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Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump got a rare grilling at an ABC News town hall in Philadelphia on Tuesday.

He responded to a series of tough questions from Pennsylvania voters, and some more from moderator George Stephanopoulos, much like he responds to easy questions from his favorite conservative television hosts -- with a barrage of dishonesty.
Trump made at least 20 false or misleading claims over the hour-and-a-half event, according to our preliminary count.
    Here is a list.The coronavirus pandemicRead MoreDownplaying the virusTrump was asked why he downplayed the coronavirus. He responded, "Well, I didn't downplay it. I actually -- in many ways I up-played it in terms of action."Facts First: This is ridiculous spin. Trump admitted to journalist Bob Woodward in a recorded March 19 interview that "I always wanted to play it down" (he claimed he did so to keep the public calm). And we didn't need Woodward's tape to know Trump had downplayed it; this was obvious even back in February and March, when Trump kept wrongly claiming that the situation was under control and that the virus was akin to the flu.Trump's praise of ChinaPressed about how he had initially said China was doing a good job handling the virus, Trump suggested he had not issued such praise: "No, I didn't say one way or the other. I'm not saying one way or the other."Facts First: Trump repeatedly and effusively praised China and leader Xi Jinping for their handling of the virus situation earlier this year. You can read a list of examples here. SeniorsTrump said: "So I didn't say anything bad about President Xi initially, because nobody knew much about the disease. Nobody knew the seniors are susceptible."Facts First: It's just not true nobody knew seniors were susceptible to the virus at the time of Trump's praise. Chinese officials emphasized in January that elderly people with chronic diseases were at the highest risk of serious illness. January media reports around the world talked about the risk to seniors; a January 23 report in the New York Times was headlined "Coronavirus Deaths Are So Far Mostly Older Men, Many With Previous Health Issues." Beginning in February, a nursing home in Kirkland, Washington, had one of the first known outbreaks of the virus in the US. Biden and the pandemicTrump claimed opponent Joe Biden said in March that the pandemic was "totally over-exaggerated."Facts First: We could not find any evidence of Biden saying anything like this in March. Biden did say in late February and early March that people shouldn't "panic" about the virus, but even conservative Breitbart News noted that Biden added in his February comments that "coronavirus is a serious public health challenge" and in March that people shouldn't "downplay" the situation. In other words, he wasn't saying that it was being overblown.On March 12, Biden delivered a sharp rebuke of Trump's handling of the pandemic and introduced his own plan for addressing the crisis. Ventilators Trump repeated his familiar claim that the "cupboards were bare" of ventilators when he took office.Facts First: This is not at all true. Trump inherited more than 16,000 ventilators.A spokesperson for the Department of Health and Human Services confirmed to CNN in late June that there had been about 19,000 ventilators in the national stockpile for "many years," including 16,660 ventilators that were ready for immediate use in March 2020. The spokesperson confirmed that none of those 16,660 were purchased by the Trump administration.As of June 23, the Trump administration had distributed 10,760 ventilators during the coronavirus pandemic, a smaller number than the administration inherited.You can read a longer fact check here.Testing and cases Told that the US has 20% of the world's coronavirus cases and deaths, Trump said, "We have 20% of the cases because of the fact that we do much more testing. If we wouldn't do testing, you wouldn't have cases. You would have very few cases."Facts First: Testing does not create cases; it reveals them. And testing is a tool used to help prevent the spread of the virus and reduce the number of actual cases. You can read a longer fact check here. Travel restrictions on China and Europe Trump claimed that he put "a ban on" China and "a ban on" Europe to address the pandemic.Facts First: While Trump did restrict travel from China and from much of Europe, neither policy was a "ban": both made exemptions for travel from US citizens, permanent residents, many of their families, and some others -- and the restrictions on Europe exempted entire European countries.Exemptions from the restrictionsTrump said of his critics' comments about the travel restrictions: "They say that we allowed certain people in, it's true -- but they were American citizens."Facts First: Again, citizens were not the only people exempted. Also omitted from the prohibition were permanent residents; spouses of citizens and permanent residents; parents or guardians of unmarried citizens or permanent residents under age 21; unmarried siblings under age 21 of unmarried citizens or permanent residents under age 21; and various other categories of people.Health carePre-existing conditions Trump claimed that he would be "doing a health care plan" that would "protect people with pre-existing conditions." He then said of the Democrats, "They will not do that."Facts First: This is a complete reversal of reality. Democrats created these protections for people with pre-existing conditions, in Obamacare; Biden was vice president at the time, and he is running on a promise to preserve and strengthen the law. Trump, conversely, has repeatedly tried to get bills passed that would have weakened the protections -- and, as Stephanopoulos pointed out, is currently in court trying to get the entirety of Obamacare overturned. Trump insisted to Stephanopoulos that he would put forward a "new health care" plan that would protect people. But he has never unveiled any plan that would offer protections equivalent to the ones in Obamacare -- and, regardless, his claim about Democrats is absurd.The existence of Obamacare Trump claimed he "essentially ended Obamacare" by repealing the individual mandate that required people to obtain health insurance.Facts First: The individual mandate, which required Americans to obtain health insurance, was indeed a key part of Obamacare -- but Trump didn't end Obamacare, essentially or otherwise; key parts of the law remain in effect. For example, Trump has not eliminated Obamacare's expansion of the Medicaid insurance program for low-income people, the federal and state marketplaces that allow people to shop for coverage, or the consumer subsidies that help many of them make the purchases.Biden's health care planTrump suggested that Biden has agreed to adopt the "socialized" health care advocated by Sen. Bernie Sanders: "He (Biden) agreed to the manifesto, as I call it -- the agreement with Bernie is that you're going to go to socialized medicine." Facts First: This is misleading. While "socialized" is a vague term, and while Biden does endorse a "public option" to allow people to opt in to a Medicare-like government insurance plan, Biden has not agreed to anything like the "Medicare for All" single-payer proposal Sanders is known for, which would eliminate most private insurance plans. Biden and Sanders clashed on the issue during the Democratic primary. After Sanders dropped out of the race, Biden and Sanders appointed a task force to make policy recommendations; this is what Trump calls "the manifesto." The task force proposed to try to achieve universal health care through the public option Biden was already running on; it did not endorse any Sanders-style single-payer plan. It says: "Everyone will be eligible to choose the public option or another Affordable Care Act marketplace plan, even those who currently get insurance through their employers, because Democrats believe working people shouldn't be locked in to expensive or insufficient health care plans when better options are available."Protests, race and policingBlack communities and policeTrump said: "So I just saw a poll where African Americans in this country, Black communities, are 81% in favor of having more police."Facts First: Trump wrongly described this poll result. In a survey conducted in late June and early July, Gallup found that 20% of Black Americans wanted the police to spend more time in their area; 61% said they wanted the police to spend the same amount of time they current spend. Those numbers add up to 81%, but it's not true that 81% said they want a larger police presence.Seattle protestersTrump said of protesters in Seattle: "They took over a big chunk of the city -- 20% of the city."Facts First: Trump's figure was not even close to correct. In June, protesters set up a self-proclaimed "autonomous zone" covering six blocks in the Capitol Hill neighborhood -- a significant development, no doubt, but a tiny fraction of the whole city.The protest was cleared out by local authorities at the beginning of July.Minnesota and the National Guard Trump again took credit for the National Guard deployment in Minnesota to address violent protests following the killing of George Floyd, claiming that these protests "went on for a week or a week and a half" before the governor "allowed us to bring in the National Guard."Facts First: Minnesota's Democratic governor, Tim Walz, was the one who activated the Guard -- and Walz, a Guard veteran, did so two days after the violent protests began, more than seven hours before Trump publicly threatened to deploy the Guard himself.You can read a longer fact check here. Crime in New York CityTrump said: "Look at New York. New York was a very safe city. Rudy Giuliani did a fantastic job. The city was safe and then, all of a sudden, we have a mayor -- who starts cutting the police force, and crime is up 100%, 150%. I saw one form of crime up 300%."Facts First: There is no major crime category in New York City that is currently up "300%," whether you are doing a weekly or monthly or yearly comparison, according to official data that is released on a weekly basis. And while there has been a major increase in New York City shootings this year -- as Trump alluded to, the number of shooting incidents has been up about 150% year-over-year -- the city remains safer than it was in Giuliani's final year in office, 2001, even after Giuliani presided over a major decline in crime.What Trump didn't mention was that the improvements continued under Giuliani successors Michael Bloomberg and Bill de Blasio. So while the 2020 increases are concerning, they are increases from a relatively low 2019 level.For example, New York City had 319 murders in 2019, less than half the 649 murders of 2001; while 2020 is on pace to be worse for murder than 2019, with 305 murders as of September 6, 2020 is still on pace to be much better than 2001.Assorted topicsStock ownershipWhen Stephanopoulos said that people at the top of the economic ladder, who own stocks, are doing well, Trump interjected and said, "George, stocks are owned by everybody."Facts First: Trump could fairly point out that it's not just the super-wealthy who own stocks, but it's also not true that stocks are owned by "everybody." In polling from March and April, Gallup found that 55% of American adults reported owning stock this year, the same percentage as last year. And wealthy people have long owned far more stock than people in lower income groups. The departure of James Mattis As Trump did on Fox News earlier on Tuesday, he claimed at the town hall that he had fired James Mattis as defense secretary.Facts First: Trump did not fire Mattis; Mattis resigned in December 2018 because of policy differences with Trump,saying in a resignation letter that Trump deserved a secretary of defense whose views were "better aligned" with the president's. Trump forced Mattis to leave the government two months earlier than the departure date Mattis had chosen upon his resignation, but that is still not a firing.Mattis and ISIS Repeating more of the same sentiments he expressed on Fox News on Tuesday, Trump said at the town hall that Mattis "didn't do good on ISIS" and that "I took over 100% of the ISIS caliphate."Facts First: While the final remnants of the caliphate were eradicated in March 2019, more than two months after Mattis's departure, it's misleading for Trump to suggest this was his own accomplishment that Mattis had nothing to do with. Much of the progress in liberating the caliphate occurred during Mattis's tenure as secretary of defense between January 2017 and January 2019.There was also substantial progress in the battle against ISIS in 2016, under President Barack Obama. And Kurdish forces did much of the ground fighting.Churchill and Trump Defending his decision to conceal the severity of the virus from the American public, Trump again invoked the late UK Prime Minister Winston Churchill -- saying Churchill was "not so honest" when he stood on London rooftops during Nazi bombings and told the public "everything's going to be good," but that he was still a "great leader" by keeping people calm.
      Facts First: Churchill did not give speeches from the rooftops, though he sometimes did watch the bombing from rooftops, and did not say "everything's going to be good" or generally play down the Nazi threat. Rather -- as Churchill scholars have told CNN -- he was generally blunt about the threat of death and severe suffering, warning citizens repeatedly about hardships to come.You can read a longer fact check here.

      News Source: CNN

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      IRS Scandal Fast Facts

      (CNN)Here's some background information about the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) scandal involving the targeting of certain groups. In May 2013, the Treasury Inspector General for Tax Administration released a report indicating the targeting involved delaying the processing of applications by certain conservative groups and requesting information from them that was later deemed unnecessary.

      The Justice Department was investigating circumstances surrounding the disappearance of IRS emails that Republicans believed could shed light on the possible targeting of conservative and other political groups by the agency.The Justice Department closed its two-year investigation in October 2015. No charges were brought against former IRS official Lois Lerner or anyone else at the agency.
        Other FactsThe investigation into the email disappearance, which the IRS said was due to a crash of Lerner's hard drive, was part of a wider criminal probe of whether any IRS employees broke the law in unfairly singling out specific political groups for extra scrutiny.Read MoreTwo hundred ninety-six applications by groups were flagged for further review. About 75 groups had names with "tea party" or "patriot" in them.TimelineEarly 2010 - According to the May 2013 Inspector General report, "Inappropriate Criteria Were Used to Identify Tax-Exempt Applications for Review," the inappropriate targeting of mainly conservative groups begins. This targeting involves delaying the processing of their applications and requesting information deemed unnecessary. May 2010 - According to the report, "EO (Exempt Organizations) function officials stated that, in May 2010, the Determinations Unit began developing a spreadsheet that would become known as the "Be On the Look Out" listing (hereafter referred to as the BOLO listing) "which included the emerging issue of Tea Party applications."July 2010 - The Determinations Unit asks its specialists to BOLO for tea party applications.2010-2012 - According to the report, action is taken to change the criteria used "for identifying potential political cases" involving groups seeking tax-exempt status approximately five times over a two-year period. May 2012 - After the IRS is first notified of the practice, the use of some BOLO lists involving conservative labels is stopped. November 9, 2012 - IRS Commissioner Douglas Shulman leaves office at the end of his term, and Steven Miller, the deputy commissioner, takes his place. May 10, 2013 - Miller helps engineer an apology by Lerner, the director of the Exempt Organizations Division since January 2006, through a planted question at an American Bar Association meeting. -- The IRS holds a conference call with reporters where they admit they've made "mistakes" in the last few years while trying to process requests from groups seeking tax-exempt status.May 14, 2013 - The report by the Treasury Inspector General of the Tax Administration is released and finds that the IRS "used inappropriate criteria that identified for review Tea Party and other organizations applying for tax-exempt status based upon their names or policy positions instead of indications of potential political campaign intervention."May 15, 2013 - Miller is forced to resign by Treasury Secretary Jack Lew after it comes to light that he knew about the targeting. It is announced by President Barack Obama later that day. May 16, 2013 - Obama chooses a new acting commissioner, Daniel Werfel, who had been the controller of the White House's Office of Management and Budget.May 22, 2013 - Lerner invokes her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination after she denies any wrongdoing in a brief statement to the House Oversight Committee. It is later determined she waived these rights.-- Shulman denies he knew about the targeting, and when he found out about some of it, he made steps to have it reviewed.-- Miller claims the targeting happened because of staffers being overworked and not understanding unclear regulations rather than because of political motivations. May 23, 2013 - After Lerner refuses to resign, she is placed on administrative leave, according to Congressional sources in both parties.June 12, 2013 - Werfel stops the use of all BOLO lists by the tax-exemption unit after learning that some of them were still in use.June 24, 2013 - Democratic Congressman Sander Levin of Michigan charges that liberal groups were targeted by the IRS as well.September 23, 2013 - Lerner retires.December 20, 2013 - John Koskinen is appointed to the IRS commissioner position.March 5, 2014 - Lerner refuses to testify before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.March 26, 2014 - Koskinen testifies before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee about how the IRS is going to try and restore public trust when it comes to exempt organizations.April 9, 2014 - The House Committee on Ways and Means refer Lerner to the DOJ for possible criminal charges.April 10, 2014 - The Republican-led House Oversight Committee votes 21-12 to charge Lerner with contempt of Congress.May 7, 2014 - Lerner is held in contempt of Congress by the House.June 13, 2014 - IRS informs congress that it is unable to recover Lerner's emails from January 2009 to April 2011 because of a computer crash. The emails were subpoenaed by the House Oversight Committee Chairman. They have subsequently been able to recover 24,000 of the emails.June 23-24, 2014 - The House Committee on Oversight & Government Reform hold two hearings: "IRS Obstruction: Lois Lerner's Missing E-mails.December 23, 2014 - The sixth report from the House Oversight Committee says that the IRS "systematically targeted" conservative groups, and places blame on Lerner and seven other IRS officials. According to the report, "The fact-finding is not yet complete." Another 30,000 emails to and from Lerner have been recently recovered which will also be looked at. March 31, 2015 - The US Attorney's Office sends a letter to House Speaker John Boehner notifying him that it won't bring contempt of Congress charges against Lerner. August 5, 2015 - The Senate Finance Committee concludes its investigation and issues its report. The findings indicate the division of the IRS that handles tax exempt organizations was mismanaged and unprepared for the surge in applications from new nonprofits affiliated with the tea party movement. According to the committee, the delays in processing the applications from conservative groups were due to poor communication and layers of bureaucracy. October 23, 2015 - The Justice Department notifies members of Congress that it is closing its two-year investigation into whether the IRS improperly targeted the Tea Party and other conservative groups. Assistant Attorney General Peter Kadzik says in the letter to Congress that the probe found "substantial evidence of mismanagement, poor judgment and institutional inertia leading to the belief by many tax-exempt applicants that the IRS targeted them based on their political viewpoints. But poor management is not a crime."October 27, 2015 - A group of House Republicans move to impeach Koskinen, introducing a resolution calling for his ouster.June 15, 2016 - The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee votes 23-15 to censure Koskinen as a result of the IRS targeting scandal, calling for his removal from office and the forfeiture of his government pension and other federal benefits he is eligible for.
          September 28, 2017 - The Treasury Inspector General of Tax Administration issues a new report that finds liberal-leaning groups may have also been subjected to extra scrutiny when they sought tax-exempt status.October 26, 2017 - The Justice Department announces that it has settled multiple lawsuits over the IRS targeting Scandal. In a statement, Attorney General Jeff Sessions says it was "clear" that the IRS was "using inappropriate criteria to screen applications" for tax-exempt status under the Obama administration from tea party or conservative groups.

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