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Six top fact checks of Second US Presidential Debate

Here are six claims Trump and Clinton made, fact-checked.

Published: 10th October 2016 10:43 AM  |   Last Updated: 10th October 2016 10:55 AM   |  A+A-

By Associated Press

WASHINGTON— A claim from the second presidential debate and how it stacks up with the facts: 

AP FACT CHECK 1: Trump says Clinton laughed at rape case 

DONALD TRUMP: When Hillary Clinton defended an accused child-rapist in court, she "got him off, and she's seen on two separate occasions, laughing at the girl who was raped."

THE FACTS: Trump's depiction of Clinton laughing at a child rape victim is false, and his statement that she got the man off the hook isn't quite right.

Clinton defended the man in 1975 at the demand of the judge in the case.

According to both Clinton in a recorded interview and later statements by the prosecutor who handled the case, Clinton asked not to be assigned to defend the attacker of Kathy Shelton, but ultimately Clinton agreed to defend the man at the judge's insistence.

According to audio of an interview Clinton gave to a reporter one decade later, Clinton suggested she believed her client, Thomas Alfred Taylor, was guilty, saying that his successful questioning under a polygraph test "forever destroyed my faith in polygraphs."

Despite her discomfort with the case, Clinton aggressively defended her client. In an affidavit to the court, she said a child psychologist had told her that children "from disorganized families," such as the victim, "tend to exaggerate or romanticize sexual experiences."

But it was a misstep by the prosecution that broke in favor of Clinton's client. The crime lab in the case lost a swatch of the victim's underwear that the prosecution had said contained Taylor's semen and the victim's blood. Clinton seized on the mistake, arguing that the absence of evidence fatally undermined the prosecution's case — prompting the prosecutor to offer Clinton's client a plea deal to a lesser charge, "unlawful fondling of a child."

In the recorded interview, Clinton never laughed at Shelton, calling it a "terrible" case and saying it was sad that prosecutors had lost the evidence against her client. But she did laugh at procedural errors in the case, and the judge's request to speak privately with her client at one point.

AP FACT CHECK 2: Clinton cited Lincoln on political deals 

HILLARY CLINTON, in response to a question about her saying that politicians need to have "both a public and a private position" in a 2013 paid speech, said, "As I recall, that was something I said about Abraham Lincoln after having seen the wonderful Steven Spielberg movie called Lincoln. It was a master class watching President Lincoln get the Congress to approve the 13th Amendment."

DONALD TRUMP replied, "She lied. Now she's blaming the lie on the late, great Abraham Lincoln."

THE FACTS: Clinton's recollection is correct.

Clinton invoked the movie "Lincoln," and the deal-making that went into passage of the 13th Amendment, which outlawed slavery, in an April 2013 speech to the National Multifamily Housing Council.

According to excerpts of the speech included in hacked emails published last week by WikiLeaks, Clinton said politicians must balance "both a public and a private position" while making deals, a process she said was like making sausage.

"It is unsavory, and it always has been that way, but we usually end up where we need to be," Clinton said according to the excerpts. "But if everybody's watching, you know, all of the backroom discussions and the deals, you know, then people get a little nervous to say the least. So, you need both a public and a private position."

AP FACT CHECK 3: Trump wrong that Assad fights IS 

DONALD TRUMP: "I don't like Assad at all. But Assad is killing ISIS. Russia is killing ISIS."

THE FACTS: Not true. Syria's President Bashar Assad considers the Islamic State group to be among numerous "terrorist" groups that threaten his government, but his military is not fighting them. It is focused on combatting Syrian opposition groups, some of which are supported by the United States. The fight against the Islamic State militants is being waged by a U.S.-led coalition, with help from Turkey, by training, advising and equipping Syrian Arab and Kurdish fighters. While Moscow asserts that it is fighting the Islamic State extremists in Syria, the vast majority of its airstrikes have targeted opposition groups threatening the Assad government.

AP FACT CHECK 4: Trump wrong that IS is taking Libyan oil 

DONALD TRUMP: "ISIS has a good chunk of their oil," referring to Libya.

THE FACTS: Not quite. While it is true that the Islamic State group has targeted Libya's oil fields and has aspired to grab some of the country's oil resources, as it did in Syria, there is no evidence that it is reaping any revenue from Libyan oil. The prospect of the extremist group seizing Libyan oil is one reason the U.S. has conducted limited airstrikes against the Islamic State in Libya, where it now has a very small presence.

Libya's oil production plunged following the 2011 uprising that toppled and killed Moammar Gadhafi, from 1.6 million barrels per day under the longtime dictator to just 200,000.

AP FACT CHECK 5: Clinton on US advisers in Iraq 

HILLARY CLINTON: "I do think ... the use of (U.S. and coalition) enablers and trainers in Iraq, which has had some positive effect, are very much in our interest."

THE FACTS: She's right about the positive effect, at least on the Iraqi military. After losing the city of Ramadi to the Islamic State group again in May 2015, the hundreds of U.S. military trainers and advisers have made some gains. It took more than a year, but the program Clinton cited has produced a more competent Iraqi military and set the stage for an Iraqi campaign to retake the northern city of Mosul. That city has been the Islamic State militants' main stronghold since they swept into Iraq in 2014 almost unopposed by the Iraqi army.

As Clinton's characterization of the program suggests, it has not been an unqualified success and is expected to require years of additional effort to ensure that the Iraqi military does not collapse as it did in 2014.

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