President Donald Trump held a rally in Texas on Monday where he rejected statistics and official statements from El Paso city authorities regarding the reports of crime at the U.S.-Mexico border, Newsweek reported.
“I don’t care whether a mayor is a Republican or a Democrat—they’re full of crap when they say it hasn’t made a big difference,” Trump said at the El Paso County Coliseum.
“I heard the same thing from the fake news,” the President said. “They said, ‘Oh, crime actually stayed the same’. Didn’t stay the same. Went way down.”
The President delivered his State of the Union address last week, in which he was claiming that El Paso was an example that “walls work and walls save lives.”
“The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime—one of the highest in the country, and considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities,” Trump said. “Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities.”
According to crime data, El Paso has not been “one of our nation’s most dangerous cities,” but rather, had significantly lower crime rates from 1985 to 2014 than cities of similar sizes, said Politifact fact check. On the contrary, the violent crime rate increased 3.2 percent from 2007, the year before fence construction began, to 2011, Politifact reported, citing FBI Uniform Crime reporting data.
El Paso County passed a resolution on Monday, hours before Trump’s rally, stating that he had “falsely stated that El Paso was one of the most dangerous cities in the United States until the construction of border fencing. El Paso’s violent crime rate dropped 62 percent from its peak in 1993 to 2007, a year before constriction on the fence began,” the resolution read.
Further refuting Trump, the resolution stated: “Though it is difficult to welcome him to El Paso while he continues to proliferate such untruths, we do welcome him to meet with local officials to become properly informed about our great and safe region.”
But at the rally Trump denied those facts as he worked to convince his supporters that he was right.
“These people, you know you’d think they’d want to get to the bottom of a problem and solve a problem. Not try and pull the wool over everybody’s eyes,” Trump said. “So for those few people that are out there on television, saying, ‘Oh, it didn’t make too much of a difference’. It made a tremendous—people from El Paso, am I right?”
Trump’s supporters cheered as he said, “It’s just fake news.”
“It’s like, it’s obvious. It’s common sense,” he continued. “Just a few thousand feet, as an example from where we stand right now on the other side of the border, it’s one of the most dangerous cities in the world, Juarez, Mexico.”