Donald Trump proclaimed a new “alternative fact” yesterday in a meeting with the National Sheriffs’ Association’s executive committee. Here’s what he said.
“And yet the murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years, right? Did you know that? Forty-seven years. I’d say that in a speech and everybody was surprised, because the press doesn’t tell it like it is. It wasn’t to their advantage to say that. But the murder rate is the highest it’s been in, I guess, from 45 to 47 years… Hundreds of shootings a month, it’s worse than some of the places that we read about in the Middle East, where you have wars going on”
That is not true, and the FBI has the numbers to prove it. The truth is actually much different from Trump’s statement.
The most recent year for which the FBI has statistics for murders committed in the United States is 2015. ABC News states that according to those statistics, in that year, the murder rate in the U.S. was 4.9 per 100,000 inhabitants. This was the highest rate we’ve had for six years, not 45 to 47 years as indicated by Donald Trump. In 2009 the rate was 5.0 per 100,000, and in 2007 it was 5.7 per 100,000.
From 2014 to 2015, the U.S. murder rate jumped 10.8 percent, the largest one-year increase since the 11 percent increase from 1967 to 1968. Kellyanne Conway, when asked about the figure that Donald Trump has previously stated and has previously been proven wrong, said this.
“I think that I will discuss it, but think he is relying upon data perhaps for a particular area. I don’t know who gave him that data.”
In that same meeting with the National Sheriffs’ Association’s executive committee, Trump also said this.
“Hundreds of shootings a month, it’s worse than some of the places that we read about in the Middle East, where you have wars going on.”
While the violence in Chicago is indisputable, police records show that there were 762 murders in Chicago last year, an average of almost 64 a month, not hundreds. That was, however, a 57 percent increase from 2015.
This isn’t the first time that Donald Trump has made inaccurate statements about the trend of violence in America. The Independent reports that last month he stated that Philadelphia’s murder has been “terribly increasing” despite the fact that it actually decreased last year. While it was up the previous two years, it was still much lower than it has been in decades.
Then there was another false claim about Chicago. Donald Trump previously claimed that during Obama’s farewell speech, two people were shot and killed in Chicago. Records show that there were no fatal shootings in Chicago on that day, January 10, either during Obama’s speech or any other time.
Kellyanne Conway, a counselor to Donald Trump, appeared on CNN yesterday. Jake Tapper asked her about the false statements coming from the White House. Here is what he said.
“Everyday there are these sprays of attack and sprays of falsehoods coming from the White House. It would be better if they were not coming from the White House, for me and for you.”
“Agreed, and let me just say it has to go both ways. I do, Jake, I sincerely don’t see a lot of difference in coverage from when he was a candidate and when he became the Republican nominee, the president-elect and, indeed the President.”
She also apologized for condemning the press for not covering the Bowling Green Massacre, a massacre that never happened. She said that she “regretted it tremendously” and “felt really badly about that.”
Donald Trump also stated on Tuesday that the press does not cover terrorism adequately. On the list of acts of terrorism that he felt were not adequately covered were many that received a great deal of press coverage. About this Conway said, “Obviously, the very sad incidents that you’ve related… frankly, CNN did amazing coverage for weeks at a time.”
[Featured Image by Pool/Getty Images]