It didn't take long for the facts to get a little loosey-goosey from one of the presidential candidates on Monday night, and I bet you can guess which one. In fact, in the first segment, Republican nominee Donald Trump responded to Lester Holt's questions about jobs in the "Achieving Prosperity" block by shouting "China," "Mexico," and "NAFTA" repeatedly. In response to the non-descript claims, Clinton told viewers to check the facts out on her website. Not to be outgunned, Trump did the same. But Trump's web site didn't actually fact check like he promised.
Here's the exact exchange from the debate:
CLINTON: I kind of assumed that there would be a lot of these charges and claims, and so…
CLINTON: So we have taken the home page of my website, HillaryClinton.com, and we’ve turned it into a fact-checker. So if you want to see in real-time what the facts are, please go and take a look. Because what I have proposed…
TRUMP: And take a look at mine, also, and you’ll see.
But about facts. On Trump's website, there's nothing backing him up, and nothing there to challenge any of Clinton's assertions. Those assertions, by the way, were factually correct significantly more than Trump's were —he's been corrected more by news outlets. In fact, Ford Motor Company even got in on it.
Not the case with Clinton — she backed up her assertion with well-organized features. Looming large on the website it read "He literally said that." The headline clicked through to a summary of some of the more offensive or wrong things Trump has said that were also mentioned at the debate.
Take this, for example: Trump's worst line (or best if he was in on the joke) was about his temperament. He said at the debate, "I also have a much better temperament than she does." The audience immediately broke into laughter. “I think my strongest asset, maybe by far, is my temperament,” he continued. “I have a winning temperament." Clinton's campaign put up this related Trump comment:
When I look at myself in the first grade and I look at myself now, I'm basically the same...The temperament is not that different.
Then for each one of Trump's crazier claims from the debate, there's a small article posted to The Briefing, a section of the Clinton website dedicated to covering the news. You'll find it all. Trump definitely told Howard Stern (and some others) that he was for the Iraq War. Then there's the withdrawal. He has criticized Obama for leaving too quickly, when he actually supported the same policy.
So what exactly Trump was thinking in telling people to check out his website is beyond me. Maybe he figured that no one actually would, but that the claim would make him sound as prepared as his opponent. Unfortunately for him, speculations regarding his preparedness versus Clinton's had already been made before anyone checked his site. And the scale wasn't tipped in his favor.