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Politics AP FACT CHECK: Trump, GOP misfires on Ukraine, Mueller probe

15:10  09 december  2019
15:10  09 december  2019 Source:   msn.com

Chuck Todd to GOP Senator: You’re Selling the Same Argument as Putin!

  Chuck Todd to GOP Senator: You’re Selling the Same Argument as Putin! A week after claiming that he didn’t know whether Russia or Ukraine was responsible for hacking the DNC server during the 2016 election, Sen. John Kennedy (R-LA) left Meet the Press anchor Chuck Todd astounded when he accused the former president of Ukraine of working for Hillary Clinton’s campaign. At the top of their interview on Sunday, Todd brought up Kennedy’s eventual walk-back of his DNC remarks, asking the Louisiana lawmaker why he backtracked. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

WASHINGTON, DC – Facing almost-certain impeachment, President Donald Trump and his GOP allies are blasting theHouse inquiry into whether he abused his office as illegal and declaring him completely free of taint on Ukraine and in the Russia investigation. Those claims are untrue.

WASHINGTON ( AP ) — Facing almost-certain impeachment, President Donald Trump and his GOP allies are blasting theHouse inquiry into whether he abused his office as illegal and declaring him completely free of taint on Ukraine and in the Russia investigation. Those claims are untrue.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facing almost-certain impeachment, President Donald Trump and his GOP allies are blasting theHouse inquiry into whether he abused his office as illegal and declaring him completely free of taint on Ukraine and in the Russia investigation.

President Donald Trump speaks at the Israeli American Council National Summit in Hollywood, Fla., Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)© Provided by Associated Press President Donald Trump speaks at the Israeli American Council National Summit in Hollywood, Fla., Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Those claims are untrue.

When certain associates and acquaintances of Trump get into hot water, he also suddenly forgets he ever knew them. Various figures from the Ukraine matter as well as a British prince have fallen out of familiarity with the president in this way.

Fact Checker: Not enough Pinocchios for Trump’s CrowdStrike obsession

  Fact Checker: Not enough Pinocchios for Trump’s CrowdStrike obsession In the space of ten sentences, President Trump told Four Whoopers Steve Doocy of “Fox and Friends”: “Are you sure they did that? Are you sure they gave it to Ukraine?”

WASHINGTON ( AP ) — Facing almost-certain impeachment, President Donald Trump and his GOP allies are blasting theHouse inquiry into whether he abused his office as illegal and declaring him completely free of taint on Ukraine and in the Russia investigation.

WASHINGTON ( AP ) — Facing almost-certain impeachment, President Donald Trump and his GOP allies are blasting theHouse inquiry into whether he abused his office as illegal and declaring him completely free of taint on Ukraine and in the Russia investigation. Those claims are untrue.

Meanwhile, Democratic presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg wasn't truthful about why he recently apologized for supporting the controversial “stop and frisk” policy, falsely claiming no one had ever asked him about it before.

A look at recent remarks by political figures, including Trump from the NATO summit in London and back home as House Democrats sped toward impeaching him:

In this Dec. 5, 2019, photo, President Donald Trump speaks at a luncheon with members of the United Nations Security Council in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)© Provided by Associated Press In this Dec. 5, 2019, photo, President Donald Trump speaks at a luncheon with members of the United Nations Security Council in the Cabinet Room at the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Andrew Harnik)

STOP AND FRISK

BLOOMBERG, asked about the timing of his recent apology for supporting the “stop and frisk” policy: “Well, nobody asked me about it until I started running for president, so, c’mon.” — interview Friday with “CBS This Morning.”

Lindsey Graham says he's '1,000% confident' Russia meddled in 2016 US election -- not Ukraine

  Lindsey Graham says he's '1,000% confident' Russia meddled in 2016 US election -- not Ukraine Republican Sen. Lindsey Graham on Tuesday said he is "1,000% confident" that Russia, not Ukraine, meddled in the 2016 US presidential election, breaking from President Donald Trump and others in his party who have pushed the discredited conspiracy theory. © Andrew Caballero-Reynolds/AFP/Getty Images US Senator Lindsey Graham (R-SC) "It was the Russians. I'm 1,000% confident that the hack of the DNC was by Russian operatives, no one else," the South Carolina senator told reporters on Capitol Hill. require(["medianetNativeAdOnArticle"], function (medianetNativeAdOnArticle) { medianetNativeAdOnArticle.

WASHINGTON ( AP ) — President Donald Trump and his GOP allies pressed a defense Thursday that he acted appropriately in withholding military aid to Ukraine out of Witnesses testified that Trump did not articulate concerns about Ukraine corruption other than expressing interest into investigations that

WASHINGTON ( AP ) — President Donald Trump and his GOP allies pressed a defense Thursday that he acted appropriately in withholding military aid to Ukraine out of concern over the country’s corruption and claimed the House impeachment hearings amounted to a rogue process. The claims don’t match

THE FACTS: That’s not true. Bloomberg has been repeatedly asked about his position on the policing strategy that he embraced as New York City mayor from 2002 to 2013. He defended it each time — most recently in January.

Stop-and-frisk gave police wide authority to detain people they suspected of committing a crime, and Bloomberg aggressively pursued the tactic. Under the program, New York City police officers made it a routine practice to stop and search multitudes of mostly black and Hispanic men to see if they were carrying weapons.

“We focused on keeping kids from going through the correctional system,” Bloomberg said while taking questions at the United States Naval Academy’s 2019 Leadership Conference. “The result of that was, over the years, the murder rate in New York City went from 650 a year to 300 a year when I left.” He added that most police departments do the same thing, “they just don't report it or use the terminology.”

Trump says impeachment report is "a joke"

  Trump says impeachment report is Trump says impeachment report is "a joke"LONDON — U.S. President Donald Trump said on Wednesday that the Democrats' impeachment report was a joke with no merit and complained that a hearing had been scheduled while he was out of the country.

WASHINGTON ( AP ) — President Donald Trump and his GOP allies pressed a defense Thursday that he acted appropriately in withholding military aid to Ukraine out of concern over the country’s corruption and claimed the House impeachment hearings amounted to a rogue process. The claims don’t match

WASHINGTON ( AP ) — President Donald Trump and his GOP allies pressed a defense Thursday that he acted appropriately in withholding military aid to Ukraine out of concern over the country’s corruption and claimed the House impeachment hearings amounted to a rogue process. The claims don’t match

FILE - In this Wednesday, June 6, 2012 file photo, Britain's Prince Andrew leaves King Edward VII hospital in London after visiting his father Prince Philip. The woman who says she was a trafficking victim made to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17 is asking the British public to support her quest for justice. Virginia Roberts Giuffre tells BBC Panorama in an interview to be broadcast Monday, Dec. 2, 2019 evening that people “should not accept this as being OK.” (AP Photo/Sang Tan, file)© Provided by Associated Press FILE - In this Wednesday, June 6, 2012 file photo, Britain's Prince Andrew leaves King Edward VII hospital in London after visiting his father Prince Philip. The woman who says she was a trafficking victim made to have sex with Prince Andrew when she was 17 is asking the British public to support her quest for justice. Virginia Roberts Giuffre tells BBC Panorama in an interview to be broadcast Monday, Dec. 2, 2019 evening that people “should not accept this as being OK.” (AP Photo/Sang Tan, file)

Bloomberg also defended the policy after a federal judge in 2013 struck down the policy as violating the civil rights of blacks and Latinos who were disproportionately affected. He called it a “dangerous decision made by a judge who I think does not understand how policing works and what is compliant with the U.S. Constitution.”

Bloomberg then wrote an op-ed in The Washington Post in 2013 entitled “’Stop and frisk’ keeps New York safe.”

He later argued in a 2013 radio interview that NYPD had stopped too many white people.

“They just keep saying, 'Oh, it's a disproportionate percentage of a particular ethnic group.' That may be, but it's not a disproportionate percentage of those who witnesses and victims describe as committing the (crime),” he said. “In that case, incidentally, I think we disproportionately stop whites too much and minorities too little."

'I reject the premise': Republicans deny Trump asked Ukraine to investigate his political rival

  'I reject the premise': Republicans deny Trump asked Ukraine to investigate his political rival Reps. Mark Meadows and Matt Gaetz said Sunday they rejected even being asked if it was appropriate for the president to ask a foreign nation to investigate a political opponent.Those congressmen, Reps. Mark Meadows, R-N.C., and Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., both said they rejected "the premise" of a question on whether it was appropriate for Trump to ask a foreign nation to investigate his political rival.

WASHINGTON ( AP ) — President Donald Trump and his GOP allies pressed a defense Thursday that he acted appropriately in withholding military aid to Ukraine out of concern over the country’s corruption and claimed the House impeachment hearings amounted to a rogue process. The claims don’t match

President Donald Trump and his GOP allies pressed a defense Thursday that he acted appropriately in withholding military aid to Ukraine out of concern over the country’s corruption and claimed the House impeachment hearings amounted to a rogue process. The claims don’t match up with known facts .

President Donald Trump waves as he speaks at the Israeli American Council National Summit in Hollywood, Fla., Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)© Provided by Associated Press President Donald Trump waves as he speaks at the Israeli American Council National Summit in Hollywood, Fla., Saturday, Dec. 7, 2019. (AP Photo/Patrick Semansky)

Last month, Bloomberg apologized for his longstanding support of “stop and frisk,” telling those in a black church that he was “sorry” and acknowledged it often led to the detention of blacks and Latinos. The Nov. 17 announcement came a week before he announced he was running for president.

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IMPEACHMENT

TRUMP: “No Due Process.” — tweet Sunday.

STEPHANIE GRISHAM, White House press secretary: “We're not going to participate in a sham hearing that doesn't give him any rights ... I'll also mention to people that the president was overseas when they invited him to be part of that silly hearing, so that timing was on purpose.” — interview Saturday on “Fox & Friends: Weekend.”

TRUMP: “For the hearings, we don’t get a lawyer.” — remarks Tuesday with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau.

THE FACTS: Trump and his spokeswoman are wrong that he was deprived a chance to be heard in the House Judiciary Committee hearings. The committee invited Trump and his lawyers to appear if he wishes, but the White House refused.

In a letter last week to Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler, D-N.Y., White House counsel Pat Cipollone declined the invitation for the president’s counsel to appear at the first hearing last Wednesday while Trump was at the NATO summit, insisting that the inquiry violates “basic due process rights.” The committee's invitation was issued before Trump left on that trip, not during, as Grisham asserts.

'Weird': Congress reacts to Giuliani's latest Ukrainian venture

  'Weird': Congress reacts to Giuliani's latest Ukrainian venture Rep. Matt Gaetz, one of President Donald Trump's top allies, said the recent trip by the president's attorney to Ukraine was "weird" and "odd."However, Rep. Matt Gaetz, R-Fla., told ABC's "This Week" it was promising to hear that Trump said Giuliani wants to speak to Congress about his latest trip to Ukraine.

THE FACTS : It’s true that the aid was released without Trump ’s demand for a Ukrainian probe of THE FACTS : The White House and GOP allies are incorrect in suggesting the impeachment inquiry ___ Associated Press writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report. __ Find AP Fact Checks at http

WASHINGTON ( AP ) — President Donald Trump and his GOP allies pressed a defense Thursday that he acted appropriately in withholding military aid to Ukraine out of concern over the

For hearings this week, Trump had until Friday to decide whether he would take advantage of due process protections afforded to him under House rules adopted in October. He was offered an opportunity to ask for witness testimony and to cross-examine the witnesses called by the House. But he decided not to participate in that round, too.

If the House impeaches Trump, the Senate trial will look like a normal trial in some respects, with senators as the jury. Arguments would be heard from each side’s legal team for and against Trump’s removal from office.

The Intelligence Committee hearings, in contrast, were like the investigative phase of criminal cases, conducted without the participation of the person under investigation.

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TRUMP: “The word ‘impeachment’ is a dirty word, and it's a word that was only supposed to be used in special occasions: high crimes and misdemeanors. In this case, there was no crime whatsoever. Not even a little tiny crime. There was no crime whatsoever, and they know it. ” — remarks Wednesday with Italian Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte.

THE FACTS: That's a misrepresentation of the conditions for impeaching a president. The constitutional grounds for impeachment do not require any crime to have been committed. In setting the conditions, treason, bribery or high crimes and misdemeanors, the Founding Fathers said that a consequential abuse of office — crime or not — was subject to the impeachment process they laid out.

Months after the 1787 Constitutional Convention, Alexander Hamilton explained in the Federalist Papers that a commonly understood crime need not be the basis of impeachment. Offenses qualifying for that step “are of a nature ... POLITICAL, as they relate chiefly to injuries done immediately to the society itself," he wrote.

FBI director reacts to report on Russia investigation: Exclusive

  FBI director reacts to report on Russia investigation: Exclusive FBI Director Christopher Wray offered mixed reactions to a Justice Department watchdog report that uncovered "serious performance failures."In an exclusive broadcast interview with ABC News, Wray lamented "actions described in this report that [he] considered unacceptable and unrepresentative of who we are as an institution." But, he said it was "important that the inspector general found that, in this particular instance, the investigation was opened with appropriate predication and authorization.

AP FACT CHECK : President Trump and his GOP allies are pressing questionable defenses that he withheld military aid to Ukraine out of concern Former White House national security aide Fiona Hill, and David Holmes, right, a U.S. diplomat in Ukraine , testify before the House Intelligence Committee

President Donald Trump and his GOP allies pressed a defense Thursday that he acted appropriately in withholding military aid to Ukraine out of concern over the country’s corruption and claimed the House impeachment hearings amounted to a rogue process. Trump himself was told by his officials that the.

As they draft articles of impeachment, though, Democrats are alleging crimes involving obstruction of justice as part of their case that Trump abused his office.

___

TRUMP, on his July 25 call with Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy: “All you have to do is listen to the call or read the call. We had it transcribed perfectly. But he was — he said — no pressure, no nothing. There was no nothing.” — remarks Wednesday with Conte.

TRUMP: “Breaking News: The President of Ukraine has just again announced that President Trump has done nothing wrong with respect to Ukraine and our interactions or calls ... case over!” — tweet on Dec. 2.

THE FACTS: Trump misleads in suggesting that Zelenskiy didn’t have any concerns about the call. Nor was the call “transcribed perfectly;" only a rough transcript was released by the White House.

While Zelenskiy initially said there was no discussion of a quid pro quo, he said in an interview Monday with Time that Trump should not have blocked military aid to Ukraine. Zelenskiy also criticized Trump for casting the country as corrupt, saying it sends a concerning message to international allies.

On that call discussing military aid, Trump asked Zelenskiy to investigate Trump’s political rivals in the U.S.

“Look I never talked to the president from the position of a quid pro quo,” Zelenskiy said. “But you have to understand. We’re at war. If you’re our strategic partner, then you can’t go blocking anything for us. I think that’s just about fairness."

On corruption, Zelenskiy said it unfairly undermines support for the country.

“Everyone hears that signal,” he said. “Investments, banks, stakeholders, companies, American, European, companies that have international capital in Ukraine, it’s a signal to them that says, ‘Be careful, don’t invest.’ Or, ‘Get out of there.’”

It’s true that in early October, Zelenskiy had told reporters “there was no pressure or blackmail from the U.S.” But he did not state Trump had done “nothing” wrong, even as he let his criticisms simmer before surfacing them.

Why Democrats sidelined Mueller in impeachment articles

  Why Democrats sidelined Mueller in impeachment articles The show of unity emerged after an internal Democratic struggle over one of the core dilemmas facing the caucus all year — how to make use of Mueller’s complex investigation, which initially fueled the push for impeachment but split Democrats and was largely pushed aside after the Ukraine saga emerged. Mueller’s probe gets only a glancing reference in the articles of impeachment themselves. But Democrats — including Pelosi — have repeatedly leaned on the foundation Mueller built to help justify calls to remove Trump from office.In short, Mueller is the Old Testament of Trump scandals, Ukraine is the New Testament.“We’re not moving with speed.

Fact - checking and accountability journalism from AP journalists around the globe. AP FACT CHECK : GOP presses empty Ukraine meddling theory. AP FACT CHECK : Impeachment probe isn’t driving stock decline. AP FACT CHECK : Trump misfires on economy, Syria, impeachment.

In any event, Zelenskiy knew months before the call that much-needed U.S. military support might depend on whether he was willing to help Trump by investigating Democrats.

___

RONNA MCDANIEL, Republican National Committee chairwoman, on Democrats who said the Russia investigation should be part of the basis for impeaching Trump, not just his actions with Ukraine: "Are you kidding me? They lied for 2 years about collusion & POTUS was exonerated." — tweet Thursday, using POTUS as an abbreviation of president of the U.S.

THE FACTS: She's wrong to suggest that special counsel Robert Mueller's report cleared the Trump campaign of collusion with Russia. Nor did the report exonerate Trump on the question of whether he obstructed justice.

Instead, the report factually laid out instances in which Trump might have obstructed justice, leaving it open for Congress to take up the matter or for prosecutors to do so once Trump leaves office.

Mueller's two-year investigation and other scrutiny revealed a multitude of meetings with Russians. Among them: Donald Trump Jr.'s meeting with a Russian lawyer who had promised dirt on Clinton.

On collusion, Mueller said he did not assess whether that occurred because it is not a legal term.

He looked into a potential criminal conspiracy between Russia and the Trump campaign and said the investigation did not collect sufficient evidence to establish criminal charges on that front.

Mueller noted some Trump campaign officials had declined to testify under the Fifth Amendment or had provided false or incomplete testimony, making it difficult to get a complete picture of what happened during the 2016 campaign. The special counsel wrote that he "cannot rule out the possibility" that unavailable information could have cast a different light on the investigation's findings.

Mueller also did not reach a conclusion as to whether the president obstructed justice or broke any other law.

He said his team declined to make a prosecutorial judgment on whether to charge Trump, partly because of a Justice Department legal opinion that said sitting presidents shouldn't be indicted.

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PRINCE ANDREW

TRUMP: “I don’t know Prince Andrew. ... I don’t know him." — remarks Tuesday with NATO Secretary-General Jens Stoltenberg.

THE FACTS: Trump knows the British prince. Andrew hosted a breakfast for him in June, they toured Westminster Abbey together and photos spread over two decades capture some occasions when they've met. The prince stepped back from royal duties after his involvement with sex offender Jeffrey Epstein was exposed.

Trump also recently declared, repeatedly, that he did not know Gordon Sondland, his ambassador to the EU, “very well” and “I have not spoken to him much.” Sondland provided some of the most damning testimony in the House impeachment inquiry about how he had tried to carry out Trump's wishes to persuade Ukraine to investigate the president's political rivals in the U.S.

Sondland testified that he's had many conversations with Trump, who called the ambassador “a really good man and great American” before Sondland's problematic testimony.

Several people in prominent positions in the Trump campaign or known as close advisers were similarly marginalized — as mere volunteers, hangers-on or low-level functionaries — when it became troublesome during the Russia investigation to acknowledge their stature.

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STOCK MARKET

TRUMP: “If the stock market goes up or down — I don’t watch the stock market. I watch jobs." — remarks Tuesday during NATO summit after stocks fell sharply.

THE FACTS: This is not true. Trump watches the stock market, as he demonstrated Friday when the market rebounded and he tweeted precise percentages of how much the S&P, Dow and Nasdaq have gone up this year. “Stock Markets Up Record Numbers,” he tweeted.

Trump uses the stock market as a leading barometer of his presidency, giving the subject a rest only when the market's performance is down.

It's an almost constant companion, through thick but not thin.

On a good day, he will tweet about it. Otherwise, his rally speeches and White House remarks are laced with references to the market's growth since he became president. He takes credit for gains and blames losses on other things, like Democrats.

Trump tweeted about the stock market more than a dozen times in November as it repeatedly edged into record highs.

On one occasion, his boastfulness became too much even for him. He tweeted: “Stock Markets (all three) hit another ALL TIME & HISTORIC HIGH yesterday! You are sooo lucky to have me as your President." Then he added: "(just kidding!).”

___

MACRON

TRUMP, on French President Emmanuel Macron's assertion that NATO is suffering “brain death”: “He’s taken back his comments very much so on NATO." — remarks Wednesday in London.

THE FACTS: No, Macron did not back off what Trump had called a “very, very nasty” statement about NATO. He conspicuously stood by it, before the summit, after it and when face to face with Trump in a tense joint news conference. If anything, Macron appeared to relish the provocation he had brought on.

“I do stand by it,” he said Tuesday as Trump looked on. “I assume full responsibility for it,” he said Wednesday. And Macron tweeted: “The comments I made about NATO prompted a debate among members of the alliance. This dialogue is a very good thing.” He likened himself to an ice-breaker smashing through ice.

Macron characterized NATO as brain dead last month, citing a lack of U.S. leadership and confusion in the alliance about what its fundamental missions should be. He said the U.S. was turning its back on NATO and — in light of Trump's unexpected announcement in October that he would withdraw troops from Syria — not coordinating with allies on strategic decision-making.

On Wednesday, Macron mildly praised the summit as “constructive” while emphasizing that the fundamentals that sparked his complaint had not been resolved.

___

OCEAN DEBRIS

TRUMP: "I also see what’s happening with our oceans, where certain countries are dumping unlimited loads of things in it. They float — they tend to float toward the United States. I see that happening, and nobody has ever seen anything like it, and it’s gotten worse."' — remarks Tuesday Trudeau.

THE FACTS: He's right that garbage from abroad has come to U.S. shores by sea. What he does not say, when making this repeated complaint, is that garbage from the U.S. also makes it over the ocean to other countries and that Americans have plenty to do with trashing their own shores.

Debris from Asia was most noticeable after the 2011 Japanese tsunami, said marine debris expert Kara Lavender Law of the Sea Education Association, “but the same can be said about debris entering the ocean from the U.S. and washing ashore in Asia.” In fact, she said, most debris is not tracked to the country of origin.

The United States produces the largest amount of plastic waste in the world by weight, Law said.

“Most debris we find on the coast of the US is likely from the US,” Denise Hardesty, a scientist who researches ocean trash for Australia’s federal science organization, said by email.

Hardesty surveyed the U.S. West Coast from Washington to the California border with Mexico and found the dirtiest place was in Long Beach at the river mouth, where researchers found 4,500 items.

Marcus Eriksen, chief science officer and co-founder of the 5 Gyres Institute, which fights plastics pollution, said Asian fishing gear arrives as debris in Alaska and British Columbia because of north Pacific currents, a problem exacerbated by the lack of regulation of such gear. But in pointing the finger at Asia, Trump is ignoring “our own problems with plastic waste here at home."

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TRADE

TRUMP: “We won, in the World Trade Organization, we won seven and a half billion dollars. We never used to win before me, because, before me, the United States was a sucker for all of these different organizations.” — remarks Tuesday with Stoltenberg.

THE FACTS: He is wildly wrong to state that the U.S. never won victories in disputes taken to the trade organization before him.

The U.S. has always had a high success rate when it pursues cases against other countries at the WTO. In 2017, trade analyst Daniel Ikenson of the libertarian Cato Institute found that the U.S. won 91% of the cases it took to the Geneva-based trade monitor.

As Ikenson noted, countries bringing complaints to the organization tend to win because they don't bother going to the WTO in the first place if they don't have a strong case.

As for Trump's claim that the U.S. “won” $7.5 billion from the WTO, that's not quite right.

Trump was referring to a WTO decision in October siding with the U.S. on imposing tariffs on $7.5 billion worth of European imports annually. The value of the tariffs on those imports is much less than $7.5 billion.

The WTO announcement culminated a 15-year fight over EU subsidies for Airbus — a fight that began long before Trump was in office.

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ISLAMIC STATE

TRUMP: “We have a tremendous amount of captured fighters, ISIS fighters over in Syria. And, they're all under lock and key, but many are from France, many are from Germany. Many are from U.K. They are mostly from Europe.” — remarks Tuesday with Macron.

MACRON: There are “very large number of fighters ... ISIS fighters coming from Syria, from Iraq and the region.” Those from Europe are "a tiny minority of the overall problem."

THE FACTS: Trump is incorrect to say the Islamic State fighters who were captured and held by the Kurds in Syria are mostly from Europe.

Of the more than 12,000 IS fighters in custody in Kurdish areas, only 2,500 are from outside the region of the conflict, some from Europe, some from other parts of the world. Most of the captured fighters — about 10,000 — are natives of Syria or Iraq.

European nations have indeed been reluctant to take detainees who came from Europe, frustrating Trump. But such detainees are far fewer than the majority he frequently claims.

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BRITAIN'S HEALTH CARE

TRUMP, speaking about claims that Britain's state-funded health care system would be part of future U.K.-U.S. trade talks: “I don't even know where that rumor started. We have absolutely nothing to do with it and we wouldn't want to. If you handed it to us on a silver platter, we want nothing to do with it.” — remarks Tuesday with Stoltenberg.

THE FACTS: He's referring to his own past statements as a “rumor.”

Asked about the National Health Service during a visit to Britain in June, he said “when you're dealing in trade, everything’s on the table. So, NHS or anything else."

The service, which provides free health care to all Britons, could in fact be a bargaining chip in U.S.-U.K. trade talks. U.S. health-services companies can already bid for contracts if they have European subsidiaries. A future government could increase the amount of private-sector involvement or let U.S. companies bid directly.

As well, the U.S. could demand during trade talks that Britain pay American pharmaceutical companies more for drugs. Medicines became a big issue in negotiations on a revamped North American free trade deal, as the U.S. pushed successfully for tighter restrictions on the development in Canada and Mexico of generic versions of U.S.-patented drugs.

Leaked documents from preliminary talks between U.S. and U.K. negotiators over two years from July 2017 — released by the Labour Party last week — said “patent issues” around “NHS access to generic drugs will be a key consideration” in talks.

It’s an overstatement to say the national health service as a whole would be up for sale, as Labour has alleged will happen if Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s Conservatives win the Dec. 12 election and try to strike a post-Brexit trade deal with the U.S. Britain would not be “selling off” the health service, as Labour asserts, because taxpayers would still be footing the bill.

But it's also improbable to think U.S. negotiators would “want nothing to do" with Britain's health care market, despite Trump’s words.

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EDITOR'S NOTE — A look at the veracity of claims by political figures.

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Associated Press writers Eric Tucker, Darlene Superville, Seth Borenstein and Paul Wiseman in Washington, Jill Lawless in London and Sylvie Corbet in Paris contributed to this report.

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Find AP Fact Checks at http://apne.ws/2kbx8bd

Follow @APFactCheck on Twitter: https://twitter.com/APFactCheck

Why Democrats sidelined Mueller in impeachment articles .
The show of unity emerged after an internal Democratic struggle over one of the core dilemmas facing the caucus all year — how to make use of Mueller’s complex investigation, which initially fueled the push for impeachment but split Democrats and was largely pushed aside after the Ukraine saga emerged. Mueller’s probe gets only a glancing reference in the articles of impeachment themselves. But Democrats — including Pelosi — have repeatedly leaned on the foundation Mueller built to help justify calls to remove Trump from office.In short, Mueller is the Old Testament of Trump scandals, Ukraine is the New Testament.“We’re not moving with speed.

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