CLEVELAND — Donald Trump lied repeatedly and brazenly during his first debate against Joe Biden — an ugly, off-the-rails affair.
What You Need To Know
- President Trump repeated false claims throughout the faceoff in Cleveland
- He lied about mail-in ballot fraud, misrepresented Hunter Biden's business dealings
- Biden dodged a Supreme Court question, exaggerated Trump nominee's stance on Obamacare
“Now, now, wait! Gentlemen! gentlemen!" debate moderator and Fox News host Chris Wallace pleaded at one point as the candidates shouted over each other.
Biden, for his part, spun facts and dodged questions.
But the president’s performance Tuesday in Cleveland was in a different league: one of misinformation and misrepresentation.
It included his long-standing allegation that mail-in voting is rigged and fraudulent.
“They found them in creeks. They found some with the name Trump, just happened to have the name Trump, just the other day in a wastepaper basket," Trump said, adding: “Take a look at West Virginia. Mailmen selling ballots. They’re being sold. They’re being dumped in rivers.
Nor is there proof to back up claims of ballots in creeks and rivers or mail carriers selling ballots.
A mail carrier in West Virginia in July did plead guilty to fraud for altering eight ballot-request forms, changing five applicants’ parties from Democratic to Republican.
Trump also went after Biden’s son, Hunter: “The mayor of Moscow’s wife gave your son $3.5 million. What’d he do to deserve it?” he said.
The alleged transfer to Hunter Biden’s firm was part of a report by Republican-led Senate committees that showed perceived conflicts of interest but no evidence of wrongdoing or impact on U.S. policy.
During the debate, Joe Biden dodged a question on whether he backs expanding the size of the Supreme Court and then exaggerated a stance taken by Trump's recent nominee, Amy Coney Barrett.
“But she’s written before she went on the bench, which is her right, that she thinks the Affordable Care Act is not constitutional," Biden said.
While Barrett questioned the legal premise of Chief Justice John Roberts’ 2012 decision to uphold a tenant of Obamacare, she has not taken a public position on the constitutionality of the whole law.
Meanwhile, Trump was asked about his reported tax avoidance: “I paid millions of dollars in taxes, millions of dollars of income tax,” he said.
Though he’s said he took advantage of depreciation and credits and his surrogates have noted he pays other types of taxes, Trump hasn't released his tax returns as proof.