Home / World News / Fact-checking President Trump’s post-New Year’s tweets – The Denver Post

Fact-checking President Trump’s post-New Year’s tweets – The Denver Post

Back from holiday break, President Donald Trump tweeted on a variety of issues Jan. 2. Per his usual practices, some of his assertions were factually questionable. Here’s a quick tour through his tweets.

Trump was a fierce critic of the international agreement on limiting Iran’s nuclear ambition, led by the Obama administration, although he has not yet terminated American participation. But in commenting on the unrest in Iran, Trump goes too far to claim “all of the money” went to terrorism or to line politicians’ pockets.

Concurrent with the negotiations, the United States settled a dispute over undelivered weapons systems purchased by the deposed shah for $1.7 billion, most of which was accrued interest. That was delivered in cash, and the Congressional Research Service in a recent report says “most of the $1.7 billion” was used “to augment its 2017 defense budget, although it is not clear how much, if any, of these funds might have contributed to Iran’s regional activities versus other programs.”

The nuclear agreement also unlocked an estimated $115 billion of Iranian funds that were trapped overseas. But at least $60 billion was already owed to creditors.

Trump’s shorthand may be confusing to people, so here’s an explanation. He appears to be referring to a Daily Caller article about emails from Huma Abedin, a longtime aide to Hillary Clinton, that were found on the laptop of her then-husband, former representative Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y. The article, based on documents obtained by Judicial Watch, was headlined, “Abedin Forwarded State Passwords To Yahoo Before It Was Hacked By Foreign Agents.”

The gist of the article was that Abedin used a Yahoo email account to print out documents and emails that she had forwarded from her unclassified State Department email account. She had explained to the FBI that it was easier to do so than rely on the often-clunky State Department system. In 2013 and 2014, Yahoo accounts were hacked, including by a Russian intelligence agent. One email sent to Yahoo highlighted by the article was dated Aug. 24, 2009, and indicated that an aide sent Abedin a password for access to her computer, as well as a PIN for use of a key fob, which then generates a random password for secure access. Thus it was a two-step process.

Tom Fitton, president of Judicial Watch, said it is unknown whether the laptop or the passwords contained in the email are classified. But he said emails showed Clinton and her aides ignored numerous warnings about computer security. While Abedin transferred information from an unclassified account, investigators later redacted significant portions of the emails before public release after deciding the emails contained classified information. Few of the emails have classified markings, but then-FBI Director James Comey in 2016 said Clinton and aides such as Abedin had been “extremely careless” and should have known the emails should have been handled with more care.

Trump’s reference to “sailors pictures on submarine” refers to the case of Kristian Saucier, a Navy machinist’s mate who pleaded guilty to one count of unauthorized possession and retention of national defense information after taking photos with his cellphone of relatively low-classification spaces on a nuclear-powered submarine. Saucier was sentenced to a year in prison, and his family and supporters said he was being held to a higher standard than Clinton. When Trump wrote “jail!” he may have been referring to the prison time received by Saucier, not advocating jail for Abedin.

But he also said the “Deep State Justice Dept” must act, presumably urging either an investigation or prosecution. “Obviously the facts of that case are very disturbing, and I think the president wants to make clear that he doesn’t feel that anyone should be above the law in terms of any investigation,” White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders told reporters.

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