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President Donald Trump stood firm on his contention that his 2020 Democratic opponent Joe Biden is in favor of defunding police.
The president defended his claim about Biden after Fox News’ Chris Wallace challenged him during an interview that is set to air on Sunday. Despite the former vice president’s verbal support of redirecting funds for law enforcement, and proposed policies to “reorient” policing, Wallace pushed back at Trump in the “Fox News Sunday” interview asserting the Democrat has said no such thing.
(Source: Fox News)
In a video preview of the interview aired during Fox News’ “Bill Hemmer Reports” on Friday, Wallace asked Trump about the rise in violent crimes in cities like New York and Chicago and the reason for the spike.
“I explain it very simply by saying they are Democrat-run cities, they are liberally run, they are stupidly run,” Trump responded.
“Liberal Democrats have been running cities in this country for decades,” Wallace said. “Why is it so bad right now?”
“They run them poorly. It was always bad, but now it’s gotten totally out of control and it’s because they wanted to defund the police and Biden wants to defund the police,” Trump said.
“Sir, he does not,” Wallace interrupted.
“Look, he signed a charter with Bernie Sanders,” Trump began, referring to the Biden-Sanders Unity agenda.
“And it says nothing about defunding the police,” Wallace pressed.
“Oh really?” the president said. “It says ‘abolish,’ it says ‘defund.’ Let’s go. Get me the charter, please.”
Wallace then explained to Fox News anchor Bill Hemmer that the president looked over the document but could not find specific wording to defund or abolish police.
“That led to a very interesting exchange where he had his staff go out and get the highlights from that 100-page compact that the Biden team and… the Sanders team had signed and he went through it and he found a lot of things that he objected to that Biden has agreed to, but he couldn’t find any indication — because there isn’t any — that Joe Biden has sought to defund and abolish the police,” Wallace said smugly.
The interview is the first since 2018 that the president has had with Wallace, the veteran journalist who frequently criticizes him and has been slammed by Trump repeatedly for his reporting.
Just watched Mike Wallace wannabe, Chris Wallace, on @FoxNews. I am now convinced that he is even worse than Sleepy Eyes Chuck Todd of Meet the Press(please!), or the people over at Deface the Nation. What the hell is happening to @FoxNews. It’s a whole new ballgame over there!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 12, 2020
….fraud @donnabrazile (and others who are even worse). Chris Wallace is nastier to Republicans than even Deface the Nation or Sleepy Eyes. The people who are watching @FoxNews, in record numbers (thank you President Trump), are angry. They want an alternative now. So do I!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 26, 2020
Biden has come under fire recently for not coming out to publicly condemn anti-police rhetoric. And he has openly spoken against abolishing police departments, indicating that he supports the idea of redirecting funding and saying in a recent interview that recent police actions have made them “become the enemy.”
Joe Biden says police have “BECOME THE ENEMY” and calls for CUTTING police funding: “Yes, absolutely!” pic.twitter.com/hV9KyuqhiX
— Trump War Room – Text TRUMP to 88022 (@TrumpWarRoom) July 8, 2020
The unity agenda between Biden and Sanders calls for “policies that will reorient our public safety approach toward prevention, and away from over-policing.”
Trump noted that the wording may be different, but the intent is the same as he came back later to defend his stand on Twitter.
“When you look at his pact with Crazy Bernie, and other things, that’s what he wants to do,” the president wrote.
Corrupt Joe Biden wants to defund our police. He may use different words, but when you look at his pact with Crazy Bernie, and other things, that’s what he wants to do. It would destroy America!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2020
The National Association of Police Organizations announced its endorsement of Trump this week, praising the president for his “steadfast and very public support” for law enforcement. The organization, which represents 241,000 officers and more than 1,000 police associations, twice backed former President Obama and then-Vice President Joe Biden, and did not endorse any candidate in the 2016 election.
At the end of his preview of the interview on Friday, Wallace explained to Hemmer that the exchange with Trump took place outside of the White House in scorching temperatures.
“It was about 100 degrees and he kept saying, ‘Whose idea was this?'” Wallace recounted, in his last jab at Trump. “Well of course it was the president’s idea. But as he said, he wanted to see me sweat.”
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