Fact-checking Hillary Clinton as she returns to California

Hillary Clinton is set to speak Monday night at Mondavi Center at UC Davis as part of her book tour / Associated Press file photo
Hillary Clinton is set to speak Monday night at Mondavi Center at UC Davis as part of her book tour / Associated Press file photo

What Happened? It’s the question Hillary Clinton supporters have asked ever since the former Democratic presidential candidate lost the 2016 election, in stunning fashion, to now President Donald Trump.

It’s also the title of the memoir Clinton will discuss Monday night during a speech at the UC Davis Mondavi Center as part of her book tour.

UPDATE: If you missed the speech, it's available below.

This is Clinton’s last scheduled tour stop in California, a state she won in the general election by more than four million votes. She also won the state’s primary, defeating Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vermont, in a campaign that was closer than many expected.

The former Secretary of State was also in California for a speech late last week at Stanford University. She addressed an audience at the launch of the university’s new Global Digital Policy Incubator.

Clinton focused her remarks on Russia's interference in the 2016 election and called the hacking of a U.S. election by a foreign adversary "the darker side of technology," according to news reports.

With her return to California, we took a closer look at Clinton’s record on PolitiFact’s Truth-O-Meter -- which Clinton specifically referenced in her memoir.

Here’s what she said:

"The fact-checking organization PolitiFact, which found I told the truth more than any other presidential candidate in 2016 ..."

Naturally, PolitiFact checked out this statement and several others in a recent article examining Clinton’s book.

Here’s what it found:

"The truth is Clinton is right depending on how you calculate truth.

We fact-checked Clinton 196 times from the moment she announced her candidacy in the spring of 2015 through Election Day 2016.

Of those 196 fact-checks, 100 rated True or Mostly True. That means 51 percent of Clinton claims we fact-checked were basically accurate.

Of candidates we fact-checked at least 50 times, only one did better: Sen. Bernie Sanders. Nearly 52 percent of the claims we checked from Sanders rated True or Mostly True.

Clinton, however, does better if you only count True statements that we rated. There, it’s Clinton 19 percent, Sanders 11 percent, Sen. Marco Rubio 10 percent, and Sen. Ted Cruz 9 percent.

Last point, and it’s a big one: We don’t check every statement a politician makes. So any comparison is problematic."

PolitiFact fact-checked additional claims, from Clinton’s serious assertions about the election to zany one-liners.

Here’s a sample:

"I failed to win a majority of white women, although I did better with them than Obama did in 2012." PolitiFact said this was "technically accurate, there’s a bit of cherry-picking going on."

"The Women's March was the biggest single protest in American history." PolitiFact found this march topped the list.

"Research now shows that (hot sauce) boosts the immune system." PolitiFact suggested taking this one "with a grain of salt."

Clinton’s overall record on Truth-O-Meter

Overall, PolitiFact has rated nearly 300 of Clinton’s statements on its Truth-O-Meter, including the claims it rated during her most recent run for president. Altogether, she’s received 148 True or Mostly True ratings, meaning roughly 50 percent of the claims were accurate or basically accurate. Nearly a quarter of her claims were rated Half True; 10 percent were rated False and 2 percent were Pants On Fire, reserved for the most outlandish falsehoods.

We’ll monitor Clinton’s speech at UC Davis tonight. If you hear something you think we should fact-check, email us at politifactca@capradio.org or contact us on Twitter or Facebook.

On Tuesday at 9 a.m., Capital Public Radio’s Insight Host Beth Ruyak will discuss Clinton’s speech with veteran political analyst Ken Rudin.