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Fact-checking the first debate

One down, two to go, and a whole lot to unpack.
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump and Democratic presidential nominee HillReuters

Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton faced off last night in their first of three debates, each taking familiar strikes against the other,including Clinton's involvement in Benghazi, Trump's comments against women (and African-Americans and Latinos) and questioning each others' experience and temperament in politics. (See the full video of the debate on NBC News here.)

Numbers indicatethe night was Clinton's to take, with 62 percent of respondents in an NBC poll choosing the former secretary of state as the winner, and only 27 percent saying Trump won.

But both candidates took swipes that bent the truth —sometimes a little, sometimes a lot. Let's take a look at how the facts stack up:

Claim:Clinton pushed Trump to release his tax returns, alleging the Republican candidate has something to hide by not releasing the documents: "Or maybe he doesn’t want the American people...to know that he’s paid nothing in federal taxes, because the only years that anybody’s ever seen were a couple of years when he had to turn them over to state authorities when he was trying to get a casino license, and they showed he didn’t pay any federal income tax."

Verdict: FALSE

According to a report by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, Donald Trump paid federal income taxes for three years between 1975 to 1979.

Claim: Reaching back to the 2008 primaries between Clinton and President Barack Obama, Trump accused the former New York senator of starting the birther movement to prove Obama was not born in the United States: "Sidney Blumenthal works for the campaign and close — very close friend of Secretary Clinton. And her campaign manager, Patti Doyle, went to — during the campaign, her campaign against President Obama, fought very hard. And you can go look it up, and you can check it out."

Verdict: FALSE

In the CNN interview Trump cited in Monday's debate, Blumenthalflat-outsaidClinton and her camp did not start the movement, instead explaining there was a rogue volunteer coordinator in December who forwarded an email that "promoted the conspiracy." That person was immediately fired, and Clinton's campaign manager apologized to Obama's campaign manager.

Claim:Clinton quoted Trump as saying he would try to negotiate down the national debt, which he denied saying, simply, "Wrong."

Verdict: TRUE

In a CNBC interview in May, Trump suggested one way to reduce the national debt would be to convincecreditors to accept less than full payment, adding: "I would borrow, knowing that if the economy crashed, you could make a deal."

Claim:Trump said, to combat violence in cities like Chicago, stop-and-frisk should be implemented:"We have to bring back law and order. Now whether or not in a place like Chicago you do stop-and-frisk, which worked very well, Mayor Giuliani is here, it worked very well in New York. It brought the crime rate way down."

Verdict: FALSE

According to the NYPD's own reports, nearly nine out of 10 stopped-and-frisked New Yorkers were completely innocent, totaling more than 5 million innocent stops since 2002. And according to data from the FBI and the ACLU, there's practically no correlation between stop-and-frisks and a reduction in crime.

From the New York City Police Department's Assistant Commissioner:


Claim:Moderator Lester Holt told Trump that stop-and-frisk was deemed unconstitutionalin New York "because it largely singled out black and Hispanic young men," to which Trump replied, "No, you're wrong. It went before a judge who was a very against police judge."

Verdict: TRUE

Holt's right.In 2013, federal judge ShiraA. Scheindlin ruledthe practice violated the constitutional rights of minority communities by disproportionately targeting them.In her 195-page opinion, Scheindlincalled each stop"a demeaning and humiliating experience."

Claim:Trump, again, tried to say he didn't support the Iraq War: "The record shows that I am right. When I did an interview with Howard Stern, very likely first time anyone has asked me that, I said very lightly,'I don't know, maybe, who knows.'"

Verdict: FALSE

Holt's right again. The moderator called him out on his record per that sameStern interview in 2002, in which, when asked if he supported the war, Trump said:"Yeah, I guess so. You know, I wish the first time it was done correctly."

Claim:Clinton blasted Trump for his words against women, including that pregnancy is "an inconvenience to employers." Trump denied having ever said it.

Verdict: TRUE

Around the 1-minute mark, Trump says just that:

 

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