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AP FACT CHECK: The Kavanaugh nomination and the world beyond

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On this Sept. 26, 2018, photograph, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell speaks throughout a information convention in Washington. (AP Photograph/Susan Walsh)

WASHINGTON (AP) — The world beyond a memorable Senate listening to marched on this previous week. The Federal Reserve acted to make borrowing costlier and individuals’s financial savings accounts a tad extra flush. President Donald Trump relived the 2016 election, but once more, wrongly stating he gained the ladies’s vote. He signed off on a retooled commerce settlement with South Korea and misrepresented what it does.

All eyes have been on Supreme Courtroom nominee Brett Kavanaugh and his accuser.

In the unusual mixture of Senate posturing and a prosecutor’s dispassionate questioning, Kavanaugh and his Senate supporters jumped to a conclusion that was not supported by the testimony over whether or not he sexually assaulted Christine Blasey Ford when she was 15 and he was 17. They stated, precisely, that Ford has not produced witnesses who corroborate her allegations. Additionally they stated, wrongly, that witness statements entered into the document exonerated him.

A assessment of the week’s rhetoric and the information behind it on a number of fronts:


TRUMP: “Unfortunately, they just raised interest rates a little bit, because we are doing so well. … I am not happy about it. I’d rather pay down debt or do other things, create more jobs. So I’m worried about the fact that they seem to like raising interest rates. We can do other things with the money.” — information convention Wednesday.

TRUMP: “(Obama) was playing with zero-interest money. He was playing with funny money, that’s easy. I’m playing with fairly expensive money — so when he does that the people that benefit are people that actually, in their whole life they would save 10, 15, 20 percent of their salary — those people got killed. Because they put their money in the bank they’re going to live off the interest, and there was no interest.” — remarks Wednesday.

THE FACTS: That is an odd and contradictory evaluation of the Fed and rates of interest.

He decried the Fed’s price improve, but a number of minutes later criticized the near-zero charges from 2008 to 2015 as hurting individuals with financial savings accounts.

What does appear clear is that Trump misrepresented the Fed’s primary mission of maintaining costs secure.

With the unemployment price at a low three.9 %, Fed officers voted unanimously on Wednesday to extend a key brief time period fee for the third time this yr. They did so to restrict the danger that inflation might speed up to ranges that may destabilize the financial system and trigger a downturn. The president didn’t immediately acknowledge this danger.

Trump stated he’d moderately the Fed spur job progress or pay down the debt, although these choices weren’t elementary decisions earlier than the U.S. central financial institution.

Fed officers don’t see a fee improve as imperiling job progress. Regardless of earlier will increase, “job gains have been strong, on average,” they stated in a press release. Trump has repeated comparable claims at his rallies about strong job progress.

Trump additionally prompt that the Fed might one way or the other scale back the nationwide debt. It’s not clear how it will’ve achieved so Wednesday. Finances deficits come from the fiscal coverage set by Congress and the president. A president who needs to scale back debt might minimize spending or increase taxes. Trump has carried out neither and the Congressional Finances Workplace expects authorities debt masses to climb.

The Fed should buy Treasury notes, which it did after the 2008 monetary disaster, to scale back borrowing prices for the authorities, corporations and shoppers, and to spur progress. The danger is that larger inflation might happen given the relative well being of the financial system. The truth is, congressional Republicans stated in a 2010 letter that Fed insurance policies would sink the financial system by means of surging inflation. That didn’t occur, partially as a result of the unemployment fee was then 9.eight % and the financial system nonetheless confirmed indicators of needing a lift.

Did the low charges harm savers? In all probability some. However that case might be overstated.

In 2017 congressional testimony, Harvard College economist Karen Dynan, a former Treasury Division official, stated financial savings accounts, checking accounts and comparable holdings are simply 5 % of general family belongings. Extra individuals’s internet value will depend on homeownership and the inventory market, each of which benefited from the decrease Fed charges.



KAVANAUGH: “Dr. Ford’s allegations are not merely uncorroborated, it’s refuted by the very people she says were there.” — Senate testimony Thursday.

REPUBLICAN SEN. CHUCK GRASSLEY, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, contending the sum of statements by three witnesses “refutes Dr. Ford’s version of the facts.” — Friday.

REPUBLICAN SEN. TED CRUZ of Texas: “All three of those fact witnesses have stated on the record under penalty of perjury that they do not recall what she is alleging happening. They have not only not, not corroborated her charges, they have explicitly refuted her charges.” — listening to Thursday.

THE FACTS: The witness statements in query don’t refute Ford’s allegations that Kavanaugh assaulted her at a celebration once they have been of their youngsters. They depart open the risk that folks at the gathering forgot about it or weren’t in place to witness an assault.

Even Mark Decide, who Ford says was in the bed room when Kavanaugh sexually assaulted her, has not denied that such an episode befell. His assertion to the committee says “I have no memory of this alleged incident,” ”don’t recall the social gathering” and “never saw Brett act in the manner Dr. Ford describes.”

In one other assertion, Patrick J. Smyth, recognized by Ford as being amongst these downstairs at the celebration, says “I have no knowledge of the party in question; nor do I have any knowledge of the allegations of improper conduct she has leveled against Brett Kavanaugh.’”

The lawyer for Ford’s pal Leland Ingham Keyser stated in a press release: “Ms. Keyser does not know Mr. Kavanaugh and she has no recollection of ever being at a party or gathering where he was present, with, without, Dr. Ford.”

These statements, by individuals who weren’t summoned to reply questions, will not be useful to Ford’s case. However they don’t disprove it.

Regardless of saying she hadn’t met Kavanaugh and doesn’t keep in mind the social gathering, Keyser informed The Washington Submit she believes Ford.


TRUMP: “I was accused by four or five women who got paid a lot of money to make up stories about me…There were four women, and maybe more.” — information convention Wednesday.

THE FACTS: Truly, greater than a dozen ladies got here ahead throughout the 2016 presidential marketing campaign, claiming they have been assaulted, groped or kissed with out consent by Trump. There isn’t a proof most have been paid.

He was additionally caught on tape in 2005 boasting of grabbing ladies by their genitals and kissing them with out permission.



TRUMP, on signing a commerce settlement with South Korea: “These outcomes give the finest American-made automobiles, innovative medicines, and agricultural crops much better access to Korean markets. I think our farmers are going to be extremely happy. It was very limited as to what they could do and what they could send. And now it’s (an) open market, and they’re going to be sending a lot more farm products.” — remarks Monday.

THE FACTS: He’s flawed with regard to the impact on U.S. farmers. The revamped free commerce settlement that Trump signed Monday did nothing to additional open the South Korean agricultural market, focusing as an alternative on auto manufacturing, prescription drugs and different industries. “Agriculture was excluded from the talks at South Korea’s insistence,” stated Troy Stangarone, senior director of congressional affairs and commerce at the Korea Financial Institute of America.

The Nationwide Pork Producers Council, in truth, expressed aid that the new deal would have “little impact on agriculture.” The council famous that the unique 2012 U.S.-South Korea commerce settlement — the one Trump insisted on rewriting — had eradicated most South Korean tariffs on pork.


TRUMP: “We have also secured increased access to America’s auto industry. South Korea will double the annual number of American cars sold within. In other words, we used to sell a maximum of 25 (he meant 25,000), and we wouldn’t even get to that number, and now we’re going to 50,000. We’re doubling it, per manufacturer… So that’s a doubling of the cars per manufacturer that can enter its market, meeting U.S. safety standards.” — remarks Monday.

THE FACTS: He’s glossing over the restricted influence. Analysts aren’t anticipating any surge in U.S. auto exports to South Korea. The new settlement does double to 50,000 the variety of automobiles every U.S. automaker can export yearly to South Korea underneath U.S. security requirements which might be much less stringent than South Korea’s. However, as Trump stated, the automotive makers weren’t utilizing up the 25,000 annual quotas anyway; altogether, the United States final yr exported fewer than 53,000 automobiles and mild vans to South Korea.


TRUMP, requested if he rejected a one-on-one assembly with Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau at the United Nations: “Yes, I did. … His tariffs are too high, he doesn’t seem to want to move and I’ve told him forget about it. … We’re very unhappy with the negotiations and the negotiating style of Canada.”

THE FACTS: The details are in dispute. Trudeau spokeswoman Eleanore Catenaro stated “no meeting was requested.”



TRUMP: “I have 145 judges I will be picking by the end of a fairly short period of time, because President Obama wasn’t big on picking judges. When I got there I said, how is this possible? I have 145, including Court of Appeals judges. And they just didn’t do it, you know why? They got tired, they got complacent — something happened.” — information convention Wednesday.

THE FACTS: Trump does have a stronger report than Obama to date in choosing federal judges, however it isn’t as a result of the Obama administration acquired “tired” and “complacent.” As an alternative, lack of motion by the Republican-controlled Senate on Obama’s judicial nominees in his final two years in workplace left Trump extra vacancies to fill.

Of the 71 individuals whom Obama nominated to the district courts and courts of appeals in 2015 and 2016, solely 20 have been voted on and confirmed, stated Russell Wheeler, an professional on judicial nominees at the Brookings Establishment. Trump entered workplace in January 2017 with greater than 100 vacancies on the federal bench, about double the quantity Obama had in 2009.



TRUMP: “You know, I got 52 percent with women. Everyone said, ‘This couldn’t happen — 52 percent.’” — information convention Wednesday.

THE FACTS: No, Trump didn’t win the ladies’s vote in the 2016 presidential election. About 54 % nationally voted for Democrat Hillary Clinton, in line with exit polls, in contrast with Trump’s 41 %. He gained 52 % of white ladies, in line with these polls.


Related Press writers Josh Boak, Paul Wiseman, Chloe Kim and Jill Colvin contributed to this report.


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EDITOR’S NOTE _ A take a look at the veracity of claims by political figures

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