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At both conventions, the truth took a beating

The balloons and confetti have dropped, and the candidates have left the stage. But the false and misleading claims from both political conventions will remain part of the campaign right to November.

The balloons and confetti have dropped, and the candidates have left the stage. But the false and misleading claims from both political conventions will remain part of the campaign right to November.

Here we present some of those claims from Hillary Clinton, Donald Trump, and other speakers at the GOP convention in Cleveland and the Democratic convention in Philadelphia.

What they said about each other

Clinton misrepresented a quote from Trump's convention speech. She said, "Don't believe anyone who says:'I alone can fix it,' " suggesting that he was boasting that he could fix everything by himself.

In fact, Trump said that as a political outsider he is the only candidate who can fix a "rigged" political system. In the same speech, Trump spoke about working with others. For instance, he said that "we must work with all of our allies who share our goal of destroying ISIS and stamping out Islamic terrorism."

For his part, Trump accused Clinton of a criminal cover-up, saying she intentionally deleted 33,000 emails that were stored on the private server she used while secretary of state. He said she deleted the emails "so the authorities can't see her crime" of mishandling classified material.

It is a crime to intentionally destroy government records. But Clinton said the deleted emails were personal, not work-related, and FBI Director James Comey said the FBI found "no evidence" that Clinton "intentionally deleted" emails "in an effort to conceal them."

Foreign policy

Former Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta claimed that Trump "says he gets his foreign-policy experience from . . . running the Miss Universe pageant." That's false.

Panetta was referring to a Fox News interview in May, when Trump was asked whether he had talked to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump refused to answer, but said "I know Russia well" because "I had a major event in Russia two or three years ago," referring to the 2013 Miss Universe pageant. Trump didn't cite the pageant as an example of his foreign-policy experience.

In Cleveland, Trump criticized Clinton for her "failed policy of nation-building and regime change" and he counted Libya among her failures. Left unsaid was that Trump also supported the military ouster of Moammar Gadhafi at that time.

Trump posted an internet video on Feb. 28, 2011, that criticized the Obama administration for "sitting around" while "people are being slaughter like animals." He said the United States needs to "immediately go into Libya, knock this guy out very quickly, very surgically, very effectively, and save the lives."

Violent crime

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi said that there are "91 Americans who are killed by gun violence each day," and urged Congress to "keep guns out of the hands of criminals and terrorists." However, almost 58 of those daily gun deaths are suicides - not criminal homicides.

In 2014, 33,599 people died from firearm injuries, or more than 92 gun-related deaths each day, according to the most recent mortality report from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. But 63.5 percent of the gun deaths in 2014, or 21,334, were suicides. Homicides totaled 10,945, and 1,371 were accidental discharges, legal intervention/war, and undetermined.

Likewise, Trump overstated his case when he said the trend of declining crime rates is "now being reversed by this administration's rollback of criminal enforcement." Trump correctly stated that "homicides last year increased by 17 percent in America's 50 largest cities," but criminology and statistics experts say it's too early to declare the spike in some cities a trend.

Darrel Stephens, executive director of the Major Cities Chiefs Police Association, told us in an email there had been "a spike in the past year in some large cities (particularly in five or six) - something we should be concerned about to be sure but not a trend or even close to 20 years ago."


Trump claimed that Clinton "plans a massive -- and I mean massive - tax increase." But experts say 95 percent of taxpayers would see "little or no change" in their taxes under Clinton's plan.

"Nearly all of the tax increases would fall on the top 1 percent; the bottom 95 percent of taxpayers would see little or no change in their taxes," the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center concluded. In fact, the Tax Policy Center wrote, the "top 1 percent of households would pay more than three-fourths of Clinton's total tax increases."

Sen. Bob Casey (D., Pa.) said Trump "would cut taxes for the richest Americans at the expense of the middle class." The wealthiest Americans would receive the largest tax cuts under Trump's tax plan, but everyone would get some tax relief. Middle-income Americans would receive average tax cuts of about $2,700 next year under Trump's plan, according to an analysis by the Tax Policy Center.

An analysis by the pro-business Tax Foundation reached a similar conclusion - the biggest gains in after-tax income would accrue to the wealthiest taxpayers under Trump's proposal. But the plan "would cut taxes and lead to higher after-tax incomes for taxpayers at all levels of income." The Tax Foundation cautioned, however, that Trump's plan - even with expected benefits to the economy - would "increase the federal government's deficit by over $10 trillion" over 10 years.

Imports and exports

President Obama claimed that under his administration, "we finally began to wean ourselves off foreign oil," but dependency on imported oil had begun to drop years before he took office.

According to the U.S. Energy Information Administration, dependency peaked in 2005, when the nation imported 60.3 percent of the crude oil it consumed. But that dropped to 57 percent in 2008, the year before Obama was sworn in. It's true that U.S. dependency continued to drop during Obama's time - down to 24 percent last year. But the decline began well before Obama.

Trump said, "Our trade deficit in goods reached nearly - think of this, think of this - our trade deficit is $800 billion . . . last year alone." Indeed, the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis says the value of goods the U.S. imported was $763 billion more than that of goods it exported. But the nation does well when it comes to exporting services, including travel and intellectual property such as software. The U.S. imported $262 billion less in services than it exported - creating an overall trade deficit in goods and services of about $500 billion last year.

Another fact Trump didn't mention - that figure peaked a decade ago. The overall trade deficit reached its high in 2006, and last year's figure was 34 percent lower.

For a full analysis of these and other convention claims, visit is a project of the Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania that aims to reduce the level of deception and confusion in U.S. politics.