Breaking down Hillary Clinton's most controversial claims with
In advance of the Democratic National Convention, which begins July 25 in Philadelphia, we present a wrap-up of some of the more egregious falsehoods from Hillary Clinton, who is set to accept her party’s nomination for president later this week.
We focused on claims most relevant for the general election and those that Clinton has repeated, or that could likely be repeated by her or others this week. For more on each statement, follow the links to our full stories. And all of our articles on Clinton can be found here.

Claims About Her Emails

The New York Times on March 2, 2015, reported that Clinton “exclusively used a personal email account to conduct government business as secretary of state.” The emails were stored on a private server at her New York home. At the State Department’s request, Clinton turned over 30,490 work-related emails totaling roughly 55,000 pages, and deleted 31,830 emails she deemed personal. Clinton’s defense of her unusual email arrangements resulted in numerous false and misleading claims.
Clinton said she “fully complied with every rule that I was governed by” in preserving her emails. But department policy says all “correspondence and memorandums on substantive U.S. foreign policy issues” should be retained “at the end of the Secretary’s tenure or sooner.” Clinton left office Feb. 1, 2013; she gave her emails to the department on Dec. 5, 2014. The department’s Office of Inspector General in a May 26 report confirmed that “Clinton should have surrendered all [work-related] emails” before leaving government and, by not doing so, “she did not comply” with the Federal Records Act.
Clinton claimed the “vast majority of my work emails went to government employees at their government addresses, which meant they were captured and preserved immediately” by the State Department. The department’s IG report said that is “not an appropriate method of preserving any such emails that would constitute a Federal record.”
Clinton has frequently remarked that her decision to use a personal email account exclusively for government business was “allowed” and “permitted” by the State Department. But the IG report cited department policies dating to 2005 that require “normal day-to-day operations” to be conducted on government servers. The IG report also said Clinton, who was secretary of State from January 2009 to February 2013, “had an obligation” to discuss her email system with security and information technology officials, but she did not and, if she had, the request would have been denied.
Clinton said “turning over my server” to the government shows “I have been as transparent as I could” about her emails. But she did so in August of 2015 after the FBI opened an investigation. Five months earlier, she rejected calls to turn over the server to a neutral party, saying “the server will remain private.”
Clinton has said that previous “secretaries of State” did the “same thing” in using personal emails for government business. But the State Department has said that only Colin Powell used a personal email account for official business, and Powell did not use a private server. In addition, the IG report said the rules governing personal email and the use of nongovernment systems were “considerably more detailed and more sophisticated” during Clinton’s tenure, making comparisons to her predecessors invalid. “Secretary Clinton’s cybersecurity practices accordingly must be evaluated in light of these more comprehensive directives,” the report said.
“Clinton Spins Immigration, Emails,” July 8, 2015
“More Spin on Clinton’s Emails,” Sept. 8, 2015
“IG Report on Clinton’s Emails,” May 27, 2016
Clinton has repeatedly denied mishandling classified information. At a March 10, 2015, press conference, she said, “I did not email any classified material to anyone on my email. There is no classified material.” But FBI Director James Comey said that the FBI found that about 2,000 of the 30,490 emails Clinton turned over to the State Department contained classified information, including 110 emails that contained classified information at the time they were sent or received. In addition, the FBI recovered “several thousand” emails that Clinton did not turn over to the State Department, including three that had classified material. Finally, Comey said three emails had “portion markings” that indicated the presence of classified information, although the State Department has since said that at least two of them were marked in error.
Clinton said her lawyers “went through every single email” on her private server to determine which ones were personal and which were work-related, and that they were “overly inclusive” in which ones were provided to the State Department. But Comey said the lawyers did not go through every email. Rather, they used header information and search terms to identify work-related emails, and, he said, it is “highly likely” they missed some.
“Clinton’s Handling of Classified Information,” July 5, 2016
“Revisiting Clinton and Classified Information,” July 7, 2016

Claims About Trump

Clinton has falsely claimed that Trump cited hosting the Miss Universe pageant in Moscow when “asked about his foreign-policy experience.” She was referring to a Trump interview with Fox News anchor Bret Baier. But Baier never asked Trump for an example of his foreign-policy experience. Baier asked Trump whether he had talked to Russian President Vladimir Putin. Trump refused to answer, and went on to say that “I know Russia well” because “I had a major event in Russia two or three years ago,” referring to the 2013 pageant. Clinton recently repeated the false claim, saying Trump “says he’s qualified to be commander in chief because he took Miss Universe to Moscow.”
“Pageants and Foreign Policy, ” June 10
“Groundhog Friday,” July 15
At a campaign rally in Kentucky, Clinton said that she “read” that Trump “said he wants to … abolish the VA.” That claim, which Clinton said she did not verify, was based on a Wall Street Journal article that said Trump’s campaign co-chair and chief policy adviser indicated that Trump “would likely push VA health care toward privatization and might move for it to become more of an insurance provider like Medicare rather than an integrated hospital system.” But the same policy adviser told the paper that Trump doesn’t “want to take away the veterans hospitals and the things that are working well.” In fact, in a speech last year, Trump said, “I don’t want to get rid of it,” when talking about the Department of Veterans Affairs and its health care system.
“Trump ‘Wants to Abolish VA’?” May 20
Clinton also went too far in a CBS News interview when she claimed that Trump said “we should pull out of NATO.” Trump has said that he would “certainly look at” pulling the United States out of the international security alliance because it is “obsolete” and “is costing us a fortune.” But Clinton’s campaign provided nothing indicating that Trump advocates pulling out now.
“What’s Trump’s Position on NATO?” May 11
In a speech criticizing Trump, Clinton again twisted the Republican nominee’s words when she claimed that he said “women will start making equal pay as soon as we do as good a job as men.” Trump doesn’t support equal pay legislation, but he has said that he believes in paying people based on performance rather than gender.
“Clinton’s Equal Pay Claim,” June 23


Clinton, pushing for changes to background checks, falsely claimed that the FBI needed “just one more day” to stop Dylann Roof from being able to purchase the handgun that he allegedly used to kill nine people at a church in Charleston, S.C. One more day wouldn’t have mattered in that case. The FBI director said that clerical errors led to Roof being able to legally purchase the gun in April 2015, and the FBI didn’t confirm that the sale shouldn’t have been allowed until after the shooting two months later.
“Clinton’s ‘Charleston Loophole’ Claim,” Feb. 18

Health Care

Clinton, at a Democratic debate, claimed that private insurance premiums have “gone up so much” in some states that didn’t expand Medicaid because hospitals shifted their costs for providing emergency care for the uninsured. In doing so, she was singling out Republican-controlled states. But we found no evidence to support that claim, and experts disagree on whether such cost shifting occurs.
“Clinton’s Shaky Cost-Shifting Claim,” Dec. 23
A Clinton TV ad made the misleading claim that “in the last seven years drug prices have doubled.” To support that claim, her campaign cited a report that said brand-name drug prices, on average, have more than doubled in that time. But more than 80% of filled prescriptions are for generic drugs, the prices of which have declined by nearly 63%, according to the same report.
“Clinton’s Misleading Ad on Drug Prices,” Jan. 7
During another Democratic debate, Clinton defended the Affordable Care Act by saying, “We now have driven costs down to the lowest they’ve been in 50 years.” Instead of going down, costs have continued to increase, although at historically low rates. Also, economists say the cause of the slowdown was mainly the economy — not the actions of politicians or the Affordable Care Act.
“FactChecking the Fourth Democratic Debate,” Jan. 18
Clinton claimed a recent study showed “white middle-aged Americans without a high school education … are dying earlier than their parents and their grandparents.” The study found an increased mortality rate since 1999 among middle-aged white Americans with a high school degree or less — not just those without a high school education — and it made no comparisons with past generations. Princeton economist Angus Deaton, a co-author of that study, told us his work “doesn’t establish any of what she says.”
“FactChecking the MSNBC Democratic Forum,” Nov. 9