Social media is abuzz over the release of a clip of President Trump’s interview with Fox News’ Chris Wallace, where the Fox News host “fact-checked” Trump’s claim that Joe Biden wants to defund the police.
“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.
“Sir, he does not,” Wallace shot back.
You can watch the exchange below.
— The Hill (@thehill) July 17, 2020
I don’t doubt the “unity charter” between Biden and Sanders makes no written statement about defunding the police. But here’s the problem with Chris Wallace’s fact-check: it’s still wrong.
Joe Biden, absolutely, one-hundred percent, no doubt about it, called for the defunding of police. In fact, it happened just over a week ago:
Joe Biden says “Yes, absolutely!” to “redirecting” police funding and calls them “the enemy.”pic.twitter.com/rM4zSTl1IL
— Matt Margolis 🇺🇸 (@mattmargolis) July 17, 2020
In fact, Wallace’s own network reported on it:
Joe Biden said in an interview Wednesday that some funding should “absolutely” be redirected from police, amid calls from some in his party to “defund the police” in the wake of the protests across the country.
Biden’s campaign has said he does not support defunding the police. But in a Now This interview with activist Ady Barkan, the presumptive Democratic nominee said that police forces don’t need surplus military equipment, saying this is what leads them to “become the enemy” in a community.
“But do we agree that we can redirect some of the [police] funding?” Barkan asked Biden.
“Yes, absolutely,” said the former vice president.
Biden’s defenders would argue that partially defunding the police isn’t the same as “defund the police” but many have argued that “defunding the police” doesn’t mean fully defunding and abolishing police. According to the Brookings Institute, a liberal think tank, “‘Defund the police”’ means reallocating or redirecting funding away from the police department to other government agencies funded by the local municipality. That’s it. It’s that simple. Defund does not mean abolish policing.”
In fact, only 18 percent of voters actually believe that “defund the police” actually means literally abolishing the police. I suspect most voters perceive “defund the police” to mean exactly what Joe Biden said he supported. It doesn’t matter that it’s not written down on some document or in the party platform. Does anyone really believe that the Democratic Party would dare reveal their true desires in their platform? Of course not.
Trump may have been incorrect about where and when Biden endorsed the idea of defunding the police, but “yes, absolutely” he did, as the above video shows. That, and calling the police “the enemy.”
Matt Margolis is the author of the new book Airborne: How The Liberal Media Weaponized The Coronavirus Against Donald Trump, and the bestselling book The Worst President in History: The Legacy of Barack Obama. You can follow Matt on Twitter @MattMargolis