Ahead of Donald Trump’s rally in El Paso, Texas, on Monday evening, CNN host Jake Tapper called out the president for “lying” to the public “to get his border wall.”
Tapper launched Monday’s episode of The Lead by airing a clip from Trump’s State of the Union address last week where the president claimed El Paso “used to have extremely high rates of violent crime, one of the highest in the entire country and considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities.”
“Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities,” Trump added.
Responding to Trump’s claims, Tapper said: “Whatever your position on border barriers or a border wall, the case the president lays out about El Paso is simply false. El Paso has never had ‘one of the highest rates of violent crime in the entire country,’ according to FBI data.”
“Its violent crime rate has always been well below the average rate for the top 35 cities with a population over 500,000,” the CNN host continued. “Lower in El Paso, in fact, than in Houston, Dallas, or in Fort Worth.”
Tapper then pointed out that El Paso’s Republican mayor Dee Margo also criticized Trump for the claims that a border barrier was responsible for the city’s drop in crime.
“El Paso was NEVER one of the MOST dangerous cities in the US,” Margo tweeted last week. “We‘ve had a fence for 10 years and it has impacted illegal immigration and curbed criminal activity. It is NOT the sole deterrent. Law enforcement in our community continues to keep us safe #SOTU”
“It is correct that Customs and Border Patrol officials would like more barriers on the U.S.-Mexico border,” Tapper continued. “That’s not in dispute. But the president wants to depict undocumented immigrants as hordes of almost entirely violent criminals, which is not true. So he makes claims that are also not true.”
He added: “The president is lying to you to get his border wall.”
Hours before Trump’s rally on Monday, El Paso County passed a resolution stating it is “disillusioned” by Trump’s “lies regarding the border and our community.” The resolution asserted that Trump’s State of the Union address “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 reads. “We remain upset that neither the president nor administration officials have reached out to local elected officials or local law enforcement entities to correctly inform themselves about El Paso or our borderland.”
El Paso County passes a resolution saying it is “disillusioned by President Trump’s lies regarding the border and our community,” citing past false statements and the likelihood of new ones at rally tonight. pic.twitter.com/cjtXEkyTOS
— Garrett Haake (@GarrettHaake) February 11, 2019