US President Donald Trump got his facts wrong again, this time in a meeting with a group of sheriffs officers where he repeated a falsehood about the murder rate in America, the media reported.
During a meeting with National Sheriffs Association on Tuesday Trump said that “the murder rate in our country is the highest it’s been in 47 years. I used to use that, I’d say that in a speech and everybody was surprised”, the Washington Post reported.
He blamed the news media for not publicising this development, then added, “…Because the press [gesturing to reporters] 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, 45 to 47 years.”
However, FBI statistics showed the President wasn’t just wrong — he had it backwards.
The country’s murder rate is close to the 57-year low it hit in 2014, before ticking up a bit in 2015, the most recent year of data available, according to the statistics.
The violent crime rate in America also plummeted over the years. Defined as murder, rape, robbery and aggravated assault, violent crimes peaked at a rate of 758 per 100,000 residents in 1991, and the rate was about 373 violent crimes per 100,000 in 2015, a decline of more than half.
The President’s false claim that the media was consciously under-reporting the murder rate came the day after he made the false charge that the media was conspiring to cover up terrorist attacks.