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FACT CHECK: The First Night Of The Republican National Convention

U.S. Marine Corps veterans John Tiegen (left) and Mark Geist deliver a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention on Monday.
Joe Raedle
Getty Images
U.S. Marine Corps veterans John Tiegen (left) and Mark Geist deliver a speech on the first day of the Republican National Convention on Monday.

National security was front and center during the Republican National Convention's first night of programming.

Speaker after speaker bashed President Obama and his former secretary of state, Hillary Clinton, for the Obama administration's approach to fighting ISIS, immigration policies, and the 2012 attacks on diplomatic compounds in Benghazi, Libya.

Here are the facts and context behind several high-profile claims in Monday's speeches.

The ISIS Terrorism Threat

"According to the FBI, ISIS is present in all 50 states. Think about it for a moment. Terrorists from ISIS are in every one of our 50 states," said Iowa Sen. Joni Ernst.

That's not quite what FBI Director James Comey has said. Earlier this year he told law enforcement officials that FBI agents "have investigations of people in various states of radicalizing in all 50 states."

Comey has called the threat of domestic terrorism radicalization a "50 state problem," but those investigations are a far cry from ISIS terrorist cells across the country.

The Benghazi 'Stand Down' Order

Multiple speakers — including the mother of a man killed in the incident — criticized Clinton for how she handled the 2012 attacks on United States diplomatic compounds in Benghazi, Libya.

"Benghazi was about opportunities," said Mark Geist, a member of the security team that tried to fight back against the attacks. "Opportunities taken when we defied the stand-down orders. And opportunities squandered when Hillary failed to protect her people on the ground."

There have been numerous government investigations into what went wrong that night in September 2012. It's clear there were multiple failures — of intelligence, of logistics, of communication. A 2014 Senate Intelligence Report determined the attacks "were likely preventable."

But there's been no evidence uncovered of a direct order to "stand down" from mounting a defense of the facilities.

The Washington Post pulled the key passage from the House Intelligence Committee's 2014 report: "The evidence ... provides no support for the allegation that there was any stand-down order. Rather, there were mere tactical disagreements about the speed with which the team should depart prior to securing additional security assets."

Clinton And 'Open Borders'

"You know Donald Trump will secure our borders," former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani said Monday night. "His opponent has had her chance to do that, and she has failed. Hillary Clinton is for open borders."

Clinton has supported proposals for tighter border security over the course of her career, but she and Trump do have starkly different views on immigration and immigration reform.

Clinton supported the Obama administration's executive actions providing temporary relief for people living in the country illegally with children. (The U.S. Supreme Court blocked the centerpiece of this executive program last month.)

PolitiFact took a look at other immigration proposals Clinton has supported or opposed and rates Giuliani's claim as false.

Copyright 2020 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.

Scott Detrow is a White House correspondent for NPR and co-hosts the NPR Politics Podcast.