
Thursday's event came just weeks after the initial Trump-Biden debate, in which the president received widespread backlash for repeatedly interrupting Biden. Following this debate, the Presidential Debate Commission decided to allow a third party to mute the candidates' microphones in order to give each candidate two minutes of uninterrupted speaking time at the beginning of each topic. The commission said it was implementing the rule change to "ensure a more orderly discussion of the issues".
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Less than two weeks to election day on November 3, Thursday was the last opportunity for Trump and Biden to address a large group of potential voters. Biden currently has a big lead over Trump; According to the latest forecast from FiveThirtyEight, the president currently has a 12% chance of winning a second term, while Biden has an 88% chance. The data website's national poll tracker also shows that Biden is nearly 10 points ahead of Trump.
Scroll down to see Business Insider's fact check on Thursday's debate.
Trump: "We shut down the world's largest economy to fight this terrible disease from China. The death rate has dropped 85%, the excess mortality rate has fallen far and much lower than almost any other country. Some spikes and spikes in other places." will be gone soon. We have a vaccine … it will be announced within weeks. Now they say I'm immune, whether it's four months or a lifetime, no one could tell that, but I'm immune was congratulated by the leaders of many countries on what we could. We turn the corner, we turn the corner. It goes away. "
Fact Check: Trump's statement that the US death rate is "way below and much lower than almost any other country" is inaccurate. According to the Johns Hopkins University, more than 223,000 Americans have died from COVID-19 and the proportion of U.S. deaths in the population is higher than many other countries.
Trump has also repeatedly said that a new COVID-19 vaccine will be released within weeks, but CDC Director Robert Redfield recently told Congress, "If you can ask me when it will be generally available to the American public we start with that. " Use the vaccine to get back to our normal lives. I think we're probably looking to the late second quarter, the third quarter of 2021. "
The president's claim that he is "immune" to COVID-19 is also misleading. As Business Insider previously reported, according to scientists, there is no reliable indicator of immunity to the novel coronavirus.
Regarding Trump's claim that the US is "going around the corner", Forbes reported that Trump made the same statement on the 28th of the last 46 days as of last week. The majority of US states continue to see large increases in new cases and hospitalizations.
Trump: The President has repeatedly attacked Biden for dealing with H1N1 swine flu.
Fact Check: Biden was not a president when the 2009 H1N1 pandemic hit the US, and he was not a leader in the federal response to it. President Barack Obama was. H1N1 also killed far fewer Americans – 14,000 – than COVID-19.
Biden: "His own national security advisor told him what happened to his buddy Rudy Giuliani, he is used as a Russian farmer, he gets information that is Russian – that's not true. And what happens then? Nothing happens. And then you pose state that whatever is going on here about Russia is to make sure that I don't get elected as the next President of the United States because they know I know them and they know me. "
Fact Check: Biden was referring to a recent Washington Post report in which US officials warned the White House last year that Russian activists were using Trump's longtime personal attorney, Rudy Giuliani, to relay disinformation to Trump.
A source told The Post that the message to Trump was, "Do what you want, but your friend Rudy has been processed by Russian assets in Ukraine."
According to the report, Trump shrugged and said, "This is Rudy."
Trump: "Joe got $ 3.5 million from Russia and it came through Putin because he was very kind with the former mayor of Moscow. Your family got $ 3.5 million. I never got any money from Russia don't get any money from Russia. "
Fact Check: Trump's claim that Biden received $ 3.5 million from Moscow relates to unconfirmed allegations made in a Republican Senate report last month that a Hunter Biden-affiliated investment firm received $ 3.5 million from Yelena Baturina , the widow of the late mayor Yury Luzhkov of Moscow.
Biden's attorney, George Mesires, told Politico in a statement that the Senate report had no value because Hunter Biden had no "interest in" and was not the "co-founder" of investment firm Rosemont Seneca Thornton. He was paid $ 3.5 million Paid dollars, that's wrong. "
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Trump's claim that he is not getting "money from Russia" has been refuted by his son Donald Trump Jr., who said in 2008 that much of the Trump family's fortunes came from Russia.
"In terms of the influx of high-end products into the US, Russians make up a pretty disproportionate cross-section of much of our assets," Trump Jr. said at a real estate conference earlier this year. "Let's say, in Dubai and certainly with our project in SoHo and all over New York. We see how much money is flowing out of Russia."
Trump: "I was on a false witch hunt for three years. They spied on my campaign. (Special Adviser Robert) Miller and 18 angry Democrats and FBI agents spent $ 48 million going over everything I had, including mine Tax returns. And they found absolutely nothing: no agreements and nothing wrong. "
Fact Check: The Justice Department Inspector General concluded after an internal investigation last year that there was no evidence that the FBI "spied on" Trump's campaign, as he has repeatedly claimed. Mueller also failed to receive Trump's tax returns and failed to conclude that there was "no collusion and nothing wrong" related to the Trump campaign.
Mueller's team found that there wasn't enough evidence to campaign anyone for conspiracy related to Russia's interference in the 2016 elections. However, prosecutors preceded this statement with one significant caveat: "The investigation found that the Russian government believed it would benefit from a Trump presidency and was working to secure that outcome, and that the campaign expected that it would benefit from information stolen and published by Russian. " Efforts. "
The special adviser also declined to pass a "traditional prosecutor's judgment" on whether Trump is obstructing justice, citing a 1973 Justice Department memo saying a seated president cannot be charged. However, his team emphasized: "If, after a thorough investigation into the facts that the President clearly did not commit an obstruction of justice, we would have confidence, we would explain it." The team continued, "However, based on the facts and the applicable legal standards, we cannot make this judgment."
Biden: "With regard to Ukraine, we had this whole question, whether or not I was on the board of Burisma Holdings, that I was doing something wrong somehow. But every single person, when he went through his impeachment … said I did Done my job properly. I was doing US politics. Not a single, lonely thing was wrong. Number two who got into trouble was this guy who tried to bribe the Ukrainian government to say negative things about me. My son didn't make money on … China. The only man who made money on China is this man. He's the only one. "
Fact Check: Biden alluded to claims by Trump and his allies that Biden, as Vice President, had inappropriately used his position to force the overthrow of the Ukrainian attorney general to cease a criminal investigation into Burisma Holdings, a Ukrainian natural gas company, in its Board Hunter Biden was active at the time.
As Business Insider has reported, this claim has a number of gaps. For one thing, the Burisma investigation was largely inactive at the time of Attorney General Viktor Shokin's dismissal. Government officials and Ukrainian anti-corruption advocates said Shokin obstructed the Burisma investigation long before Joe Biden even stepped into the picture, the Wall Street Journal reported. In other words, Biden did the opposite of what Trump and Giuliani had implied: trying to oust a prosecutor who was slow to investigate Burisma rather than actively targeting the company.
Most importantly, Biden took the official US position on the matter, which was shared by many other Western governments and anti-corruption activists in Ukraine, The Associated Press reported.
Trump: "His son has been out of a job in a long time. Once (Biden) became vice president, Burisma … I heard they paid him $ 183,000 a month. And they gave him a $ 3 million upfront payment."
Fact Check: Hunter Biden was paid $ 83,000 a month while working at Burisma, not $ 183,000. And while several current and past career officials have said the former Vice President did not commit any wrongdoing related to his son's work, they also say that the ethics of Hunter Biden, who works for Burisma, given his father's political work in the Ukraine may have blurred ethical boundaries.
Biden: "I've never taken a penny from a foreign source in my life. We learned that this president paid 50 times the tax in China (which he paid to the US government), a secret bank account in China has and does business in China, and is actually talking about taking money? I haven't taken a single cent from any country. "
Fact Checking: Biden was referring to a recent New York Times report that found that Trump had a previously undisclosed account with a Chinese bank. It was also said that Trump operated an office in China and has been partnered with a government-controlled company in the country. Trump paid taxes of $ 188,561 to the Chinese government from 2013 to 2015. In 2016 and 2017, he paid only $ 750 to the United States.
Biden: Trump "legitimized North Korea. He's talking about his good buddy who's a thug. A thug. And he's talking about how we're better off. And they have much more capable missiles that can reach US territory much more easily as they." ever done before. "
Fact check: Trump has met repeatedly with North Korean President Kim Jong Un and Kim has sent the US President several "love letters", according to the latest book by the experienced journalist Bob Woodward, "Rage".
Trump has since boasted several times about his relationship with Kim and once claimed that he and the North Korean letter "fell in love" with Kim's "beautiful letters".
Trump and Kim had two formal summits as well as one impromptu meeting in the demilitarized zone that separates North and South Korea. The meetings were supposed to promote the denuclearization of the Korean peninsula, but that has not happened yet. On the contrary, Pyongyang has further escalated its aggression in the region and recently created an ICBM that could target the US.
Trump: "We have 180 million people out there who have great private health care. Joe Biden is going to cancel all of these directives. They have 180 million plans, 180 million people – families. Under what he wants to do, what basically be." becomes socialized medicine … they want to end 180 million plans. "
Fact Check: It is not true that Biden's health insurance plan would divert 180 million people from their insurance. Biden has proposed a "public option" that would allow people to volunteer for a government health program similar to Medicare. But if they want to keep their current Biden plan insurance, they could.
Trump: You did it. We changed the guidelines. They built the cages.
Fact check: Trump made these remarks in response to questions about his administration's "zero tolerance policy", which separated thousands of migrant families on the US-Mexico border. As the New York Times reported, the Obama administration seldom separated families at the border, and only when the relationship between a child and the adult who was accompanying them was not immediately clear.
In contrast, the Trump administration's "zero tolerance policy" was explicitly formulated, and the Times reported that then Attorney General Jeff Sessions specifically told prosecutors who opposed the policy: "We must take the children away." "
Trump's claim that the Obama administration built cages for migrant children is true.
Biden: What did the president say? He said (via coronavirus): 'Don't worry, it will go away. Be gone by Easter. Do not worry. Maybe inject bleach. & # 39; He said he was kidding when he said this, but a lot of people thought it was serious. "Trump replied that he was actually" kidding ".
Fact Check: Here's what the President said during the task force briefing in April, based on a transcript and videotape of his remarks:
"So, suppose we hit the body with tremendous light, whether ultraviolet or just very strong, and I think you said it wasn't checked, but you're going to test it. And then I said, suppose it brought that Light in the body that you can either put through your skin or some other way and I think you said you are going to test that too, sounds interesting and then I see the disinfectant where it turns it off in a minute, and there there's a way to do something like this by injecting it inside, or almost cleaning it. Because you see it going into the lungs and enormous numbers going into the lungs, so it would be interesting to do that. Check that. You have to so see doctors, but it sounds interesting to me, so we'll see. But the whole concept of light, how it goes in a minute, is pretty powerful. "
Trump: The president said Biden called black Americans "superpredators" in connection with the violent crime and prosecution law of 1994.
Fact Checking: This is not true. Hillary Clinton made the remark in 1996, not Biden.
Trump: The president went to Biden for supporting the Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act in 1994. Trump said "tens of thousands of black men, mostly, put in jail".
Fact-checking: This claim is largely correct. Biden has drawn significant attention for his support for the measure that devastated the black community and exacerbated mass imprisonment. The former Vice President apologized during the debate and in previous cases for his support for the law and his tough stance on criminal justice reform.
Trump: You know Joe, I ran because of you. I ran because of Barack Obama. Because you did a bad job. If I thought you did a good job I would never have run.
Fact check: As several current and former Trump employees have pointed out, it ran because of Obama, but that had nothing to do with Obama's record. Instead, they said, it was because Obama made fun of Trump at the 2011 White House correspondents dinner.
"I think this is the night he decides to run for president," longtime GOP agent Roger Stone told PBS 'Frontline. "I think he's kind of motivated:" Maybe I'll just run. Maybe I'll show them all. ""
"I thought," Oh, Barack Obama is starting something I don't know if he'll make it, "" Omarosa Manigault Newman, the former White House aide aide and Trump confidant, told PBS.
Trump: "Nobody has done more for the black community than Donald Trump. If you look, with the exception of Abraham Lincoln, one possible exception, nobody did what I did."
Fact check: "This is possibly the boldest claim the president has ever made," Michael Fauntroy, professor of political science at Howard University, told the New York Times in June. "Not only has he not done more than anyone else, he has done almost everything."
The majority of historians and experts believe that Lincoln and former President Lyndon B. Johnson had the most legislative successes in promoting civil rights, according to The Times. In particular, Johnson advocated the passage of the Civil Rights Act, the Voting Rights Act, and the Fair Housing Act.
Other presidents such as Ulysses S. Grant, Dwight D. Eisenhower, Harry Truman, Jimmy Carter and Bill Clinton have also taken steps to protect and enforce the constitutional rights of black Americans and diversify the federal government and the judiciary, it said Report .
Trump: "We have the best CO2 emissions we have had in 35 years."
Fact Check: The Times reported that this is a misleading claim because although the US is now causing less pollution than it did when Trump took office, it is mainly due to lower natural gas prices and the policies of the Obama administration.
As Business Insider reported, "The Environmental Performance Index, a metric by environmental scientists from Yale and Columbia that counts 180 countries around the world, ranks the US 10th when it comes to overall air quality (Australia ranks first ). "
Contrary to Trump's claims, "the air in the country under his administration is actually becoming dirtier and more dangerous to breathe," the report said.
Trump: The president reiterated a popular Republican claim about Biden that he supported the Green New Deal and wanted to ban fracking.
Fact check: The former vice president has made a specific statement that he would not ban fracking and that he does not support the Green New Deal, although his climate plan has some similarities with the plan. In fact, Biden's lack of support for the Green New Deal was one of the main reasons progressive lawmakers, including New York MP Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, were reluctant to throw their support behind the former vice president.
Trump: Biden "wants to raise everyone's taxes, and he wants to reschedule everything. He's going to kill it. When he comes in you'll have a depression like you've never seen before, your 401ks will go hell and it will be one." very, very sad day for this country. "
Fact Check: Biden's tax plan would only impose taxes on Americans who earn more than $ 400,000 a year.