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

The Washington Post gave Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerTim Scott to deliver GOP response to Biden's speech to Congress The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Facebook - Chauvin conviction puts renewed focus on police reform New signs of progress emerge on police reform MORE (D-N.J.) four "Pinocchios" after he said during this week's Democratic presidential debate that President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump: LeBron James's 'racist rants' are divisive, nasty North Carolina man accused of fraudulently obtaining .5M in PPP loans Biden announces picks to lead oceans, lands agencies 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 ClintonFrench-American Foundation selects new president with fundraising background Pelosi on power in DC: 'You have to seize it' Cuba readies for life without Castro 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.