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[:en]Reality checking CPAC: audio system make false claims in regards to the election, the Capitol assault, immigration, COVID, and The Muppets[:]



The U.S. Conservative Political Motion Convention started Friday and continued Saturday with a collection of false claims in regards to the 2020 election and plenty of different topics.

The CPAC schedule made clear in advance that the convention — going down in Orlando as a substitute of its standard residence simply exterior Washington, DC — would function election-related mendacity.

Over three days, the CPAC agenda consists of seven separate panels or speeches beneath the title of “defending elections” — plus appearances by different outstanding figures, together with former President Donald Trump himself, who’ve falsely insisted that the election was stolen.

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

Here’s a truth examine of a few of the statements CPAC audio system made on Friday and Saturday:


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

The phase was titled “YOUR VOTES CANCELED.” Amongst different issues, it prompt there was one thing nefarious about the truth that Joe Biden gained floor late on election night time in vote-counting in swing states — exhibiting one commentator saying this was “statistically unimaginable,” 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.

Information First: That is nonsense, as CNN and plenty of others have repeatedly explained since November. Biden gained floor within the vote rely in some states as respectable 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 example, 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 rely than smaller communities.

Biden didn’t achieve floor late at night time 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 ground because the counting proceeded previous Election Day, although he nonetheless ended up dropping.


T.W. Shannon, a former Republican state legislator in Oklahoma, stated that mobs happen “when folks 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 explanation that individuals stormed the Capitol was as a result of they felt hopeless due to a rigged election.”

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

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


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

Information First: Murdock’s suggestion that poll drop bins have been insecure is fake; there is no sign that these drop bins have been used fraudulently within the 2020 election. The bins have been secured in various ways: 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 by Republicans made use of ballot drop boxes.

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


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

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

We all know this from movies taken on the day of the assault, social media postings by members within the assault, and courtroom paperwork filed by the FBI afterward.

The FBI has stated that there’s no indication that Antifa members disguised themselves as Trump supporters that day.

We won’t converse definitively in regards to the political positions of each single one who was concerned within the mob, and the ideology of some alleged members could be laborious to pinpoint. (One in every of them, who has a novel political historical past, had previously 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.


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

“The folks 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 will take pleasure in a five-star meal at ‘French Laundry’ with their governor however they cannot 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.”

Information First: This wants context.

Presently, California residents can go to locations of worship which select to open, although indoor capability is restricted. The state did initially ban indoor church providers in counties thought-about at widespread threat of coronavirus transmission however after the US Supreme Court docket ruled 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 per cent of capability.

The state’s COVID-19 website additionally notes that church capability could be expanded to 50 per cent 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 folks at Michelin-starred restaurant The French Laundry, for which he was broadly criticized. In line with photographs obtained by Fox 11 in Los Angeles, Newsom and the opposite friends 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 guidelines, diners might solely take away their masks if they’re “actively consuming or ingesting” and are no less than six toes away from anybody not of their family.


Robby Starbuck, who’s running 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 by no means thought CNN would do, however they requested him in regards to 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 do not suppose that extra disgusting phrases have ever left the lips of an American president.”

Information First: Starbuck misleadingly described what Biden said. Biden did confer with 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.” In actual fact, he stated moments previous to his comment about cultural variations that it will be important for a US president to talk out towards China’s remedy of the Uyghurs and different human rights abuses.

This is what truly occurred.

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

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

Biden’s feedback have been a bit muddled. In context, although, he appeared 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 on condition that Biden had simply stated that “we should converse up for human rights” and converse out towards “what he is doing with the Uyghurs,” Starbuck’s account of Biden’s response to Cooper disregarded important data.

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


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 type of above cancellation, you’ll be incorrect. There’s nothing the unconventional left will not cancel.”

Information First: Trump Jr. was incorrect; The Muppets haven’t been banned. In actual fact, the Disney+ streaming service simply this month began to supply “The Muppet Present,” which initially aired from 1976 to 1981. Trump Jr. may need been referring to the truth that Disney+ added a content disclaimer in the beginning 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 embody “adverse depictions and/or mistreatment of individuals or cultures,” and “these stereotypes have been incorrect then and are incorrect now,” the Los Angeles Occasions reported.

The discover goes on to say: “Relatively than take away this content material, we wish to acknowledge its dangerous affect, be taught 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 motive, from (Johnny) Money’s look singing in entrance of a Accomplice flag to adverse depictions of Native People, 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 noted that assorted different songs and sketches have been omitted.

It’s not clear that any of those omissions have been associated to culturally delicate content material; Leisure Weekly noted that one of many two episodes starred somebody who was later convicted of possessing baby pornography, whereas different omissions may need been associated to challenges securing music rights.


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.”

Information First: Binnall is incorrect in regards to the voting habits of different international locations.

Roughly 1/4 of nations use mail-in voting, in keeping with the Pew Research Center. A survey of experts by the Electoral Integrity Project, run by researchers at Harvard College and Sydney College, discovered that of the 166 international locations for which knowledge was accessible, 40 used postal ballots even earlier than the Covid-19 pandemic.

In line with the Electoral Integrity Undertaking evaluation, postal ballots have been most generally utilized in North America and Europe. Round 1/3 of European international locations have some type of mail-in voting, primarily based on an October 2020 report issued by the International Institute for Democracy and Electoral Assistance, 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 rare. Whereas there are some vulnerabilities, states have systems and processes in place to forestall forgery, theft and voter fraud.


On Saturday, in arguing that border partitions work, Texas Legal professional Common Ken Paxton repeated the declare — beforehand touted by Trump — that the crime charge 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. After they put that up it truly made them one of many extra secure cities. So we all know they work.”

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

CNN appeared into this declare when Trump made it in his 2019 State of the Union tackle. This is what we found:

In line with an evaluation of FBI crimes knowledge and metropolis regulation enforcement knowledge analyzed by the El Paso Times, violent crime in El Paso peaked in 1993. Border fence building did not start till 2008, and was accomplished in 2009.

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


Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar stated that 99 % of undocumented immigrants do not attend courtroom proceedings after they’re launched from U.S. custody.

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

This, once more, is one thing Trump has claimed earlier than, extra just lately within the presidential debate with Joe Biden in October. CNN fact checked the claim then as properly.

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

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


California Rep. Devin Nunes advised CPAC attendees on Saturday that his residence state registers folks to vote on the DMV even when they do not wish to be registered.

“If you go into the Division of Motor Automobiles, you are gonna register to vote. Even should you do not wish to register to vote, they register you to vote,” Nunes stated. “And the primary little sport they performed is should you walked in and stated ‘no I do not wish 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 house.”

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

In line with the California Secretary of State’s website, “eligible candidates finishing a driver license, identification (ID) card or change of tackle transaction on-line, by mail or in individual on the DMV shall be mechanically registered to vote by the California Secretary of State, except they select to choose out of computerized 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 signify “actually an anti-voter angle to make issues as laborious as potential for folks to vote.”


Throughout a panel on power coverage, moderator Tudor Dixon stated that wind and photo voltaic aren’t dependable sources of power, citing the Texas power disaster earlier this month.

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

Information First: That is incorrect. Whereas all sources of energy didn’t some extent in Texas, the majority of outages have been attributable to fossil gas sources going offline, largely as a result of lack of winterization within the state’s power infrastructure.

In line with the Electrical Reliability Council of Texas (ERCOT), which manages the state’s energy grid, many of the energy outages have been attributable to losses in coal, pure fuel and nuclear power.

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

Wind accounted for 18 per cent of the electrical energy generated in Texas in 2019, in keeping with the US Vitality Info Administration.

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

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

You may learn extra on the Texas power blame-game here.


Throughout a panel on prison 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 just lately began supporting prison justice reform.

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

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

The Obama administration took reform steps that didn’t require Republican approval, similar 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 obligatory minimal sentences for sure non-violent drug offenders.

Trump signed a big prison 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 prison justice reform.

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