NYT's Bruni rips Trump over 'make-believe' El Paso crime story

New York Times columnist Frank Bruni ripped President TrumpDonald John TrumpDemocratic senator rips Trump's 'let them fight' remarks: 'Enough is enough' Warren warns Facebook may help reelect Trump 'and profit off of it' Trump touts Turkey cease-fire: 'Sometimes you have to let them fight' MORE over his claim that crime has decreased in El Paso, Texas, since a wall was constructed around the city, calling it a make-believe strategy during an interview on CNN's "New Day" on Wednesday. 

"The president is finishing the wall the way I'm finishing dinner right now," Bruni, a staunch Trump critic and CNN contributor, said to "New Day" anchors John Berman and Alisyn Camerota. "His strategy here is very clear: His strategy is make believe."

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"A couple of days ago, he stood there on a stage in El Paso and said crime went way down here after a walk was constructed, after a barrier went up," Bruni continued. "That was not remotely true, and he was told that again and again, and he did it anyway.

"He has spent four years conditioning his admirers to believe everything he says, and more to the point, disbelieve everything we say," Bruni said. "There’s a reason he’s been saying 'fake news' for four years. It’s for moments like this so he can say, “Don’t believe what they’re telling you, believe only what I say.'”
Trump went to El Paso on Monday and repeated his claim about falling crime in the city, which he has linked to a wall that was built between 2008 and 2010.
 
"El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime — one of the highest in the country, and considered one of our nation's most dangerous cities," Trump said. "Now, immediately upon its building, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of the safest cities in our country." 
 
Statistics show that crime fell in El Paso in the 1990s after a peak in 1993, a pattern mirroring national trends and well before the wall was built. Violent crime actually rose slightly in the years after the wall was built.
 
City officials in El Paso have ripped Trump over the comments about their city, and Politifact rated Trump's statement around falling crime in El Paso due to "added fencing" false.