News & Politics

Associated Press Botches Trump Debate Fact Check on Assad and the Islamic State, Then Botches It Again

The Associated Press (AP) botched a presidential debate “fact check” last night when it rated false Trump’s claim that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad and the Syrian army were fighting the Islamic State.

But after it was noted by some experts that recent AP reporting documented fighting between the Syrian regime and ISIS, the news organization backtracked on the “fact check” — but in fact made it worse.

The AP’s initial “fact check” flat out rated Trump’s claim false in a now-deleted tweet:


Then some experts on Twitter noted to the AP that its “fact check” directly contradicted some of the AP’s own recent reporting:

Even this month the Assad regime has been striking ISIS positions in their ongoing confrontation with the terror group around Deir ez Zor:

The Assad regime is also fighting against ISIS near Aleppo and several other locations around Syria:

This morning, that earlier tweet was removed and replaced by one claiming that it was only “partially true”:

The correction, however, didn’t improve the quality of the AP’s “fact check.” It actually made it worse.

Here is the determination by AP national security writer Robert Burns that’s Trump’s statement was only “partially true”:

A claim from the second presidential debate and how it stacks up with the facts:

DONALD TRUMP: “I don’t like Assad at all. But Assad is killing ISIS. Russia is killing ISIS.”

THE FACTS: Only partially true. Syria’s President Bashar Assad considers the Islamic State group to be among numerous “terrorist” groups that threaten his government. His overstretched military is mainly focused on combating Syrian opposition groups, some of which are supported by the United States. Assad does use air power against IS-held areas and his ground forces are engaged in fighting with the extremists in Deir el-Zour in the east.

Now according to the AP, the fact that the Assad regime is fighting both “Syrian opposition groups” and ISIS means that Trump’s statement, “Assad is killing ISIS,” is only partially true.


So far the AP hasn’t explained how the fact that Assad is fighting both “rebels” and ISIS in Syria renders Trump’s statement that “Assad is killing ISIS” partially true.

Some of the experts have chimed in to chide AP for its botched “fact check”:

Alas, the AP wasn’t the only one to make the same mistake:

While the following wasn’t directed at the AP’s botched fact check, it rightly raises the question about the quality and agendas driving much of the establishment media’s “fact checks”:

Expert more of this until Nov. 8th.