Truth checking CPAC: audio system make false claims concerning the election, the Capitol assault, immigration, Covid, and The Muppets


The Conservative Political Motion Convention started Friday and continued Saturday with a sequence of false claims concerning the 2020 election and lots of different topics.

The CPAC schedule made clear prematurely that the convention — happening in Orlando as a substitute of its regular dwelling simply outdoors Washington, DC — would function election-related mendacity. Over three days, the CPAC agenda contains seven separate panels or speeches beneath the title of “defending elections” — plus appearances different distinguished figures, together with former President Donald Trump himself, who’ve falsely insisted that the election was stolen.

Friday featured false claims concerning the election, the Capitol assault, and even The Muppets, whereas on Saturday, there have been a number of incorrect claims on immigration, vitality and voting legal guidelines — a few of which echoed claims President Donald Trump had repeated all through his administration.

Here’s a reality test of among the statements CPAC audio system made on Friday and Saturday:

Biden gaining floor on Election Night time

Early within the Friday proceedings, CPAC performed a video phase that strongly urged there was mass fraud or widespread malfeasance within the 2020 election.

The phase was titled “YOUR VOTES CANCELED.” Amongst different issues, it urged there was one thing nefarious about the truth that Joe Biden gained floor late on election evening in vote-counting in swing states — exhibiting one commentator saying this was “statistically unattainable,” one other saying it was “very unusual,” and one other, the late radio host Rush Limbaugh, saying the “vote fairy” had visited in a single day.

Info First: That is nonsense, as CNN and lots of others have repeatedly defined since November. Biden gained floor within the vote depend in some states as professional votes have been legitimately counted.

Biden merely did much better than Trump with individuals who voted utilizing mail-in ballots, which some states counted later than they counted in-person ballots. (In Pennsylvania, for instance, this occurred partly as a result of Republican state legislators refused to permit the processing of mail-in votes to start earlier than Election Day as Democrats proposed.) Biden additionally did much better than Trump in most massive cities, which had extra ballots to depend than smaller communities.

Biden didn’t acquire floor late at evening in each aggressive state. In Florida, the place counties have been allowed to begin counting mail-in ballots previous to Election Day, Biden jumped out to what ended up being a mirage of a giant lead, however Trump overtook him after in-person votes have been counted. In Arizona, Trump gained floor because the counting proceeded previous Election Day, although he nonetheless ended up shedding.

The legitimacy of the election

TW Shannon, a former Republican state legislator in Oklahoma, stated that mobs happen “when individuals have a way of hopelessness.” After claiming that Democratic mayors had failed to supply hope to the individuals who ended up burning cities in the summertime of 2020, Shannon then stated, “The rationale that individuals stormed the Capitol was as a result of they felt hopeless due to a rigged election.”

Info First: The election was not rigged. Joe Biden was the professional winner. There isn’t any proof of widespread fraud or malfeasance.

Shannon would have been appropriate if he had stated that lots of the individuals who stormed the Capitol believed the election had been rigged. However that’s not what he stated.

Fraud and drop containers

Conservative commentator Deroy Murdock stated: “Democrats, not Republicans, put in poll drop containers on sidewalks, the place no one oversaw them. What number of fraudulent ballots acquired deposited in these containers unchecked after which acquired counted? Who is aware of.”

Info First: Murdock’s suggestion that poll drop containers have been insecure is fake; there isn’t any signal that these drop containers have been used fraudulently within the 2020 election. The containers have been secured in varied methods: affixed to the bottom, designed with anti-tampering measures, and, in lots of circumstances, subjected to 24-hour video surveillance. Additionally, some states and counties run Republicans made use of poll drop containers.

As well as, states and counties employed varied safety measures to make sure the legitimacy of the ballots that have been deposited within the containers. Even when drop containers are hypothetically tampered with, ballots themselves nonetheless must cross the standard checks as soon as they arrive at an elections workplace.

Who perpetrated the assault on the Capitol

Speaking concerning the assault on the Capitol, conservative radio host Wayne Dupree stated there have been “lots of people there — Antifa was there, BLM was there, MAGA individuals have been there, all people was there. And if Joe Biden needs to speak unity, there was unity there on that day, as a result of America is sick and uninterested in being pushed down.”

Info First: Dupree was fallacious to counsel the assault on the Capitol was performed a united hodgepodge of political activists from left-wing and right-wing actions. In actuality, the rebellion was overwhelmingly perpetrated supporters of Donald Trump.

We all know this from movies taken on the day of the assault, social media postings contributors within the assault, and courtroom paperwork filed the FBI afterward. The FBI has stated that there’s no indication that Antifa members disguised themselves as Trump supporters that day.

We will’t communicate definitively concerning the political positions of each single one who was concerned within the mob, and the ideology of some alleged contributors could be laborious to pinpoint. (Certainly one of them, who has a singular political historical past, had beforehand used the hashtags #antifa and #blm on social media, although he has denied truly being a part of the Antifa motion.) However it’s abundantly clear that the overwhelming majority have been Trump supporters.

Church buildings in California

Utah Sen. Mike Lee and Oklahoma Sen. James Lankford criticized California for its coronavirus restrictions.

“The individuals of California are recalling their governor as a result of they’ve had sufficient of those stringent closures. They’ve had sufficient of the encroachment upon their rights, and sufficient of the federal government telling them that they’ll get pleasure from a five-star meal at ‘French Laundry’ with their governor however they’ll’t go to church,” Lee stated.

Lankford later echoed Lee’s insinuation of California’s hypocrisy, stating that California is a spot “the place you possibly can go to swanky eating places however to not church.”

Info First: This wants context.

Presently, California residents can go to locations of worship which select to open, although indoor capability is proscribed. The state did initially ban indoor church providers in counties thought of at widespread threat of coronavirus transmission however after the US Supreme Court docket dominated partially in favor of the church buildings on February 5, California needed to revise its tips. In line with the newest steering, locations of worship should restrict indoor attendance to 25% of capability. The state’s Covid-19 web site additionally notes that church capability could be expanded to 50% of constructing capability primarily based on the tier of coronavirus risk the state is experiencing. Singing and chanting is allowed if performers put on masks and keep distance.

Lee and Lankford’s argument for hypocrisy references California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s attendance at an occasion with a dozen individuals at Michelin-starred restaurant The French Laundry, for which he was extensively criticized. In line with photographs obtained Fox 11 in Los Angeles, Newsom and the opposite company have been sitting on the restaurant’s outside patio however none of them have been sporting a masks regardless of being in shut proximity.

Newsom apologized for his habits and the choice to dine out on the restaurant when he introduced new coronavirus restrictions later that month, transferring all counties to the strictest tier. Newsom’s habits at The French Laundry would have violated the steering for face coverings included within the new restrictions. Underneath the new tips, diners might solely take away their masks if they’re “actively consuming or ingesting” and are at the very least six toes away from anybody not of their family.

Biden’s feedback on China and the Uyghurs

Rob Starbuck, who’s working for Congress in Tennessee, castigated Biden for feedback he claimed Biden made throughout a CNN city corridor earlier this month.

“They did one thing that I — I no means thought CNN would do, however they requested him concerning the Uyghurs in China who’re being raped, tortured, and youngsters are being kidnapped, compelled to reward China as their mom and to reward communism as their savior. They requested Joe Biden about it, and he stated it amounted to a mere cultural distinction,” Starbuck stated.

Starbuck added, “I don’t suppose that extra disgusting phrases have ever left the lips of an American president.”

Info First: Starbuck misleadingly described what Biden stated. Biden did seek advice from cultural variations throughout this part of the city corridor, however he didn’t dismiss China’s persecution of the Uyghurs as a “mere cultural distinction.” The truth is, he stated moments previous to his comment about cultural variations that it is vital for a US president to talk out towards China’s therapy of the Uyghurs and different human rights abuses.

Right here’s what truly occurred.

When Anderson Cooper requested, “What concerning the Uyghurs? What concerning the human rights abuses in China?” Biden responded, “We should communicate up for human rights. It’s who we’re.” Biden stated he identified to Chinese language President Xi Jinping on their February cellphone name that “no American president could be sustained as a president if he doesn’t replicate the values of the US. And so the concept I’m not going to talk out towards what he’s doing in Hong Kong, what he’s doing with the Uyghurs in western mountains of China …”

Biden quickly continued, “And the — he stated he — he will get it. Culturally, there are totally different norms that every nation they usually — their leaders — are anticipated to comply with.”

Biden’s feedback have been a bit muddled. In context, although, he gave the impression to be saying that Xi understands that, given the totally different cultural norms for every nation’s chief, there’s a cultural norm for an American president to talk out on human rights points. And provided that Biden had simply stated that “we should communicate up for human rights” and communicate out towards “what he’s doing with the Uyghurs,” Starbuck’s account of Biden’s response to Cooper not noted important data.

Deceptive descriptions of Biden’s comment have circulated extensively amongst conservatives on social media.

The Muppets and the left

Mocking the left, Donald Trump Jr. stated, “This month alone, they’ve banned The Muppets. After which if there’s belongings you thought have been kind of above cancellation, you’d be fallacious. There may be nothing the unconventional left gained’t cancel.”

Info First: Trump Jr. was fallacious; The Muppets haven’t been banned. The truth is, the Disney+ streaming service simply this month began to supply “The Muppet Present,” which initially aired from 1976 to 1981. Trump Jr. might need been referring to the truth that Disney+ added a content material disclaimer initially of 18 episodes and isn’t airing two different episodes — however neither of those strikes could be pretty described as a ban on The Muppets.

The content material warning says that the episodes embrace “unfavorable depictions and/or mistreatment of individuals or cultures,” and “these stereotypes have been fallacious then and are fallacious now,” the Los Angeles Occasions reported. The discover goes on to say: “Somewhat than take away this content material, we need to acknowledge its dangerous impression, study from it and spark conversations to create a extra inclusive future collectively.”

The Occasions reported that “every episode bears the 12-second disclaimer for a special cause, from (Johnny) Money’s look singing in entrance of a Accomplice flag to unfavorable depictions of Native Individuals, Center Easterners and folks from different cultures.”

The Occasions reported that two episodes from the ultimate season of the present have been left off Disney+ altogether, whereas Leisure Weekly famous that assorted different songs and sketches have been omitted. It isn’t clear that any of those omissions have been associated to culturally delicate content material; Leisure Weekly famous that one of many two episodes starred somebody who was later convicted of possessing little one pornography, whereas different omissions might need been associated to challenges securing music rights.

Voting around the globe

Throughout a panel on defending elections, Republican lawyer Jesse Binnall, who tried to overturn the election ends in Nevada on behalf of the Trump marketing campaign, claimed, “The remainder of the world virtually completely does voting in individual due to the alternatives for fraud in mail-in voting.”

Info First: Binnall is fallacious concerning the voting habits of different international locations.

Roughly 1/four of nations use mail-in voting, in accordance with the Pew Analysis Middle. A survey of specialists the Electoral Integrity Challenge, run researchers at Harvard College and Sydney College, discovered that of the 166 international locations for which information was obtainable, 40 used postal ballots even earlier than the Covid-19 pandemic.

In line with the Electoral Integrity Challenge evaluation, postal ballots have been most generally utilized in North America and Europe. Round 1/three of European international locations have some type of mail-in voting, primarily based on an October 2020 report issued the Worldwide Institute for Democracy and Electoral Help, an intergovernmental group aimed toward advancing democracy worldwide.

CNN has additionally repeatedly fact-checked earlier false claims about mail-in voting and fraud. In the US, proof of mail poll fraud is exceedingly uncommon. Whereas there are some vulnerabilities, states have programs and processes in place to forestall forgery, theft and voter fraud.

El Paso

On Saturday, in arguing that border partitions work, Texas Legal professional Normal Ken Paxton repeated the declare — beforehand touted Trump — that the crime price in El Paso shrank due to a border wall.

“We’ve a border wall, partly alongside the place El Paso is,” Paxton claimed, “earlier than that occurred, El Paso was one of many highest crime cities in America. Once they put that up it truly made them one of many extra secure cities. So we all know they work.”

Info First: The violent crime price in El Paso started to fall years earlier than the border wall within the space was constructed.

CNN regarded into this declare when Trump made it in his 2019 State of the Union deal with. Right here’s what we discovered:

In line with an evaluation of FBI crimes information and metropolis regulation enforcement information analyzed the El Paso Occasions, violent crime in El Paso peaked in 1993. Border fence building didn’t start till 2008, and was accomplished in 2009.

Violent crime in El Paso fell 34% between 1993 and 2006. And in accordance with the El Paso Occasions, from 2006 to 2011, violent crime in El Paso truly elevated 17 %.

Immigrants and courtroom hearings

Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar stated that 99 % of undocumented immigrants don’t attend courtroom proceedings after they’re launched from US custody.

“(T)hey’re releasing 50 undocumented aliens into the streets and hoping they’ll come again for his or her courtroom appearances,” Gosar stated. “however over 99% of them don’t try this.”

This, once more, is one thing Trump has claimed earlier than, extra not too long ago within the presidential debate with Joe Biden in October. CNN reality checked the declare then as properly.

Info First: That is false. Most immigrants do attend their scheduled hearings in immigration courtroom.

In line with the newest statistics from the Justice Division, 25% of immigration circumstances have been determined in absentia in fiscal yr 2018 — which means immigrants confirmed up for 75% of the circumstances determined that yr.

California voter registration

California Rep. Devin Nunes instructed CPAC attendees on Saturday that his dwelling state registers individuals to vote on the DMV even when they don’t need to be registered.

“Whenever you go into the Division of Motor Automobiles, you’re gonna register to vote. Even for those who don’t need to register to vote, they register you to vote,” Nunes stated. “And the primary little sport they performed is for those who walked in and stated ‘no I don’t need to be registered to vote,’ then they’d say ‘okay’ they usually’d not solely register you to vote, however they’d made you a everlasting absentee so then the poll was being mailed on to your property.”

Info First: That is false. California residents are mechanically registered to vote when filling out sure types on the DMV, however are allowed to decide out in the event that they so select.

In line with the California Secretary of State’s web site, “eligible candidates finishing a driver license, identification (ID) card or change of deal with transaction on-line, mail or in individual on the DMV shall be mechanically registered to vote the California Secretary of State, except they select to decide out of automated voter registration.”

In line with Myrna Pérez, director of the Voting Rights and Elections Program on the Brennan Middle for Justice, “these claims are false” and symbolize “actually an anti-voter angle to make issues as laborious as potential for individuals to vote.”

Texas inexperienced vitality

Throughout a panel on vitality coverage, moderator Tudor Dixon stated that wind and photo voltaic usually are not dependable sources of vitality, citing the Texas vitality disaster earlier this month.

“And wind and photo voltaic, as nice as they could be, they don’t seem to be dependable,” Dixon stated. “You want that fixed dependable supply of coal and pure gasoline that needs to be there. However that’s not there when you have wind and photo voltaic, which is what we noticed in Texas.”

Info First: That is incorrect. Whereas all sources of energy did not some extent in Texas, the majority of outages have been because of fossil gasoline sources going offline, largely because of the lack of winterization within the state’s vitality infrastructure.

In line with the Electrical Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the state’s energy grid, a lot of the energy outages have been because of losses in coal, pure gasoline and nuclear vitality.

Although frozen wind generators have been a contributing issue, wind shutdowns accounted for lower than 13% of the outages in Texas, Dan Woodfin, senior director of system operations for ERCOT, instructed Bloomberg.

Wind accounted for 18% of the electrical energy generated in Texas in 2019, in accordance with the US Power Data Administration.

Wind generators could be outfitted with totally different units that warmth and de-ice elements of the turbine together with different measures like waterproof coatings to assist hold them operational in extreme chilly. Some wind generators can perform in -22 levels Fahrenheit.

Texas was warned that chilly climate snaps may considerably have an effect on the state’s vitality infrastructure and suggestions have been made the federal authorities to put in preventative measures to guard Texas’s vitality infrastructure from future excessive winter storms.

You’ll be able to learn extra on the Texas vitality blame-game right here.

Legal justice reform

Throughout a panel on legal justice, former North Carolina Rep. Mark Walker — who’s a candidate to fill the state’s US Senate seat after Sen. Richard Burr retires in 2023 — stated that Democrats have not too long ago began supporting legal justice reform.

“The left, they’re lastly getting on board with legal justice reform,” Walker stated. Once more, Trump has made related claims, touting the First Step Act invoice he signed into regulation whereas claiming that President Barack Obama no means tried such reform.

Info First: Walker’s assertion is incorrect. President Barack Obama tried to get legal justice reform handed throughout his second time period in workplace, however a bipartisan invoice failed within the Senate through the 2016 presidential election, when Senate Majority Chief Mitch McConnell determined to not convey it up for a vote.

The Obama administration took reform steps that didn’t require Republican approval, corresponding to banning using solitary confinement for juveniles in federal prisons, working with state and native governments to cut back pre-trial incarceration and the incarceration of individuals with psychological diseases, and instructing federal prosecutors to attempt to keep away from triggering necessary minimal sentences for sure non-violent drug offenders.

Trump signed a big legal justice reform invoice — the First Step Act — in December 2018. The invoice was a bipartisan effort, passing within the Senate 87-12 and the Home 358-36. No matter this success, it’s incorrect to counsel that Democrats are solely now warming as much as the concepts of legal justice reform.





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