US Conference of Mayors defends El Paso mayor after Trump said he was 'full of crap' about barrier

The U.S. Conference of Mayors is defending El Paso, Texas, mayor Dee Margo (R) as he faces attacks from President TrumpDonald John TrumpDem lawmaker says Electoral College was 'conceived' as way to perpetuate slavery Stanley Cup champion Washington Capitals to visit White House on Monday Transportation Dept requests formal audit of Boeing 737 Max certification MORE for his comments about the border fence's impact on crime. 

"During his rally in El Paso, President Trump claimed that Margo was 'full of crap' because he and other local officials have said that a border fence has not made a difference in reducing crime in the city," the body's president, Steve Benjamin, said in a statement

"This is simply untrue. Credible statistics validated by the FBI and other local law enforcement officials show that El Paso has never been one of the nation's most dangerous cities and was a safe city long before any wall was built along the border."

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Benjamin, who is the mayor of Columbia, S.C., added that mayors throughout the country "make decisions based on the facts and what we know to be true."

"Moreover, this kind of criticism only contributes to the further loss of civility in public discourse and prevents us from moving forward together to make our cities and our country stronger and more secure," Benjamin concluded. 

Trump on Monday night declared that "people were full of crap" if they said a border fence hasn't made a difference in reducing crime in El Paso.

The comments came about a week after Trump claimed in his State of the Union address that El Paso was one of the most dangerous cities in the U.S. before a barrier was constructed.

"I’ve been hearing a lot of things. ‘Oh the wall didn’t make that much of a difference,'" Trump said while speaking at the El Paso County Coliseum on Monday. "I don’t care if a mayor is a Republican or a Democrat, they’re full of crap when they say it hasn’t made a big difference." 

Margo condemned Trump following his State of the Union address, saying that “El Paso was never one of the most dangerous cities in the US.” 

He responded to Trump's criticism on Monday by tweeting that his job is "to represent El Paso factually and with integrity, correcting any misstatements negatively reflecting our community."

"I don’t focus on political rhetoric, only facts," he added. 

Margo told The Hill on Monday that the U.S.-Mexico border needed "manpower and technology." But he stressed that a physical barrier is "part of a total strategy and process for security."

"It's not a panacea and it's not a be-all end-all," he said. 

Officials in El Paso County passed a resolution on Monday stating that the city is "disillusioned by President Trump’s lies regarding the border and our community."

The resolution noted that the county's violent crime rate dropped 62 percent from 1993 to 2007, and that a fence wasn't installed until 2008.