From classified emails to the war on Iraq: Here are the biggest lies from the United States Presidential election campaign

By Gavin Fernando

With less than a week to go until the US election, a lack of trust in either of the two candidates remains a key issue for voters.

Mistrust of Hillary Clinton has been a recurring issue, and the FBI's latest probe into her emails has only helped to solidify this perception.

Last year, Quinnipiac University in Connecticut polled voters on the first word that came to mind when they heard Hillary Clinton's name.

Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton listens to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the second presidential debate. Photo / AP
Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton listens to Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump during the second presidential debate. Photo / AP

The most frequently mentioned term was 'liar', followed by 'dishonest' and 'untrustworthy'.

Judging by the latest polls, this concern could hurt Clinton's standing as we edge closer to the election.

A week ago, Donald Trump was behind Clinton by 12 points in the ABC/Washington Post poll. Yesterday, he was trailing by just two points.

But Trump meanwhile is a fact-checker's dream come true - he's known for frequent embellishment, outrageously false claims in public speeches and routinely contradicting himself.

Here's a look back at some of the biggest fibs told over the course of the election campaign.

CLINTON AND THE EMAIL CONTROVERSY

The controversy over Hillary Clinton's classified emails is one of the key issues associated with her untrustworthy reputation.

When she became Secretary of State in 2009, Clinton set up a private server for her emails instead of using the official government system.

When an investigation was carried out, Clinton claimed no email she sent or received through the server had been classified.

The FBI investigation later concluded this was not true, accusing Clinton and her aides of being "extremely careless in their handling of very sensitive, highly classified information".

Clinton never fully tackled this issue head-on, despite being given ample opportunity to do so.

While she admits she made a "mistake", she never issued an adequate justification for it.

She could have said she felt it was more reliable and efficient to use a personal email server, and that she ultimately let her desire for convenience override her judgment.

During a May 26 interview with ABC reporter Liz Kreutz, Clinton said "it was allowed" and that the rules had been clarified only in the aftermath.

While it's technically true that no one explicitly told her it was forbidden, it wasn't necessarily permitted either.

The State Department's independent watchdog concluded that she had failed to seek legal approval for her use of the private server, and said she would not have been given permission to do so had she asked.

The email controversy has not helped Hillary Clinton's untrustworthy reputation. Photo / AP
The email controversy has not helped Hillary Clinton's untrustworthy reputation. Photo / AP

CLINTON AND THE CLASSIFIED EMAILS

Speaking on Meet The Press in July, Clinton was asked to explain why she did not believe she had violated the law in the handling of classified information.

In response, Clinton claimed she "never received nor sent any material that was marked classified" on her private email server.

Subsequent investigations by the FBI determined that this was false. It was found that 110 emails of the 30,000 were classified at the time.

Across the 52 email chains containing classified information, eight chains contained top secret information, 36 chains contained secret information (the second-highest level of classification), and the remaining eight confidential information (the lowest level).

The FBI has amounted this to "extreme carelessness" rather than a deliberate or malicious act, but her statements in the aftermath were still false.

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CLINTON'S 'IMMIGRANT GRANDPARENTS' CLAIM

Speaking at a business roundtable in Iowa last year, Clinton claimed all her grandparents had immigrated to the United States.

"I think if we were to just go around this room, there are a lot of immigrant stories," she said. "All my grandparents, you know, came over here, and you know my grandfather went to work in a lace mill in Scranton, Pa., and worked there until he retired at 65. He started there when he was a teenager and just kept going. So I sit here and I think well you're talking about the second, third generation. That's me, that's you."

At a roundtable last year, Hillary Clinton wrongfully claimed all her grandparents were immigrants. Photo / AP
At a roundtable last year, Hillary Clinton wrongfully claimed all her grandparents were immigrants. Photo / AP

But a Buzzfeed analysis of Clinton's census and military records on Ancestry.com revealed this was not truthful; only her paternal grandfather was an immigrant.

A spokesperson later told Buzzfeed: "(Clinton's) grandparents always spoke about the immigrant experience and, as a result she has always thought of them as immigrants.

"As has been correctly pointed out, while her grandfather was an immigrant, it appears that Hillary's grandmother was born shortly after her parents and siblings arrived in the U.S. in the early 1880s."

THE CLINTON HEALTH CONSPIRACY

Perhaps the biggest "viral conspiracy" of the election campaign is that of Clinton's health.

The rumours date back to 2012, when Clinton suffered a concussion and was prescribed blood thinners to dissolve a blood clot that subsequently developed behind her right ear.

This eventually inspired rumours of brain damage that continue to make the rounds, largely in the form of bloggers' videos.

The rumours reached a peak after Clinton was filmed fainting and stumbling into a vehicle after leaving a 9/11 memorial. Her team initially said she was "overheated" but it later announced she had been suffering from pneumonia.

Donald Trump has played up the rumours about Clinton's health, asserting that she lacks the "physical and mental stamina" for the top job.

But physicians for both presidential candidates have confirmed they are healthy enough to run for office.

"(Clinton) is in excellent physical condition and fit to serve as president of the United States," wrote Dr. Lisa Bardack.

There is no other concrete evidence to suggest she may lack the physical stamina for president.

TRUMP SAYS OBAMA 'FOUNDED ISIS'

One of Donald Trump's more outrageous repeated political claims is that Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama are the "founders of ISIS".

At a rally in Broward County earlier this year, he said it six times in succession.

"ISIS is honoring President Obama," he said. "He is the founder of ISIS. He is the founder of ISIS, okay? He is the founder. He founded ISIS. And I would say the cofounder would be crooked Hillary Clinton."

Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed Barack Obama is the "founder of ISIS". Photo / AP
Donald Trump has repeatedly claimed Barack Obama is the "founder of ISIS". Photo / AP

While the terror group's foundations are obviously far more complex than this, the terror group's establishment pre-dates Obama's presidency by a number of years.

The rise of IS dates back to 2004, when the Islamic State of Iraq was established.

While Clinton's vote for President Bush's decision to invade Iraq contributed to circumstances that led to the terror group's eventual establishment, there were a variety of other factors at play.

Not to mention, the vast majority of senators - both Democrat and Republican - voted the same way.

Ultimately, it's a gross mischaracterisation to state that Obama and Clinton literally "founded ISIS".

TRUMP CLAIMING HE OPPOSED WAR ON IRAQ

Time and time again, Donald Trump has made it clear that he opposed the US invasion of Iraq from the beginning.

He's frequently used this line to compare himself favourably to Hillary Clinton, who was among the vast majority of senators who voted in favour of invading the country.

But a Howard Stern interview Trump gave in 2002, on the first anniversary of September 11, disproves this constant statement.

Donald Trump was not initially as opposed to the war on Iraq as he now claims. Photo / AP
Donald Trump was not initially as opposed to the war on Iraq as he now claims. Photo / AP

When asked directly if he was for invading Iraq, Trump said: "Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time it was done correctly."

He didn't begin to actively oppose the invasion until April 2004, when, in another interview with Howard Stern, he said "Iraq is a terrible mistake".

TRUMP ON THE ELECTION BEING "RIGGED"

In the lead-up to the election, Trump has repeatedly lashed out at the media for publishing "fabricated" sexual assault allegations.

In a mid-October tweet, he went as far as saying there is "large scale voter fraud happening on and before election day" against him.



There is no solid evidence of large-scale voter fraud being committed. As Politifact points out, actual instances of voter fraud - such as voter impersonation, bought votes and ballot stuffing - are extremely rare and typically unintentional.

That said, Trump's Twitter is notoriously known as a free-for-all playground.

- news.com.au

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