'There is no basis': Fact-checker dismantles Rep. Kevin McCarthy's 7-minute flurry of false claims

'There is no basis': Fact-checker dismantles Rep. Kevin McCarthy's 7-minute flurry of false claims
Rep. Kevin McCarthy, image via Screengrab.

Fact-checkers immediately pushed back against House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) after the GOP leader shared a flurry of misinformation during a recent interview.

Following the top ranking Republican lawmaker's Fox News appearance on Sunday, August 22, CNN fact-checker Daniel Dale quickly highlighted where he went wrong. In a matter of just 7 minutes, McCarthy reportedly shared 5 false claims.

1. The lawmaker's first false claim focused on rising oil costs. Attempting to compare the Biden presidency to that of former Presideny Jimmy Carter's tenure, McCarthy claimed "that oil prices are now 'the highest that we have seen."

Dale made it clear that McCarthy "was wrong."

"Oil prices under Biden are not even close to the highest we have ever seen," Dale noted. "Crude prices peaked in 2008 under Republican President George W. Bush -- more than double their level at the time McCarthy's interview aired Sunday. Crude prices were also higher at various points under Republican President Donald Trump than they were on Sunday."

2. McCarthy went to discuss today's inflation rate claiming the country's "inflation at a number we have not seen" as he described Biden's presidency, as "Jimmy Carter on steroids."

In response to that claim, Dale pushed back with solid figures on inflation:

"While inflation was at a 13-year high in June and July, at a seasonally adjusted 5.3% on a year-over-year basis," he wrote, "it is not even close to the highest we have ever seen and not even close to the level of the late Carter era, Inflation was more than twice as high in every month of 1980 than it was in June and July of this year; its 1980 peak was 14.6%."

McCarthy also shared a number if false claims about Afghan prisoners, Democratic state legislators, and voting ID laws.

3. His third false claim centered around Afghan prisoners. McCarthy made remarks about Congressional Democrats, asking, "why aren't they protecting the border from those 5,000 prisoners who have just left Afghanistan and -- have the hope of coming across our borders?"

Dale had an answer for that question. "There is no basis for McCarthy's claim that 5,000 former prisoners have 'just left Afghanistan' with the hope of coming to the US," he wrote.

"McCarthy neglected to mention that it was President Donald Trump's own 2020 deal with the Taliban -- a deal McCarthy had positive words about at the time -- in which the US agreed to let up to 5,000 Afghan prisoners go free," he added.

4. McCarthy made false claims about Congressional Democrats in Texas. When Fox News' Maria Bartiromo asked McCarthy about the country's election systems, he said, "we have watched state after state where Democrats have left the state. That is where the real difficulty lies. But now we have got them back into Texas."

Dale explained the problem with McCarthy's remarks. He wrote, "It's not true that Democrats have left 'state after state' to prevent Republicans from passing changes to voting laws. Texas is the only state whose Democratic legislators left the state under Biden or Trump to deny Republicans the minimum attendance needed to pass elections legislation."

5. McCarthy also claimed the new Democrat-backed elections bill would lead to a ban on ID voting.

According to Dale, that is not the case. The fact-checker offered a brief overview on what the law will actually do.

"Specifically, the Democratic bill would not prohibit states from having voter identification laws and would not prohibit states from checking the IDs of in-person voters," Dale explained. "Rather, it would require states to give voters an alternative to showing the ID the states normally demand -- specifically, to allow voters who do not show that ID to instead submit signed statements under penalty of perjury attesting to their identity and eligibility to vote."

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