By Lauren Carroll and Allison Graves
Donald Trump supporter Newt Gingrich says the elite media has “refused to tell the truth” about Hillary Clinton and the Clinton Foundation. As an example, Gingrich told Meet the Press host Chuck Todd on Sunday that every foreign gift received or foreign speech made by Hillary or Bill Clinton violates the Constitution.
“There’s a section in the Constitution called the Emoluments Clause that says no one, nor their spouse, can take money from foreigners,” Gingrich said. “She has to be guilty of 70 or 100 counts just on that one charge.”
This is a crusade Gingrich has been on for more than a year. But his claim rates Mostly False.
The Emoluments Clause talks about foreign governments, not foreigners, and doesn’t speak of spouses. It’s also no slam dunk Hillary Clinton has violated the law.
The Emoluments Clause was designed to prevent the U.S. government and its leaders from granting or receiving titles of nobility and to keep leaders free from external influence. The clause, found in Article 1, Section 9 of the Constitution, reads:
“No Title of Nobility shall be granted by the United States: And no Person holding any Office of Profit or Trust under them, shall, without the Consent of the Congress, accept of any present, Emolument, Office, or Title, of any kind whatever, from any King, Prince, or foreign State.”
The clause does ban U.S. government employees from accepting presents or emoluments (salary or compensation) from foreign governments, but it doesn’t say anything about spouses or “foreigners” generally, as Gingrich said in his claim.
In terms of gifts, the Clinton Foundation did accept millions of dollars in donations from foreign governments while Clinton was secretary of state. The money was to be used for charitable work. But there is no proven evidence that she, as a person holding office, personally solicited or received such gifts.
Hillary Clinton has never received a salary from the foundation, nor did she have an official role in the organization while she was secretary of state. (It does appear that some of her aides, at least, mixed department and foundation business.)
“Gingrich may think that giving money to the Clinton Foundation and giving money to then-Secretary Clinton are the same thing,” said University of Texas Law professor Stephen Vladeck. “Unfortunately for him, for purposes of federal regulations, statutes, and the Constitution, they’re formally—and, thus, legally—distinct.”
Whether Clinton violated the Emoluments Clause through her association with the Clinton Foundation is ambiguous because there are no specific instructions for how to handle foreign government donations to a charity that has ties to a State Department employee. The department’s own rules don’t address this scenario, either.
Dave Kopel, a constitutional law professor at the University of Denver and research director at the libertarian Independence Institute, said he believed the clause’s intentionally broad phrasing about gifts of “any kind whatever” would cover indirect gifts via the foundation.
But Gingrich argued it as a certainty, which it most certainly is not.
Trump: Obama ‘screamed’ at protester
Trump attacked President Barack Obama for yelling at a pro-Trump protester during the president’s rally for Hillary Clinton on Friday in Fayetteville, North Carolina.
“You have to go back and look and study and see what happened,” Trump said at a rally in Hershey, Pennsylvania, later that evening. “They never moved the camera and [Obama] spent so much time screaming at a protester, and frankly it was a disgrace.”
The truth is, however, it didn’t happen as Trump said. His claim rates Pants on Fire!
While Obama was campaigning for Clinton, rally-goers began to shout and boo at a Trump supporter in the crowd. Obama tried to calm the situation, repeatedly yelling at the crowd to “hold up,” “listen,” and “sit down and be quiet for a second.”
When the noise settled a bit, Obama defended the protester’s right to speak out.
“You’ve got an older gentleman who is supporting his candidate,” Obama said. “He’s not doing nothing. You don’t have to worry about him.”
Then Obama explained to the Clinton supporters why they should respect this man.
“This is what I mean about folks not being focused,” Obama said. “First of all, we live in a country that respects free speech. Second of all, it looks like maybe he might have served in our military and we ought to respect that. Third of all, he was elderly and we got to respect our elders. And fourth of all, don’t boo. Vote. Don’t boo. Vote.”
Obama doesn’t yell at the protester. In fact, most of his defense is directed at the Clinton supporters.
“I want you to pay attention because if we lose focus we could have problems,” Obama continued. “It’s part of what’s happened here during this election season. We just get stirred up for all kinds of reasons that are unnecessary.”
Clinton: Trump would increase taxes on single parents
Clinton hammered Trump’s tax plan Friday in Pittsburgh.
“He’s taking care of himself, he’s taking care of his family, he’s taking care of the super wealthy and corporations,” Clinton said, adding that under Trump, “51 percent of single parents would see their taxes go up.”
While Trump’s plan would cut taxes for many, single parents would not fare as well. Clinton’s claim rates True.
Among other things, Trump’s tax plan would collapse the seven federal income tax brackets into three (12 percent, 25 percent, and 33 percent). He would also raise the standard deduction (the amount everyone can deduct from taxable income) but repeal personal exemptions and head of household filing status.
But Trump’s proposal to increase the standard deduction wouldn’t be enough to offset the amount many single parents could have deducted with personal exemptions. For example, a single mother with one child can take a $9,350 standard deduction and two $4,050 exemptions, one for herself and one for her child in 2017 under the current system—or $17,450 in exemptions in total. Under Trump’s plan, she would be able to take just a $15,000 standard deduction. The end result? That mother would have to pay income tax on an additional $2,450 under Trump’s plan.
Also, head of household filing status currently applies to unmarried filers with dependents, and provides them a standard deduction and income tax rates between married filers and single filers. Repealing this provision as Trump proposes would require single parents to file as individuals with higher tax rates.
Lastly, Trump would eliminate the current lowest tax bracket of 10 percent and replace it with a 12 percent tax bracket.
Put it altogether, 51 percent of single parents or about 5.8 million households would see a tax increase under Trump’s plan, according to an analysis by New York University professor Lily Batchelder.
For example, a single parent with an income of $75,000 and two school-age children would see his or her taxes increase by $2,440 or by $1,640 if the family had child care costs that could be deducted under Trump’s plan, according to Batchelder. Similarly, a single parent making $50,000 and had three children would face an increase of $1,188.
Linda Qiu contributed to this report. Read the full fact-checks at PunditFact.com.