Left-wing “fact-checker” Politifact has done it again.
In a post from January 9, 2019, Politifact quotes President Donald Trump as saying, “Sen. Chuck Schumer, who you will be hearing from later tonight, has repeatedly supported a physical barrier in the past along with many other Democrats.” Trump said this during a January 8 address from the Oval Office.
“They changed their mind only after I was elected president,” Trump added.
Politifact then shows evidence that this statement is literally true, but goes on to bring in things Trump has said in the past and some nitpicking to give the claim a “Mostly False” rating.
Here is what Politifact concluded based solely on what the president said on January 8:
Trump said Schumer has [sic] “has repeatedly supported a physical barrier in the past along with many other Democrats. They changed their mind only after I was elected president.”
Schumer, along with tens of other Democrats including former President Barack Obama, voted for the Secure Fence Act of 2006, which authorized building a fence along about 700 miles of the border between the United States and Mexico. That’s the majority of the barrier in place today along the southern border.
But, this being Politifact, they just couldn’t give Trump a win, so they used the president’s previous claim that the 2006 fence was “not a wall” but a “little fence.”
Trump may have derided their fence, but that doesn’t change the fact that Schumer and others previously supported “a physical barrier.”
The outlet also dinged Trump for comments made during the campaign that he would build a wall made of “hardened concrete” and kept adding to the height of the wall. Trump isn’t married to that vision of the wall, and just last year (years after the wall version Politifact decided to include to get to their “Mostly False” rating) Trump moved away from calling for a concrete wall. Politifact links to an article about Trump’s evolution on the wall, but doesn’t mention this when knocking him.
Politifact decides that Trump’s completely true statement about supporting “a physical barrier in the past” is “mostly false” because the wall Trump is now calling for is more ambitious “politically and physically.”
The outlet also moved its rating because Trump said “they changed their mind only after I was elected president,” even though the Democrats proposed funding for the fence they approved in 2006.
Had a Democrat made the claims against a Republican, the rating would surely be “Mostly True.”
As @AG_Conservative noted on Twitter, “Politifact reads words that aren’t there in order to justify a rating.”
And this is why it's a ridiculous idea to allow networks to cite these "fact-checks" during debates and speeches.
The quote cited here is clearly true. Dems have absolutely shifted their views on the effectiveness and morality of barriers at the border. https://t.co/y3RQ758w8s
— (((AG))) (@AG_Conservative) January 19, 2019
This is just the latest in a long line of Politifact ratings that are unnecessarily harsher against Republicans than Democrats. In August 2018, the outlet claimed then-Sen. Dean Heller was “mostly false” in stating his opponent, now-Sen. Jacky Rosen (D-NV), skipped a vote on veterans when she absolutely did not take that vote. Politifact also gave the NRA a “mostly false” rating in October 2017 after it accurately quoted something Hillary Clinton said about Australia’s gun “buyback” program, which was actually a confiscation program. The outlet also gave an anti-Carly Fiorina website a “half true” rating for a completely false statement in 2015 when it claimed the former Hewlett-Packard CEO wished she had laid off 30,000 employees faster.