Fox host Chris Wallace fact-checks Trump claim Biden wants to defund police

"Fox News Sunday" anchor Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceKaren Bass: 'I'm not a socialist, I'm not a communist' Trump adviser Jason Miller: Biden running mate pick 'his political living will' Sunday shows - Stimulus debate dominates MORE in a new interview shut down President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Coronavirus talks on life support as parties dig in, pass blame Ohio governor tests negative in second coronavirus test MORE's claim that presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Joe BidenJoe BidenBiden says his faith is 'bedrock foundation of my life' after Trump claim Biden clarifies comments comparing African American and Latino communities Kanye West may have missed deadline to get on Wisconsin ballot by minutes: report MORE is in favor of defunding the police.

The president blamed a recent rise in violence in Chicago, New York and other major cities on Democratic leadership, saying urban centers are "stupidly run." When Wallace noted that Democrats have led cities for decades, Trump suggested the increase in killings was because of the defund the police movement.

"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 a clip of the interview, which will air in its entirety on Sunday.


"Sir, he does not," Wallace interjected.

"Look, he signed a charter with Bernie SandersBernie SandersOn The Money: Pessimism grows as coronavirus talks go down to the wire | Jobs report poised to light fire under COVID-19 talks | Tax preparers warn unemployment recipients could owe IRS Senators introduce bill to block Trump armed drone sale measure Sanders offers bill to tax billionaires' wealth gains during pandemic MORE," Trump shot back, referencing a lengthy unity platform unveiled by Biden and the Vermont senator that offers a number of progressive policy proposals.

"And it says nothing about defunding the police," Wallace said.

"Oh really? It says abolish, it says defund. Let’s go. Get me the charter, please," Trump said, turning to staff off camera.

Wallace recounted on Fox News that Trump had his staff fetch highlights of the unity pledge from the Biden and Sanders team and found "a lot of things that he objected to that Biden has agreed to. But he couldn’t find any indication — because there isn’t any — that Joe Biden has sought to defund and abolish the police."


Hours after the clip was released, Trump followed up on Twitter, insisting that Biden "wants to defund our police," but he just doesn't use that exact phrase.

The president has seized on the "defund the police" slogan over the past month to portray Biden and Democrats as weak on crime and cast himself as the candidate of law and order. The messaging comes as calls for racial justice and policing reform persist in the wake of the death of George Floyd.

The Trump campaign unveiled a new ad this week further attempting to tie Biden to the defund the police movement, painting a dystopian picture and warning Americans they "won't be safe in Joe Biden's America."

But Biden has explicitly and repeatedly said that he does not support defunding or abolishing the police. He has signaled he would be in favor of redirecting some funding for law enforcement to mental health programs.

—Updated at 8:29 p.m.