Snopes Coverage of the Final 2020 U.S. Presidential Debate

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U.S. President Donald Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden met in Nashville for the final debate of the election season, and Snopes fact checked it live.

  • Published 22 October 2020
Image via JIM WATSON,SAUL LOEB/AFP via Getty Images
Voting in the 2020 U.S. Election may be over, but the misinformation keeps on ticking. Never stop fact-checking. Follow our post-election coverage here.

The second and final 2020 U.S. presidential debate took place at Belmont University in Nashville, Tennessee. Reporters Dan Evon, Jessica Lee, and Bethania Palma, along with Assignments Editor Camille Knox, Operations Manager Lisa Wang, and Operations Editor Jordan Liles covered the debate. This was originally scheduled to be the third presidential debate, but the Oct. 15 debate that was slated to take place in Miami was canceled, prompting dueling town halls on different television networks by the two candidates.

We were also happy to welcome Connor Klentschy, who assisted the team. He is a student of Jevin D. West, Assistant Professor, DataLab, iSchool, University of Washington.

Our team will also be presenting new fact-check content in the days to come, just as we have been doing for more than 25 years. We encourage readers to sign up for our newsletter for our analysis, and to support our newsroom and fact-checking efforts by becoming a Snopes Member.

Please refresh this page throughout the debate. We will be adding our fact check content during and after the debate ends, with each new item loading in at the top, under this text.

Biden and Fracking

Trump on Windmills

The World’s Cleanest Air?

President Donald Trump said: “What I want is the cleanest, crystal clear water, the cleanest air…We have the best carbon emission numbers that we’ve had in 35 years.”

Trump and White Supremacists

Former Vice President Joe Biden said: “Abraham Lincoln over here is one of the most racist presidents we’ve had in modern history. He pours fuel on every single racist fire.”

Trump and Racism

President Donald Trump said: “I am the least racist person in this room.”

Institutional Racism in America

Former Vice President Joe Biden said: “The fact of the matter is, there is institutional racism in America.”

U.S. Has Been Unable to Reunite 545 Children with Parents?

Obama Administration Built Cages?

The Payroll Tax and Social Security

Former Vice President Joe Biden said: “If he continues his plan to withhold the tax on Social Security, Social Security will be bankrupt by 2023, with no way to make up for it. This is the guy who’s tried to cut Medicare.”

Biden and Fracking

President Donald Trump said: “Then [Biden] goes to Pennsylvania… and he says ‘oh, we’re gonna have fracking.'”

Spying on Trump Campaign?

President Donald Trump said: “I was put through a phony witch hunt for three years… It started before I even got elected. They spied on my campaign. No president should ever have to go through what I went through.”

Trump Said He’s “Smart” on Taxes

Former Vice President Joe Biden said: “You’re not paying your taxes or you’re paying taxes that are so low. (And you said) I only pay that little because I’m smart.”

Biden and Ukraine

Former Vice President Joe Biden said: “Nothing was unethical [with regard to Ukraine] … Not a single solitary thing was out of line.”

“No Collusion”?

Trump’s Taxes under Audit?

President Donald Trump said of releasing his taxes: “As soon as the audit is finished…”

Hunter Biden and $3.5 Million?

Trump Knew Coronavirus Was Serious?

Former Vice President Joe Biden said: “Think about what the President knew in January and didn’t tell the American people. He was told this was a serious virus that spread in the air and it was much worse than, much worse than the flu. He went on record and said to one of your colleagues… that in fact he knew how dangerous it was, but he didn’t want to tell us. He didn’t want to tell us because he didn’t want us to panic.”

Trump Called Fauci and Doctors “Idiots”?

Trump Said to Inject Bleach?

Former Vice President Joe Biden said: “[Trump] said ‘don’t worry, maybe inject bleach.’ He said he was kidding when he said that but a lot of people thought he was serious.”

Trump Praised China on Coronavirus?

Former Vice President Joe Biden said: “He said the President of China is being transparent. We owe him a debt of gratitude. We have to thank him.”

“Xenophobic”

President Donald Trump said: “Months later, [Biden] was saying I was xenophobic.”

Facts about Masks

Former Vice President Joe Biden said: “If we just wore these masks, the president’s own advisors have told him, we could save 100,000 lives.”

The First Question

  • Published 22 October 2020
Sources

“The Latest: 2nd presidential debate is officially canceled.”
  Associated Press. 9 October 2020.