Moderators Let Hillary Slide When Her ‘Syrian Red Line’ Fact Check Turns Out to Lack Actual Facts

There have been two presidential debates so far, and throughout both of them, Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton has made a big deal about “fact-checking” her opponent, Donald Trump. She even turned her website — attended by staffers while she debated — into a real-time fact-checking site.

Claiming that Trump put out “far too much” false information for her to deal with from the debate stage, Clinton referred viewers to her site. But during Sunday evening’s debate in St. Louis, Clinton couldn’t resist taking just one stab at her own real-time fact check.

From the debate transcript, via the New York Times:

RADDATZ: Thank you, Secretary Clinton. Mr. Trump?

TRUMP: First of all, she was there as Secretary of State with the so-called line in the sand, which…

CLINTON: No, I wasn’t. I was gone. I hate to interrupt you, but at some point…

TRUMP: OK. But you were in contact — excuse me. You were…

CLINTON: At some point, we need to do some fact-checking here.

TRUMP: You were in total contact with the White House, and perhaps, sadly, Obama probably still listened to you. I don’t think he would be listening to you very much anymore.

Obama draws the line in the sand. It was laughed at all over the world what happened.

Trump failed to press the point, and neither Martha Raddatz nor Anderson Cooper offered any sort of rebuttal, but America noticed something lacking in Hillary’s “fact check” — facts:

Politifact weighed in, calling the statement “mostly false” based on the following timeline:

  • August, 2012: President Obama makes the “red line” comment for the first time.
  • December, 2012: Secretary of State Clinton reiterates the term at a summit in Prague, amid rumors that Assad is moving chemical weapons in preparation for attacks.
  • January, 2013: Secretary of State Clinton brings up the “red line” again, this time in an interview.
  • February, 2013: Clinton steps down as Secretary of State.
  • August, 2013: White House announces that they have “assessed with high confidence” that Syria has used chemical weapons, crossing the “red line.”
  • September, 2013: John Kerry reaches a deal with Russia, stripping Syria of chemical weapons without making good on the “red line” threat.
  • September, 2013: Clinton comments on Russia deal, endorsing the White House’s position — and the decision not to fire on Syria. She met with President Obama earlier that same day and with other officials several times the week before.

Politifact’s final assessment of Clinton’s “fact check”:

“Clinton said, ‘I was gone’ when there was a red line against Syria.

A year later, August 2013, the White House confirmed Syria had crossed this ‘red line.’ By this point, Clinton had left the State Department months earlier. However, in the days following that revelation, Clinton met with Obama and his staff several times and publicly endorsed the White House’s position on how to respond.

The claim has an element of truth, but leaves out critical information that would give a different impression. We rate her claim Mostly False.”

Clinton will have another opportunity to “fact-check” Trump on the debate stage in Las Vegas on October 19th, the final presidential debate, which will be moderated by “Fox News Sunday” host Chris Wallace.

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