WaPo gives Booker four Pinocchios over debate comments on Trump's Michigan win

The Washington Post gave Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerDemocrats eye additional relief checks for coronavirus Lawmakers, labor leaders ramp up calls to use Defense Production Act Democratic senators call on FDA to drop restrictions on blood donations from men who have sex with men MORE (D-N.J.) four "Pinocchios" after he said during this week's Democratic presidential debate that President TrumpDonald John TrumpIllinois governor says state has gotten 10 percent of medical equipments it's requested Biden leads Trump by 6 points in national poll Tesla offers ventilators free of cost to hospitals, Musk says MORE won Michigan in 2016 because black voters in the state were suppressed by "everybody from Republicans to Russians."

“We lost the state of Michigan because everybody from Republicans to Russians were targeting the suppression of African American voters,” Booker said on Wednesday night during the second of two Democratic debates in Detroit.

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Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes over 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden's pick for vice president doesn't matter much GOP challenger seizes on outrage against Massie Juan Williams: Mueller, one year on MORE. It marked the first time a Republican had captured the state since 1988.

But the Post gave the comment a four-Pinocchio rating, the most given out by its fact-checker. 

The newspaper noted that though black turnout did decrease in Michigan, exit data has shown it could have been because levels came down from former President Obama's reelection in 2012.

"All things being equal, the loss of Michigan could be explained by weaker but expected black turnout and stronger but unexpected white turnout," the Post noted.

The Post also noted that "election experts say they see little or no evidence that the activities by the Russians and the Trump campaign actually swayed the election in Michigan."

The newspaper wrote that the Booker campaign had provided it with links about potential Russian and Republican activities, but it noted that "none demonstrated that the purported suppression activities delivered Michigan to Trump."

"Perhaps that’s an argument for a black candidate like Booker to be on the ticket, but he’s wrong to claim the Russians and the GOP were responsible for Clinton’s loss in Michigan. The burden of proof is on Booker, and he failed to back up his claim. He earns Four Pinocchios," the Post concluded.