AP FACT CHECK: Veracity is a casualty in week of infighting

WASHINGTON — This past week wasn’t a high point for veracity in Washington. A look at some statements over the past week:

PRESIDENT TRUMP: ‘‘Problem is that the acting head of the FBI & the person in charge of the Hillary investigation, Andrew McCabe, got $700,000 from H for wife!’’ — tweet Tuesday.

THE FACTS: That’s wrong. McCabe’s wife, Jill McCabe, did not get $700,000 in donations from Hillary Clinton (“H’’ in the tweet) for a Virginia state Senate race in 2015. Jill McCabe got the money from Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe’s political action committee and the Virginia Democratic Party. Those donations happened before the FBI says McCabe was promoted to deputy director of the FBI and took a supervisory role in the Clinton investigation. He became acting director in May after Trump fired James Comey.


TRUMP: ‘‘Attorney General Jeff Sessions has taken a VERY weak position on Hillary Clinton crimes (where are E-mails & DNC server) & Intel leakers!’’ — tweet Tuesday.

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THE FACTS: Trump is entitled to be dissatisfied with his attorney general but there’s a backstory. If Sessions has been quiet about Clinton, it’s because the election is over and he promised during his confirmation hearings in January to step aside from any investigation of her. As a Trump campaign loyalist last year, he was a critic of the Democratic nominee and said in January that his objectivity could be in question if he was involved in any Justice Department action concerning her e-mail practices as secretary of state.

Trump is also upset that Sessions stepped aside from the investigation into possible collusion between Russian officials and the Trump campaign.

The effect of those recusals is to leave Trump potentially more exposed to Justice Department professionals who do not have political ties to him.

ANTHONY SCARAMUCCI, White House communications director: ‘‘In light of the leak of my financial disclosure info which is a felony, I will be contacting @FBI and the @JusticeDept’’ — tweet Wednesday, later deleted.


THE FACTS: His financial disclosure was not leaked — illegally or otherwise. It is a public record.

It was released after a public records request by a Politico reporter to the Export-Import Bank, where Scaramucci had been employed at a senior level since mid-June.

In a feuding White House, Scaramucci appeared to blame chief of staff Reince Priebus for leaking the information.

Trump later announced he was replacing Priebus with Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly.

TRUMP: ‘‘Lebanon is on the front lines in the fight against ISIS, Al Qaeda and Hezbollah.’’ — at news conference Tuesday with Lebanese Prime Minister Saad Hariri.


THE FACTS: Not so with Hezbollah. The group is a partner in the Lebanese government, with two Cabinet seats. The Lebanese government is indeed fighting against the Islamic State group and Al Qaeda. But so is Hezbollah. Its fighters are leading a military offensive to wipe out Sunni extremists from ISIS and Al Qaeda from areas along the Lebanese-Syrian border.

SCARAMUCCI: ‘‘The majority of the American people, certainly all the American people that voted for him, either don’t care about the tweets, they find them funny. They find them refreshing. They don’t overreact ... and micro-analyze them the way you guys do.’’ — CNN on Wednesday.

THE FACTS: Two-thirds of people find his tweets ‘‘inappropriate’’ and ‘‘insulting’’ and about half said they’re ‘‘dangerous,’’ according to a recent Washington Post-ABC News poll. One-third said they are effective.

TRUMP: ‘‘We’ve begun to process seamlessly transferring veterans’ medical records. Horrible situation. You couldn’t get your medical records. And now it’s so easy and so good. And the system is fixed, finally, after all of these years.’’

THE FACTS: That IT system is not fixed. The multiyear effort has barely begun. The costs are not even accounted for in Trump’s proposed 2018 budget. The VA expects its outmoded scheduling system to remain for several more years.

TRUMP: ‘‘We’ve published wait times at every VA facility. I used to go around and talk about the veterans and they’d stand on line for nine days, seven days, four days ... 15 days. People that could have been given a prescription and been better right away end up dying waiting on line. That’s not happening anymore.’’

THE FACTS: Problems of delay or substandard care at some of the VA facilities have not disappeared. For example, the VA reported recently that veterans have been waiting more than 60 days for new appointments at about 30 VA facilities nationwide.

TRUMP: ‘‘Our military must be focused on decisive and overwhelming victory and cannot be burdened with the tremendous medical costs and disruption that transgender in the military would entail.’’ — tweet Wednesday saying transgender troops would be banned from the armed forces.

THE FACTS: He’s offered no substantiation for the assertion that transgender military members represent tremendous medical costs and disruption. A Rand Corp. study found otherwise.

TRUMP: ‘‘As I said from the beginning, let ObamaCare implode, then deal.’’ — tweet Friday.

THE FACTS: He didn’t say that from the beginning. During the 2016 campaign, he promised to ‘‘immediately repeal and replace’’ Barack Obama’s health care law, as he put it on one tweet from last year. He did not propose to let the law fail, then follow up with a new package.