Trump Debunked: Here’s What “The Donald” Got Wrong On Debate Night

Donald Trump uses a lot of flashy, provocative rhetoric -- only problem is, it's not always factual

Separating Donald Trump's facts from fiction - — Getty Images
Aug 07, 2015 at 1:50 AM ET

Donald Trump spoke in vague terms during much of the Republican presidential primary debate in Ohio on Thursday, calling out U.S. leaders for being “stupid” and offering claims without much factual basis—but he still managed to muddle up some basic facts.

Campaign contributions: Trump claimed he gave “a lot of money” to “most of the people on stage.” Not quite—of the nine other candidates sharing the stage with Trump, he only donated money to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. According to research by Politifact, Trump gave Bush $500.

Immigration: Trump has claimed that he has “evidence” that the Mexican government is intentionally sending criminals to the U.S. When pressed to provide this evidence, Trump offered none, he just repeated his claim that Mexican immigrants commit crimes at significantly higher rates than natural-born citizens—a claim that is simply not supported by facts. Several studies, including a Pew Research Center report, show that first-generation immigrants commit crimes less frequently than the general population.

Trump went on to claim that “If it weren’t for me, you wouldn’t even be talking about immigration,” implying that none of the other candidates were talking about the issue until he entered the race and pointed out that Mexican immigrants were all criminals and rapists, a claim that Vocativ debunked in July. A simple Google search also proves that this is not true—on April 14, the day he announced his candidacy for president, Senator Marco Rubio said “I don’t think [immigration reform] can pass as a comprehensive piece of legislation. And I have evidence: We tried…We’ve proven, we’ve learned, that in fact a massive piece of legislation especially on something like immigration just really has no realistic chance of passing.” Trump didn’t enter the race until mid-June—after nearly all declared GOP candidates had made clear their positions on immigration reform.

Women: Moderator Megyn Kelly hit Trump hard early in the debate about disparaging things he has said about women. “You’ve called women you don’t like, ‘fat pigs,’ ‘dogs,’ slobs, and disgusting animals,” Kelly said to Trump.

His response: “Only Rosie O’Donnell.”

Not even close. Trump has a long history of making crude comments about women, most recently posting the following on Twitter: “If Hillary Clinton can’t satisfy her husband what makes her think she can satisfy America?” He later deleted the tweet, but it is merely the tip of the iceberg when it comes to sexist remarks both on social media and on record. In 2011, he called a female lawyer “disgusting” when she had to leave a deposition to pump breast milk.

Bankruptcy: Moderator Chris Wallace asked Trump, “In 2011, you told Forbes Magazine this: ‘I’ve used the laws of the country to my advantage.’ But at the same time, financial experts involved in those bankruptcies say that lenders to your companies lost billions of dollars. Question sir: With that record, why should we trust you to run the nation’s business?”

Trump responded by reiterating the the fact that he was simply “using the country’s laws to his advantage by declaring bankruptcy and that frankly so has everybody else in my position.” In reality, not all real estate billionaires file for bankruptcy—much less four times.