Fact-checkers set sights on Clinton, Trump, Weiner and Carter

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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.

The November election is just two months away.

That means the non-partisan fact-checkers at PolitiFact and PolitiFact Georgia are working overtime to parse political truth from political fiction as the rhetocial war between Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton escalates.

Trump, Clinton, Anthony Weiner, Reince Priebus and even Jimmy Carter took a recent ride on the AJC Truth-O-Meter.

Want to see how they fared? Abbreviated versions of our fact checks are below.

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).

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

Former President Jimmy Carter recently said Aug. 22 to to an AP reporter in Memphis:

Both the Democratic and Republican candidates for president in 2016 are “quite unpopular.”

Carter said he is voting for Hillary Clinton, bit got in a bit of a political dig at the same time.

Poll after poll, including an AJC poll in Georgia, back up Carter’s observation.

Some political scientists said Trump and Clinton so-called “unfavorables” are without precedent in modern polling.

We rated Carter’s statement True.

Republican Chairman Reince Priebus said this Aug. 29 on Meet The Press about Hillary Clinton:

“Her campaign and her supporters in her campaign were the ones that borne out the birther movement.”

It has been reported by several news outlets that Clinton supporters sent emails in past campaigns accusing Obama of being born outside the United States.

There is no evidence that Clinton or her official campaign had anything to do with it.

Her supporters? There is substantial evidence they were involved.

We rated Priebus’ claim Half True.

Former Congressman and scandal machine Anthony Weiner said this July 27 on HBO:

“The banks no longer loan (Donald Trump) money because he’s a terrible risk. So he goes to these (Russian) oligarchs and borrows money.”

Records checked by PolitiFact show that U.S. banks are still loaning money to Trump, albeit not the big U.S. institutions.

There’s little evidence to show that Trump has been seeking loans from oligarchs instead of financial institutions

We rated Weiner statement Mostly False.

Hillary Clinton said this in an Aug. 2 campaign ad:

Donald Trump “has been talking about the option of using a nuclear weapon against our Western European allies.”

Trump never explicitly talked about using nuclear weapons against America’s allies in Europe.

He has said he would leave the nuclear option open to defend the U.S,

The ad contains an element of truth, but ultimately is very misleading

We rated Clinton’s statement Mostly False

Donald Trump on Saturday, Aug. 27 in a speech:

“Hillary Clinton wants to shut down family farms” using “radical regulation,” by raising business tax “rates as high as nearly 50 percent” and by taxing “family farms again at death by as much as 45 percent.”

Clinton wants to shut down family farms? We’ve seen no evidence she’s ever said that.

Radical regulation? Trump’s not providing any evidence to evaluate.

Raising taxes to nearly 50 percent? Clinton’s proposing an extra 4 percent increase, but that’s on the wealthiest Americans, and very few family farms will face it.

Death tax? Family farms have been surviving with the death tax for years, and the best data suggest that it affects no more than about 20 estates nationwide per year, if that.

We Trump’s combination of claims as False.