Both the Washington Post and Politico took a stab at fact-checking President Donald Trump’s State of the Union claim that “1 in 3 women is sexually assaulted on the long journey north.”

And both of these fact checks are PATHETIC.

First up, here’s the Post:

The Post is trying to say there’s a difference between sexual assault, which is what the president said, and “sexually abused,” which is where the 1 in 3 number comes from:

From Glenn Kessler:

In the interviews, 31.4 percent of women said they were “sexually abused” on the journey, not “sexually assaulted” as Trump says. Considering only rape and other forms of direct sexual violence, 10.7 percent of the women who were interviewed said they were affected during their journey.

Is this really the distinction they want to make here just for a quick dunk?

Politico quoted the same 31.4% in its fact check on the abused vs. assaulted definition:

And both publications criticized Trump for using the report from Doctors Without Borders for methodology reasons.

From the WaPost:

But the report did not conduct a random-sample survey that could be applied to all migrant women. Instead, the group interviewed nearly 500 people whom its doctors treated, of which 12 percent were women. So the statistic is derived from the experiences of 56 women and cannot necessarily be considered representative of all migrant women.

From Politico:

2017 report by Doctors Without Borders found 31 percent of female migrants and 17 percent of male migrants said they had been sexually abused while traveling through Mexico. For the report, the medical organization randomly surveyed 467 migrants in shelters that it supports in Mexico — what it called “a snapshot in time” based on the population available in the selected facilities.

The methodology isn’t good enough for the SOTU but it was good enough for Doctors Without Borders to use in its report is quite the reach, don’t you think?

Here’s the exact wording from the study FWIW (from page 12):

In a migration context marked by high vulnerability
like the one in Mexico, sexual violence, unwanted
sex, and transactional sex in exchange for shelter,
protection or for money was mentioned by a
significant number of male and female migrants in the
surveys. Considering a comprehensive definition of
those categories, out of the 429 migrants and refugees
that answered SGBV questions, 31.4 percent of
women and 17.2 percent of men had been sexually
abused during their transit through Mexico.
Considering only rape and other forms of direct sexual
violence, 10.7 percent of women and 4.4 percent of
men were affected during their transit through Mexico.

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