Trump ‘Embellishes the Truth’ in Speech to FBI

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President Trump made several misleading or incorrect statements in a speech Friday at the FBI’s training academy in Virginia, the New York Times reports. Most types of violent crime have declined in Chicago since last year, but Trump cited “the steepest two-year consecutive increase in murders in nearly half a century” in 2015 and 2016 and asked, “What the hell is going on in Chicago?” noting that, “For the second year in a row, a person was shot in Chicago every three hours.” That statement is correct, but there were 737 more shootings last year than in 2017.

Trump said he allows “our local police to access surplus military equipment — something the previous administration for some reason refused to do. Explain that one.” He exaggerated the restrictions ordered by President Obama. When protests of the 2014 fatal shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Mo., highlighted the militarization of local law enforcement, Obama prohibited police departments from obtaining track armored vehicles, weaponized aircraft grenade launchers and bayonets, it still allowed police to get other kinds of equipment, including unmanned aircraft, wheeled armored vehicles, specialized firearms, explosives and pyrotechnics, and riot gear. Trump claimed that countries give “us their worst people” through the diversity visa lottery, which provides an immigration pathway to the U.S. for some people. Trump’s claim that other countries use the program to expel undesirable members from their societies is unfounded and implausible. On another issue, sanctuary cities limit their cooperation with federal immigration officials but they do not stop law enforcement from pursuing criminals, as Trump suggested when he said, “Our cities should not be sanctuaries for criminals.”

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