WASHINGTON – Fox News host Chris Wallace fact-checked President Donald Trump’s inaccurate claim during an interview that former Vice President Joe Biden is in favor of defunding the police, leading to a testy reaction.
In a clip released between the “FOX News Sunday” anchor and Trump – the entire interview will air Sunday – the president blamed “stupidly run” Democratic local governments for the increase in violence in some cities and implied the increase was the fault 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 the clip about the presumptive Democratic nominee.
Wallace interjected, “Sir, he does not.”
“Look, he signed a charter with Bernie Sanders,” Trump responded, referring to the unity platform released by Biden and the progressive Vermont senator that unveiled multiple progressive ideas and policy proposals.
The proposed Democratic Party platform does include a series of police reforms including banning choke holds, ending racial profiling and allowing victims of abuse to pursue civil litigation.
However, the platform does not support defunding the police, as Biden and his campaign have stated on multiple occasions.
Wallace points this out, saying the plan “says nothing about defunding the police.”
“Oh really? It says abolish, it says defund. Let’s go! Get me the charter, please,” Trump said, turning to speak to staff out-of-frame.
Wallace explained on Fox News’ “Bill Hemmer Reports” that the president had his staff retrieve highlights of the unity platform that 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,” the Fox News anchor said.
The Trump administration and campaign have been continually lodging attacks and ads at Biden, claiming he wants to defund and abolish the police.
Vice President Mike Pence said Friday, “Joe Biden would weaken the thin blue line that separates us from chaos,” and continued, “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America,” seizing on remarks Biden made recently where he expressed support for redirecting some funds, but not all, to bettering social services.
Law enforcement has become a flashpoint between Biden and Trump because of protests following the May 25 death of George Floyd in Minneapolis police custody.
Biden became the presumptive nominee with support from Black voters in key states who are demanding police reforms. Trump has campaigned as the law-and-order president fighting chaos that erupted at some protests.
Biden has pledged support for the central cause of Black Lives Matter protesters – fighting systemic racism – and proposed policing changes.
Later Friday, Trump repeated his claim on Twitter: