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Fox host Chris Wallace fact-checks Trump claim Biden wants to defund police

By Brett Samuels – 07/17/20 04:06 PM EDT

“Fox News Sunday” anchor Chris Wallace in a new interview shut down President Trump‘s claim that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden is in favor of defunding the police.

The president blamed a recent rise in violence in Chicago, New York and other major cities on Democratic leadership, saying urban centers are “stupidly run.” When Wallace noted that Democrats have led cities for decades, Trump suggested the increase in killings was because of the defund the police movement.

“It’s gotten totally out of control and it’s really because they want to defund the police, and Biden wants to defund the police,” Trump said in a clip of the interview, which will air in its entirety on Sunday.

“Sir, he does not,” Wallace interjected.

“Look, he signed a charter with Bernie Sanders,” Trump shot back, referencing a lengthy unity platform unveiled by Biden and the Vermont senator that offers a number of progressive policy proposals.

“And it says nothing about defunding the police,” Wallace said.

“Oh really? It says abolish, it says defund. Let’s go. Get me the charter, please,” Trump said, turning to staff off camera.

Wallace recounted on Fox News that Trump had his staff fetch highlights of the unity pledge from the Biden and Sanders team and 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.”

Hours after the clip was released, Trump followed up on Twitter, insisting that Biden “wants to defund our police,” but he just doesn’t use that exact phrase.

The president has seized on the “defund the police” slogan over the past month to portray Biden and Democrats as weak on crime and cast himself as the candidate of law and order. The messaging comes as calls for racial justice and policing reform persist in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

The Trump campaign unveiled a new ad this week further attempting to tie Biden to the defund the police movement, painting a dystopian picture and warning Americans they “won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America.”

But Biden has explicitly and repeatedly said that he does not support defunding or abolishing the police. He has signaled he would be in favor of redirecting some funding for law enforcement to mental health programs.

—Updated at 8:29 p.m.

Bill Fuller

Bill Fuller

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