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Trump repeats debunked murder rate claim


    President Donald Trump looks at a figurine given to him by a group of county sheriffs, Tuesday, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington.

WASHINGTON >> President Donald Trump’s dark view of violent crime in America rests largely on a bogus claim: that the murder rate is higher than it’s been in nearly half a century. Actually, the murder rate is down sharply in that time, despite a recent spike. 

Today, he told a meeting of sheriffs: “The murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years, right? Did you know that? Forty-seven years. I used to use that — I’d say that in a speech and everybody was surprised because the press doesn’t tell it like it is.” He circled back to add: “The murder rate is the highest it’s been in, I guess, from 45 to 47 years.”

THE FACTS: The murder rate in 2015, the latest year for which figures are available, is actually among the lowest in half a century. It stood at 4.9 murders per 100,000 people, a far cry from the rates in the 1970s, 1980s and most of the 1990s, when they were typically over 6 per 100,000, peaking at over 10 in 1980.

It’s true that 2015 saw one of the largest increases in decades, up 10 percent from 4.4 murders per 100,000 people in 2014, but even with that rise homicides are not on the order of what the country experienced in previous decades.

Trump has misrepresented crime statistics on several occasions. He stated last month that Philadelphia’s murder rate has been “terribly increasing” even though it dropped slightly last year. The city’s murder rate rose in the previous two years but remained substantially lower than in past decades.

He also incorrectly claimed that two people “were shot and killed” in Chicago during then-President Barack Obama’s farewell speech on Jan. 10. Although Chicago has experienced a surge in murders compared with previous decades, no one was fatally shot in Chicago that day, police records show, much less during Obama’s speech.

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  • “I’ve been in this town for 26 years. I have never seen anything like this,” said Eliot Cohen, a senior State Department official under President George W. Bush and a member of his National Security Council. “I genuinely do not think this is a mentally healthy president.”

    • You know that insult joke where you say “You’re so stoopid, they use your picture in the dictionary to illustrate the word ‘stoopid'”….??

      Do a search on the words “narcissistic personality disorder” and guess whose photo appears…?

  • Two sources familiar with Gen. Flynn’s account have told reporters that Trump called Flynn to ask whether a strong dollar or a weak dollar was good for the economy! The supposed business genius is calling a disgraced general to ask a fundamental economic question! And the call was at 3 a.m.! It’s no wonder that there’s increasing concern, even from Republicans, that Trump is mentally unfit for office.

  • The danger is that we become accustomed to trump’s constant lying, so that it no longer upsets us. At any other time, with any other official, we would be alarmed at the blatant lies. It’s no longer funny, even though trump has become a joke. We need to guard against complacency and continue to call him out for his lies. Maybe, just maybe, somewhere down the line, republicans will get some backbone and help impeach him.

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