Donald Trump is at it again

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Donald Trump is at it again. Not only is the groggy defendant saying what he wants people to believe about a situation when the truth is unflattering to him, but he’s pretending that a legitimate authority is offering data that backs him up. With each such episode, Trump not only reminds us how easily he lies, but how wrong he has been on issues—and how desperate he is to save face and cling to relevancy.

At a rally in Wisconsin this week, Trump again tried to portray himself as the hopeful savior of a nation with an out-of-control crime problem. Trump promised that, if elected in November, “we’re going to bring our country back from hell. We have a country that’s in hell. Look at what’s going on. Look at the crime. Look at the crime.”

We should, indeed, look at what’s going on, because the crime statistics reflect a very different scenario from what Trump is describing. According to the FBI’s preliminary 2023 crime report, which was released on March 18, violent crimes declined 5.7% from the prior year, with murders falling 13.2%. By contrast, the violent crime rate (including murders) climbed in 2020, as twice-impeached Trump limped to the end of his failed term.

As the week ended, the news got even better for the Biden administration—and the country. In an official statement issued on Friday, President Biden announced that violent crime declined across every category and the murder rate fell by 17% in the first quarter of 2024. Drawing a stark contrast with the former guy, Biden emphasized that after “the largest one-year increase in murders ever recorded” under Trump, “violent crime is at a near fifty-year low.”

Not only is Trump lying about violent crime statistics, but the improvements are directly tied to the Biden administration’s actions. The American Rescue Plan, which passed despite zero Republican votes, has empowered cities and states to invest over $15 billion in meaningful steps to improve public safety and prevent violent crime.

Going a step further, Biden insisted, “We can’t stop now.” Indeed, Biden pointed out that his Safer America Plan, first outlined in August 2022, would build on this progress by having Congress invest $37 billion to support law enforcement and crime prevention. “Every family deserves to live in a safe community,” he explained. “I won’t stop until they do.”

Republicans now have a choice: they can either promote Trump’s bald-faced lie that violent crime was low under Trump but is now worse now than ever, or they can join Biden in pursuing sensible, bipartisan solutions that will save even more lives and make America’s neighborhoods even less dangerous. Donald Trump should go back to sleep.

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