Campaign Press Release - Correct The Record: Harris Makes 24 False Or Misleading Claims at the Debate
Harris lied, exaggerated, misled, and was flat-out wrong two dozen times
HARRIS: "The president said [coronavirus] was a hoax."
FACT: Harris repeated a frequent lie from the Biden campaign that has been debunked by at least 8 fact checkers; President Trump never called the coronavirus a hoax.
- The Washington Post gave Biden's campaign 4 Pinocchios for making this claim.
- The Associated Press: "Biden distorts Trump's words on virus 'hoax.'"
- CNN: "Biden ad misleadingly suggests Trump called Covid-19 a 'hoax'."
- PolitiFact: "Biden's video is inaccurate. We rate it False."
- FactCheck.org: "Trump said that when he used the word "hoax," he was referring to Democrats finding fault with his administration's response to coronavirus, not the virus itself."
- Check Your Fact: Trump "did not refer to the coronavirus itself as a hoax."
- Lead Stories: "Trump Did NOT Call Coronavirus A 'Hoax' Or 'Political Conspiracy."
- Snopes: "Trump did not call the coronavirus itself a hoax."
HARRIS: "And in spite of all of that, today, they still don't have a plan. They still don't have a plan" on coronavirus.
FACT: President Trump and his Administration have taken swift action on the coronavirus from the beginning, leading a whole of government response to the pandemic.
- In January, President Trump formed the Coronavirus Task Force and suspended travel with China.
- According to Dr. Fauci, the Trump Administration "acted very, very early" to combat the spread of the virus and did not delay in putting in place mitigation strategies.
- On February 11, top Biden coronavirus advisor Ron Klain admitted the Trump Administration was "far from doing nothing."
- Even Democrat governors like Andrew Cuomo praised the Trump Administration's response: "What the federal government did, working with states, was a phenomenal accomplishment."
- The Trump Administration completely overhauled the old and outdated testing system and replaced it with an innovative new testing strategy to meet the country's needs.
- The United States leads the world in coronavirus testing, with more than 100 million tests completed and more than three million available per day.
- "We needed a significant amount of the supply chain from the administration to allow us to at least double testing in New Jersey," said New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy (D). "We got it... they're helping us out."
- President Trump used the Defense Production Act dozens of times to expand coronavirus testing technologies and capacity.
- President Trump launched Operation Warp Speed to guarantee that the American people are first in line for a safe, effective coronavirus vaccine—at no cost—as soon as one is developed.
- The Trump Administration announced an historic deal with Pfizer to secure 100 million doses of a vaccine—with nearly half a billion more to potentially follow—as soon as it is successfully approved and manufactured.
- Multiple coronavirus vaccines are now in their final stages of development—an "impressive" accomplishment, according to NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins.
HARRIS: "We now know because of great investigative journalism that Donald Trump paid $750 in taxes."
FACT: Harris is wrong; President Trump paid millions of dollars in taxes in 2016 and 2017.
- A Trump Organization spokesman has directly said that "most, if not all, of the facts appear to be inaccurate" in The New York Times' reporting.
- The Times'reporting ignores that the President paid $7.4 million in federal taxes in 2017, not $750.
- The Times' article ignores millions of dollars the President has paid in payroll, property, and other taxes, along with state and local taxes he has paid.
HARRIS: "And through a plan that is about investing in infrastructure, something that Donald Trump said he would do. I remember hearing about some infrastructure week, I don't think it ever happened."
FACT: President Trump released an infrastructure plan more than two years ago, and has repeatedly called on Congress to invest trillions in our infrastructure and included proposals in his budget to do just that.
- In February 2018, President Trump unveiled a plan to spur $1.5 trillion in new infrastructure spending.
- The President included his infrastructure plan in both his FY 2019 and his FY 2020 budgets.
- While President Trump is ready, willing, and able to act; Congress has failed to heed this call.
- In his budget this year, President Trump again called for rebuilding our infrastructure, proposing $1 trillion in direct federal investment to rebuild and modernize American infrastructure.
- In March 2020, President Trump continued to push for infrastructure funding, calling for a $2 trillion infrastructure package as part of the phase four coronavirus response.
HARRIS: "On the other hand, you have Donald Trump, who measures the strength of the economy based on how rich people are doing. Which is why he passed a tax bill benefiting the top 1 percent and the biggest corporations of America..."
- President Trump's tax cuts have helped Americans at every income level, including the middle class and lower-income Americans.
- The average American saved over $1,250 as a result of President Trump's tax cuts, and the average family of four saw a tax cut of $2,000.
- IRS data shows that Americans with income between $50,000 and $100,000 saw twice as much of a drop in their annual taxes compared to Americans with incomes over $1 million.
- The Trump tax cuts are projected to create more than 1.2 million full-time jobs.
- President Trump's tax cuts created more than 8,700 opportunity zones which spurred $75 billion in new investments in disadvantaged communities.
- The Council of Economic Advisers projects that 1 million people can potentially be lifted out of poverty due to these new investments.
- More than 14 million small business owners took advantage of the new deduction for pass-through businesses.
- The Trump tax cuts doubled the child tax credit for hardworking families.
HARRIS: "And the truth and the fact is, Joe Biden has been very clear, he will not raise taxes on anybody who makes less than $400,000 a year."
FACT: Biden's $4 trillion tax hike will raise taxes on 82 percent of Americans, including those making less than $400,000.
- Biden's $4 trillion tax hike is the largest proposed tax increase in half a century.
- Five independent analyses have concluded that Biden would reduce after-tax incomes for those making under $400,000.
- The Tax Policy Center concluded Biden's "proposals would increase taxes on average on all income groups."
- The Tax Foundation concluded Biden's plan would lead to higher taxes "across all income groups."
- The American Enterprise Institute concluded that "households at every income level" would see higher taxes.
- A Penn Wharton budget model analysis concluded that taxes would go up across all income levels.
- The Committee For A Responsible Federal Budget concluded that taxes would go up across all income levels.
HARRIS: "The American people know that Joe Biden will not ban fracking. That is a fact. That is a fact."
FACT: Biden repeatedly expressed support for wiping out fracking, the fossil fuel industry, and the jobs they support.
- Biden admitted during a debate last year that there would be "no place" for fossil fuels, including fracking, in a Biden presidency, and that fossil fuels would be "eliminated."
- Biden agreed with a supporter in January that fracking needed to be "stopped."
- Biden said in February that he wants to "phase out" fossil fuels such as fracking.
- In March, Biden exclaimed "so am I!" after Bernie Sanders said he was campaigning on "stopping fracking as soon as we possibly can."
- Last year, Biden pledged to a supporter that he would "end" fossil fuels.
- Biden said he would "sacrifice" "hundreds of thousands" of fossil fuel jobs in pursuit of his anti-energy agenda.
- Kamala Harris wants to eliminate all fracking, saying "there's no question I'm in favor of banning fracking."
HARRIS: "Joe Biden is the one who, during the Great Recession, was responsible for the Recovery Act that brought America back. And now, the Trump-Pence Administration wants to take credit when they rode the coattails of Joe Biden's success for the economy that they had at the beginning of their term."
FACT: Biden oversaw the slowest economic "recovery" since the Great Depression, leaving behind millions of hard-working Americans.
- Joe Biden's economic recovery was a once-in a century failure: he's even said so himself.
- Biden has admitted that many Americans "were left behind" during his recovery.
- The New York Times even rated this claim "false" when Biden made it, saying "the economy was not 'booming' in the final year of Mr. Biden's time as vice president."
HARRIS: "And of course now the economy is a complete disaster."
FACT: Before the coronavirus pandemic, President Trump's pro-growth policies created millions of good-paying jobs and saw record historically low unemployment rates.
- Through the first three years of the Trump Administration, the U.S. economy saw nearly 7.3 million new jobs, higher growth, and a record setting stock market.
- Workers saw higher wages, lower taxes, record low unemployment rates, and a thriving labor market.
- 6.6 million Americans were lifted out of poverty and millions were lifted off food stamps.
- In just five months, the economy has already recovered over 11.4 million jobs, over half the jobs lost due to the pandemic.
HARRIS: "You have Donald Trump who is in court right now trying to get rid of the Affordable Care Act, which means that you will lose protections if you have pre-existing conditions."
FACT: President Trump has fought and vowed to protect Americans with pre-existing conditions.
- President Trump has repeatedly said he will always protect Americans with pre-existing conditions.
- This month, President Trump signed an executive order ensuring pre-existing conditions will be protected.
- President Trump has made protecting "all pre-existing conditions" a key point in his second term agenda.
- The Obamacare repeal and replace bills that Republicans in Congress supported, such as the American Health Care Act and Graham-Cassidy, included protections for Americans with pre-existing conditions.
- If Obamacare is truck down, President Trump has promised to pass and support a replacement that includes pre-existing condition protections.
HARRIS: "The Vice President earlier referred to what he thinks is an accomplishment that the president's trade war with China. He lost that trade war. You lost it."
FACT: President Trump is standing up to China's unfair trade practices and has achieved results for American workers and businesses, while Biden's trade policies with China cost millions of jobs.
- The Trump Administration successfully used tariffs to persuade China to sign a Phase One Trade Agreement that secured significant protections for American workers and businesses.
- President Trump secured a commitment from the Chinese to purchase an additional $32 billion in U.S. farm goods over the next two years.
- Joe Biden voted to grant 'most favored nation' trading status to China, leading to the loss of 3.2 million jobs and decimating American manufacturing.
- Biden even recently admitted he would end President Trump's tariffs on China without getting anything in return, reverting back to the failed status quo.
HARRIS: "We are in a manufacturing recession because of it."
FACT: Before the pandemic hit, American manufacturing was growing and adding jobs thanks to the President's pro-growth policies.
- The economy added 510,000 new manufacturing jobs between President Trump's Election and February 2020.
- In 2018, the U.S. added 264,000 new manufacturing jobs, the best one-year total in 21 years.
- The U.S. has added more than 13,000 factories under President Trump.
- During the Obama-Biden Administration, the United states lost 192,000 manufacturing jobs.
- During the Trump Administration's first 37 months, manufacturing production grew at a rate 11 times greater than the last 37 months under the Obama-Biden Administration.
HARRIS: "[The Obama-Biden Administration] created within the White House an office that basically was responsible for monitoring pandemics. [The Trump-Pence Administration] got rid of it."
FACT: This is false; President Trump did not get rid of the National Security Council's pandemic response team
- Multiple former National Security Council officials have said the story that White House pandemic response team staffers were fired is false.
- Former NSC Senior Director Tim Morrison said the claim that President Trump fired these staffers was "total garbage."
- Former NSC staffer Richard Goldberg said that the supposed fired staffers are "still there" at the White House "working hard."
- Former National Security Adviser John Bolton said "claims that streamlining" at the NSC "impaired our nation's bio defense are false."
- USA Today debunked this claim: "Trump didn't fire its members. Some resigned, and others moved to different units on the National Security Council."
HARRIS: "[Trump] has referred to our men who are serving in our military as suckers and losers."
FACT: At least 14 officials who were on the trip to France with President Trump have gone on the record to refute the anonymous sources and allegations in The Atlantic article.
- Sarah Sanders, former White House Press Secretary: "The Atlantic story on @realDonaldTrump is total BS. I was actually there and one of the people part of the discussion - this never happened."
- Hogan Gidley, former White House Deputy Press Secretary: "These are disgusting, grotesque, reprehensible lies. I was there in Paris and the President never said those things."
- Dan Scavino, White House Deputy Chief Of Staff for Communications: "I was with POTUS in France, with Sarah, and have been at his side throughout it all. Complete lies by 'anonymous sources'..."
- Jordan Karem, former Personal Aide to President Trump: "This is not even close to being factually accurate. plain and simple, it just never happened."
- Karem: "Again, this is 100% false. I was next to @POTUS the whole day! The President was greatly disappointed when told we couldn't fly there. He was incredibly eager to honor our Fallen Heroes."
- Johnny DeStefano, former Counselor to the President: "I was on this trip. The Atlantic bit is not true. Period."
- John Bolton, former National Security Advisor: "'I didn't hear that,' Mr. Bolton said in an interview. 'I'm not saying he didn't say them later in the day or another time but I was there for that discussion.'"
- Stephen Miller, White House Senior Adviser: The accusation is a "despicable lie ... The president deeply wanted to attend the memorial event in question and was deeply displeased by the bad weather call."
- Tony Ornato, White House Deputy Chief of Staff and then-Head of the Secret Service's Presidential Protective Detail has said the story is false.
- Derek Lyons, Staff Secretary and Counselor to the President: "I was with the President the morning after the scheduled visit. He was extremely disappointed that arrangements could not be made to get him to the site, and that the trip had been cancelled."
- Dan Walsh, former White House Deputy Chief Of Staff: "I can attest to the fact that there was a bad weather call in France, and that the helicopters were unable to safely make the flight."
- Zach Fuentes, former White House Deputy Chief of Staff: "I did not hear POTUS call anyone losers when I told him about the weather."
- First Lady Melania Trump: "@TheAtlantic story is not true. It has become a very dangerous time when anonymous sources are believed above all else, & no one knows their motivation. This is not journalism - It is activism. And it is a disservice to the people of our great nation."
- Jamie McCourt, U.S. Ambassador to France and Monaco: "In my presence, POTUS has NEVER denigrated any member of the U.S. military or anyone in service to our country. And he certainly did not that day, either. Let me add, he was devastated to not be able to go to the cemetery at Belleau Wood. In fact, the next day, he attended and spoke at the ceremony in Suresnes in the pouring rain."
- Major General William Matz (ret.), Secretary of the American Battle Monuments Commission: "I was the host of the event discussed by the false and despicable article published in The Atlantic magazine on 3 September. On 10 November 2018, I was at the Aisne-Marne American Cemetery awaiting the arrival of President Trump. As a former Army infantryman who has flown on many helicopters, I knew that morning the weather was bad and the ceiling was too low for a safe landing that day. When the President's visit was appropriately canceled due to weather, I received word also that he was upset he would not be able to make the wreath-laying visit and to pay his respect to the 2300 fallen soldiers and Marines interred there. ... Those who know President Trump know that the anonymous smears peddled by The Atlantic have no basis in fact or reality, and do a terrible disservice to journalism and to our veterans, living and deceased."
- Additionally, The Atlantic's reporting has been refuted by a White House email and Navy documents that directly show a "bad weather call" was the reason for the canceled presidential trip to Aisne-Marne cemetery in 2018.
HARRIS: "Look at the Iran nuclear deal which now has put us in a position where we are less safe because they are building up what might end up being a significant nuclear arsenal."
FACT: Harris' claim is false; the Obama-Biden Administration's deal left Iran with a path to a nuclear weapon.
- Ray Takeyh, senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations called the Iran deal, "Iran's legal path to the bomb."
- The Iran Deal limited international inspections, with wait times up to 24 days.
- The Iran deal allowed Iran to continue enriching uranium and to construct new centrifuges in 10 years.
- The Iran deal failed to address Iran's missile program.
HARRIS: "Donald Trump is in court right now trying to get rid of the affordable care act. And I said it before and it bears repeating, this means that there will be no more protection, if they win, for people with pre-existing conditions. This means that over 20 million people will lose your coverage."
- On September 24th, President Trump signed an Executive Order making it the official policy of the federal government to protect those with pre-existing conditions.
HARRIS: "And Donald Trump when asked about it said there were 'fine people' on both sides."
- Fact checkers have debunked Biden's claim and said that President Trump condemned white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
- CNN's Jake Tapper admitted that President Trump did condemn Neo-Nazis.
- Fox News' Brit Hume has debunked the "very fine people" lie.
HARRIS: "I was the first statewide officer to institute a requirement that my agents would wear body cameras and keep them on full-time"
FACT: As California's Attorney General, Harris did not mandate body cameras statewide.
- In 2015, Harris said that she did not believe in statewide standards for police body cameras.
- Harris' requirement did not apply to local police officers, and she said the decision should be left up to local agencies.
HARRIS: "Public reporting that Russia had bounties on the heads of American soldiers. And you know what a bounty is? It's somebody puts a price on your head, and they pay it if you're killed."
FACT: Top military and intelligence officials have strongly emphasized that the reporting of bounties is unproven.
- In July, Defense Secretary Mark Esper said: "All the defense intel agencies have been unable to corroborate that report."
- In September, General Frank McKenzie Commander of U.S Central Command said that when it comes to evidence about bounties being placed on the heads of American service members "I just haven't seen it."
- Regardless, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo warned Russia that there would be "an enormous price to pay" if any such bounties existed.
HARRIS: "In 1864 ... Abraham Lincoln was up for re-election, and it was 27 days before the election. And a seat became open on the United States Supreme Court. Abraham Lincoln's party was in charge not only of the White House but of the Senate. But Honest Abe said that it's not the right thing to do."
FACT: Lincoln didn't nominate a Supreme Court Justice because the Senate was out of session and he was concerned about the political consequences of a nomination. It wasn't because Lincoln thought the vacancy should wait.
- Records show that the Senate was out of session from July 4 through December 5 in 1864, meaning the vacancy occurred when Congress was not in Washington.
- Lincoln did not nominate a Justice because he was concerned that a pick would alienate political allies, not because he thought the vacancy needed to wait until after the election.
- In fact, Lincoln sent Salmon Chase's nomination to the Senate the day it came back into session – December 6, 1864.
HARRIS: "You know this administration took the word 'science' off the website?"
FACT: The word "science" was not scrubbed from U.S. government websites by the Trump Administration.
- NBC News fact-checked Harris' claim as not true.
HARRIS: "Let's talk about packing."
FACT: Harris avoided answering whether a Biden-Harris administration would pack the Supreme Court, something that she previously said she was open to.
- Harris previously said she was willing to ignore historical precedent and pack the Supreme Court with liberal Justices.
- Harris: "I'm open to this conversation about extending the number of people in the United States Supreme Court."
- Joe Biden has also refused to reject the idea.
- Biden: "It's a legitimate question, but let me tell you why I'm not going to answer that question."
- Biden: "I'm not gonna get into that."
- Biden: "I know you're going to be upset with my answer, but ... if I were to say yes or no to that, that becomes a big issue. That's the headline here."
- Biden's silence directly contradicts what he said for decades, when he denounced court-packing as a "bonehead idea," a "power grab," and "damaging."
HARRIS: "Last week, the President of the United States took to a debate stage in front of 70 million Americans and refused to condemn white supremacists."
- President Trump directly said "I'm prepared to do it" when asked to condemn white supremacists at the first debate.
- President Trump has repeatedly and specifically denounced white supremacists and racist hate groups.
- March 2016: Asked if he would denounce white supremacists, then-Candidate Trump said "of course."
- August 2017: "Racism is evil. And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans."
- August 2017: "The neo-Nazis and the white nationalists ... they should be condemned totally."
- August 2019: "In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America."
HARRIS: "We are 27 days before the decision about who will be the next president of the United States . . . And so Joe has been very clear, as the American people are, let the American people fill that seat in the White House, and then we'll fill that seat on the United States Supreme Court."
FACT: In 2016, Biden tried to push through the nomination of Merrick Garland despite it being an election year.
- Biden claimed he would have gone "forward with the confirmation process" of a Supreme Court nominee "even a few months before a presidential election . . . just as the Constitution requires."
- Biden argued that the Senate has an "obligation" to engage in the Constitutional process of "advice and consent" in an election year.
- Biden said it would set a "dangerous precedent" not to give a Supreme Court nominee a vote.
Donald J. Trump, Campaign Press Release - Correct The Record: Harris Makes 24 False Or Misleading Claims at the Debate Online by Gerhard Peters and John T. Woolley, The American Presidency Project https://www.presidency.ucsb.edu/node/345695