The Republican nominee made a lot of definitive-sounding statements on Monday night, on everything from race and policing to Isis and cyber warfare
Republican nominee Donald Trump made a lot of definitive-sounding claims in the first presidential debate on Monday night. We unfurled some of those long-winded statements and took a closer look, issue by issue.
On race and policing
We have endorsements from, I think, almost every police group, very I mean, a large percentage of them in the United States.
Trump was endorsed last week by the Fraternal Order of Police, the nations largest union of rank-and-file officers, after eagerly courting the group. He met with leadership and completed an extensive questionnaire about his views, while Hillary Clinton demurred on both counts.
His draconian plans have, however, alarmed many others in law enforcement. Earlier this year, a coalition of dozens of police chiefs and prosecutors from across the US urged Trump in an open letter to instead pursue a policy of reducing arrests and imprisoning fewer Americans.
Though this may seem counterintuitive, we know from our experience as law enforcement officials that over-relying on incarceration does not deter crime, said the letter.
I think maybe theres a political reason why you cant say it, but I really dont believe in New York City, stop-and-frisk, we had 2,200 murders, and stop-and-frisk brought it down to 500 murders. Five hundred murders is a lot of murders. Its hard to believe, 500 is like supposed to be good?
New York Citys annual murder total did peak in 1990 at about 2,200, amid a crack cocaine epidemic and increased gun crime. It did fall sharply, however, under the Democratic mayor David Dinkins, who hired thousands more police officers and focused on the kind of community policing Hillary Clinton championed during the debate.
This steep decline continued under Dinkinss successor, Republican Rudolph Giuliani, who from 1994 ushered in an aggressive, data-driven form of policing including the stop-and-frisk tactic of halting and searching pedestrians for weapons or drugs on a lower standard of proof than the probable cause typically needed. Mayor Michael Bloomberg carried this on.
Analysts, however, have not found clear evidence Giuliani-style policing was responsible for New Yorks crime reduction. Crime fell elsewhere in the US through the 1990s during an economic boom.
As the NYPDs top spokesman pointed out during Mondays debate, murder and violent crime continued to fall even as police drastically cut down on stops as a judge ruled in 2013 the tactic was being applied unconstitutionally. Murder numbers in New York did rise last year, as in other major cities, but are on course to fall again in 2016. Even in 2015, the total stood at 352 30% less than the 500 total Trump cites. JS
On climate change
Clinton: Donald thinks that climate change is a hoax perpetrated by the Chinese. I think its real.
Trump: I did not. I did not. I do not say that.
Trump did say that in November 2012: The concept of global warming was created by and for the Chinese in order to make US manufacturing non-competitive.
In January, Trump was asked about this tweet and said obviously I joke, but his dismissal of climate science is consistent, if not always as outlandish as suggesting that it is a Chinese conspiracy. Climate change has been variously described by the real estate developer as a hoax, bullshit and a canard.
She talks about solar panels. We invested in a solar company, our country. That was a disaster. They lost plenty of money on that one. Now, look, Im a great believer in all forms of energy, but were putting a lot of people out of work.
Trump is referencing Solyndra, a California-based manufacturer of solar cells that got a $535m federal government loan and then went bankrupt. The company is regularly touted by Republicans as evidence that the government shouldnt subsidize clean energy (which somewhat ignores the enormous support received by fossil fuels).
Trump has donned a miners helmet when campaigning in West Virginia, casting himself as a friend of coal and the key to its renaissance. But his promise to bring back coal jobs will be a tough one to keep, given the market, as well as environmental, obstacles it faces. OM
You know, Hillary is hitting me with tremendous commercials. Some of its said in entertainment. Some of its said somebody whos been very vicious to me, Rosie ODonnell, I said very tough things to her, and I think everybody would agree that she deserves it and nobody feels sorry for her.
But you want to know the truth? I was going to say something extremely rough to Hillary, to her family, and I said to myself, I cant do it. I just cant do it. Its inappropriate. Its not nice. But she spent hundreds of millions of dollars on negative ads on me, many of which are absolutely untrue. Theyre untrue. And theyre misrepresentations. And I will tell you this, Lester, its not nice. And I dont deserve that.
This was Trumps response after Clinton dug into him for calling women pigs, slobs, and dogs, opposing equal pay laws, and mocking a Latina Miss Universe winner, Alicia Machado, by calling her Miss Housekeeping and Miss Piggy.
Clintons campaign has spent millions although not multiple hundreds of millions, not yet on ads against Trump that are not very nice. But his claims that the ads are untrue are hard to square with the reality that many of Clintons ads almost exclusively consist of audio of Trumps own remarks.
On Tuesday morning, Trump explained what he meant by his cryptic remarks that he wanted to say something extremely rough to Hillary, to her family.
I was talking about the affairs the many affairs that Bill Clinton had, he said on Fox and Friends. When she hit me at the end with the women, I was going to hit her with her husbands women. In that vein, in the run-up to Monday nights debate, Trump threatened to invite Gennifer Flowers famous for sleeping with Hillarys husband in the 1980s as his guest. Trump explained he held back because the Clintons daughter, Chelsea, was in the auditorium. Indiana Governor Mike Pence, Trumps running mate, said on Tuesday he was so proud of Trumps restraint.
This also marks the second time, in a presidential debate, that Trump made excuses for his name-calling by saying he was talking about Rosie ODonnell. In August 2015, when Fox News host Megyn Kelly asked Trump to explain why people should vote for someone who has called women fat pigs, dogs, slobs and disgusting animals, Trump joked, Only Rosie ODonnell. Trump clearly feels this to be exonerating. Last summer, as he faced criticism for his exchange with Kelly, Trump noted, That was the biggest applause in the evening actually, so it was sort of interesting.
On Monday night, Trump endured Clintons accusations of sexism by muttering, I never said that and I didnt say that. On Tuesday morning, Trump could be found gamely criticizing Machados weight on Fox News. MR
On national security
Well, I have to say that, you know, for what Secretary Clinton was saying about nuclear with Russia, shes very cavalier in the way she talks about various countries. But Russia has been expanding their they have a much newer capability than we do. We have not been updating from the new standpoint.
I looked the other night. I was seeing B-52s, theyre old enough that your father, your grandfather could be flying them. We are not we are not keeping up with other countries. I would like everybody to end it, just get rid of it. But I would certainly not do first strike.
I think that once the nuclear alternative happens, its over. At the same time, we have to be prepared. I cant take anything off the table.
Russia is modernizing its nuclear forces, particularly with new intercontinental ballistic missiles and nuke-launching submarines. Both programs are years from completion and follow a generation-long lag in Russian military modernization following the collapse of the Soviet Union .
By contrast, the Obama administration has begun a $1tn modernization of US nuclear forces submarines, missiles and bombers slated to last 30 years. The upgrade has caused major concern within the arms-control community. The planned US investment in nuclear forces is unrivaled by any other nuclear power, said Kingsman Reif, the director of disarmament at the Arms Control Association.
Beyond that, Trump in three short sentences, reversed decades of declared US nuclear policy and then appeared to reverse himself.
I certainly would not do first strike is a commonsense position that the complexities of nuclear deterrence render a potentially catastrophic declaration, since it creates doubt among both allies and adversaries about the USs commitment to its ultimate weapon. Nevertheless, it has been the undeclared policy of the United States for generations. Barack Obama reportedly mulled adopting the position Trump stated on Monday, only to have his cabinet secretaries express alarm at a shift that might worry allies located near a resurgent Russia and aggressive North Korea. The proposal appears dead within the Obama administration.
But then Trump seemed to revert to the defense establishments consensus position, that being prepared for such a war represents the most effective deterrent to facing a nuclear holocaust. I cant take anything off the table is a formation far more consistent with traditional US nuclear policy, though Trumps diametrically opposed public musings on nuclear weapons raise new questions about how a President Trump would steward the USs deadliest arsenal. SA
On guns and the NRA
The African American community because look, the community within the inner cities has been so badly treated. Theyve been abused and used in order to get votes by Democrat politicians, because thats what it is. Theyve controlled these communities for up to 100 years.
Conservatives often blame Democratic mayors when talking about inner city violence. But a FiveThirtyEight analysis of 2015 murder trends found murders rose in big cities led by both Democrats and Republicans, and that murders increased at about the same pace in both sets of cities.
When a person is on a watch list or a no-fly list, and I have the endorsement of the NRA, which Im very proud of. These are very, very good people, and theyre protecting the second amendment. But I think we have to look very strongly at no-fly lists and watch lists.
The National Rifle Association has been one of Trumps strongest supporters. The group opposes legislation that would simply bar people on government terror watch lists from buying guns a position shared by the American Civil Liberties Union.
Polls have found a majority of Americans support no fly, no buy legislation, even though groups on both the left and right have criticized the measure as an infringement of civil liberties.
Does Trump agree with the NRA and the ACLU, or does he agree with Clinton that people on watch lists simply should not be allowed to buy guns? His comments last night were, once again, ambiguous. After the Orlando shooting at Pulse Nightclub, Trump tweeted he was going to meet with the NRA about not allowing people on the terrorist watch list, or the no fly list, to buy guns.
Later, a Trump campaign spokeswoman said that Trump stands with the NRA on the issue, and the NRAs chief lobbyist told ABC News there is not a difference between what Mr Trump is saying and what the NRAs position is. Thats a media-created diversion there. LB
Shes telling us how to fight Isis. Just go to her website. She tells you how to fight Isis on her website. I dont think General Douglas MacArthur would like that too much See, youre telling the enemy everything you want to do. No wonder youve been fighting no wonder youve been fighting Isis your entire adult life.
Trump accuses Clinton of giving away her strategy to Isis and claims that second world war general Douglas MacArthur, whom he often likes to cite, would not approve. He states Clinton had been fighting Isis all her adult life, even though she turned 18 in 1965 and Isis took on its present form in 2013. DS
On cyber warfare
I dont think anybody knows it was Russia that broke into the DNC. Shes saying Russia, Russia, Russia, but I dont maybe it was. I mean, it could be Russia, but it could also be China. It could also be lots of other people. It also could be somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds, OK?
Despite strong evidence linking Russia to the hack of the Democratic National Committee, Trump cannot resist mounting a defence of Moscow, and by extension President Vladimir Putin. He tries to muddy the waters by trying to blame China without a shred of proof and then, incomprehensibly, somebody sitting on their bed that weighs 400 pounds a remark that underlines his tendency to insult people who are overweight.
We have to get very, very tough on cyber and cyber warfare. It is it is a huge problem. I have a son. Hes 10 years old. He has computers. He is so good with these computers, its unbelievable. The security aspect of cyber is very, very tough. And maybe its hardly doable.
Yet another comment from the school of the surreal. Trump referencing his son unfortunately echoes Jimmy Carter who, in 1980, said he spoke about nuclear arms control with his 12-year-old daughter, asking her what the most important issue was. DS