Politifact Can't Give Hillary a 'Pantsuits on Fire' Ruling on E-Mail Lies

The liberal-media site Politifact had the option of calling out Hillary Clinton on the lies of her email scandal by using their catchy designation "Pants on Fire," but instead went with just “False.” Add to that the lame headline, "Fact-checking Hillary Clinton's claim that her email practices were 'allowed.'" But recently, they sounded like a Hillary Clinton campaign page when they assessed her attacking Trump: “Hillary Clinton faults Donald Trump for hoping for real estate crash that led to the Great Recession.”

I can almost guarantee that if it were Donald Trump they were fact checking, there would be a "Pants on Fire" next to his name. So Politifact, why not Clinton when she lies?

Politifact was incredibly slow to assess Clinton’s truthfulness on this issue, pleading too much was still unknown: "Since the news of Clinton's email came to light in 2015, she has argued that she 'complied with every rule' and that the practice was 'allowed.' We haven't yet put the issue on the Truth-O-Meter because there were too many unknowns."

They waited for an inspector general's report that blatantly states that "Clinton's exclusive use of personal email was, in fact, not allowed." Though Politifact neglected to put Clinton in their honorary liar section, they did a decent job refuting her claims that she was allowed to use her personal email on her personal server:

The gist of the problem is that Clinton never asked anyone if she could use her personal email setup. And the report seems to find that if she had asked, the policy was clear that such a request should have been rejected.

First of all, the State Department's policy as of 2005 (Clinton joined in 2009) is that all day-to-day operations are to be conducted on the official State Department information channel. Clinton never once used this State Department email system.

And if an employee needs to use a personal email for conducting official business, he or she has an "obligation" to consult with the chief information officer and the assistant secretary for diplomatic security. However, Clinton did neither.

They continued:

She also didn't consult the Bureau of Information Resource Management, which she was supposed to do if she needed to send sensitive but unclassified information over non-departmental channels. Many of her emails contain this kind of information.

Further, Clinton needed to show that her personal email had the proper security features to send sensitive but unclassified information. While Clinton has said her private server was secure, she did not formally demonstrate this to the State Department.

Trump can be reckless with facts, so it’s not surprising that Politifact has issued 152 rulings, and 29 of them (19 percent) were “Pants on Fire.” In addition, 24 (16 percent) were rated “Mostly False” and 63 (41 percent) were “False.” Add it up, and Politifact has ruled that Trump can’t even get to “Half True” 76 percent of the time. He’s been “True” or “Mostly True” just 8 percent of the time.

By contrast, Politifact has rated Hillary on 225 occasions, and chosen “True” or “Mostly True” on 49 percent of them, and “Half True” on another 21 percent. In all her evaluations, Hillary has three “Pants on Fire” rulings – one percent.

These e-mail claims really begged for the "Pants on Fire" section. Actually, they should give Clinton her own section -- "Pantsuits on Fire."

Politifact Fact-checking fact-checkers Hillary Clinton
Melissa Mullins's picture

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