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

The Washington Post gave Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBiden says he won't legalize marijuana because it may be a 'gateway drug' New poll catapults Buttigieg to frontrunner position in Iowa Deval Patrick: a short runway, but potential to get airborne MORE (D-N.J.) four "Pinocchios" after he said during this week's Democratic presidential debate that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump reversed course on flavored e-cigarette ban over fear of job losses: report Trump to award National Medal of Arts to actor Jon Voight Sondland notified Trump officials of investigation push ahead of Ukraine call: report 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.

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump won Michigan by 10,704 votes over 2016 Democratic nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonImpeachment hearings don't move needle with Senate GOP GOP divided over impeachment trial strategy 'Too Far Left' hashtag trends on Twitter 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.