Fact-checkers look at Hillary Clinton’s emails, campaign contributions

How does PolitiFact Georgia’s Truth-O-Meter work?

Our goal is to help you find the truth in American politics. Reporters from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution fact-check statements by local, state and national political leaders, including lobbyists and interest groups. We then rate them on the AJC Truth-O-Meter.

To fact-check a claim, reporters first contact the speaker to verify the statement. Next, the research begins. Reporters consult a variety of sources, including industry and academic experts. This research can take hours or a few days or even longer, depending on the claim. Reporters then compile the research into story form and include a recommended Truth-O-Meter ruling.

The fact check then moves on to a panel of veteran editors who debate the statement and the reporter’s recommended Truth-O-Meter ruling. The panel votes on a final ruling; majority prevails.

Hillary Clinton’s speaking fees, campaign contributions and her controversial email arrangement.

They all spent some time recently on the AJC Truth-O-Meter along with former GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney, courtesy of PolitiFact and PolitiFact Georgia.

Abbreviated versions of our fact checks are below.

Full versions can be found at www.politifact.com/georgia/.

Want to comment on our rulings or suggest one of your own? Just go to our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/politifact.georgia). You can also follow us on Twitter (http://twitter.com/politifactga).

Future45 on Tuesday, March 8th, 2016 in a television ad:

Banks paid Hillary Clinton “over $1 million and are contributing millions more to elect her.”

Since 2013, Clinton has received about $4 million in speaking fees from the financial sector.

Donors from the financial sector have contributed more than $23 million to her campaign and outside spending groups working on her behalf.

However, the ad by Future 45, a conservative group, makes it seem like the same Wall Street banks that paid Clinton’s speaking fees are the same ones spending millions on her election, which is not the case. The major Wall Street banks where Clinton spoke have contributed in the hundreds of thousands, not millions.

The statement is partially accurate, but it misconstrues some facts as well.

We rated the claim Half True.

Hillary Clinton on Wednesday, March 9th, 2016 in a Univision/Washington Post Democratic debate:

Regarding her State Department email practices, “my predecessors did the same thing.”

This is a very misleading claim by the former secretary of s

Only one prior secretary of state regularly used email, Colin Powell.

Powell did use a personal email address for government business. However he did not use a private server kept at his home, as Clinton did.

We rated Clinton’s claim Mostly False.

Mitt Romney on Sunday, March 6th, 2016 in an interview with NBC’s “Meet the Press”:

On Donald Trump’s track record in business

Four years is a long time in politics.

Here’s Romney in 2012: “Donald Trump has shown an extraordinary ability to understand how our economy works to create jobs for the American people. He’s done it here in Nevada. He’s done it across the country. … I spent my life in the private sector. Not quite as successful as this guy. But successful nonetheless.”

And here is Romney in 2016: “You know, he’s made a lot of money for himself, and I’m gracious enough in a setting where someone has endorsed me to point out that he’s been successful and made a lot of money — he has a lot of hotels and so forth. But you can’t also ignore the fact that he’s had a lot of failures.”

Hearing Romney’s 2012 comments, a listener would not have picked up on the notion he asserted in 2016 — that “a business genius (Trump) is not.”

We rated Romney’s view on Trump’s business record a Full Flop.

John Kasich on Saturday, February 27th, 2016 in a television ad:

“Twenty million Americans are out of work.”

The Kasich campaign shrewdly cites a past PolitiFact item as evidence for this larger-than-usual estimate of America’s “out of work” population.

But it’s worth noting that the calculation we did was not intended to determine the actual number of out-of-work Americans, but rather to suggest the highest figure with any sort of credibility as a way of seeing how far out of line Trump’s assertion was.

The statement is partially accurate but takes things out of context.

We rated it Half True.