WaPost fact-checker shoots down GOP ‘fiction’ on Biden and ‘defund the police’

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Washington Post fact-checkers have shot down claims from members of the Republican Party in recent months that President Biden supports defunding or disbanding police departments in America. 

“During the 2020 election, the Trump campaign desperately tried to claim that Joe Biden was a supporter of the ‘defund the police’ movement advocated by some elements of the Democratic Party,” fact-checker Glenn Kessler wrote Tuesday, before adding, “Biden firmly rejected calls from left-wing activists to defund police and in fact said he would double funding for a community policing program that would put more officers on the street.” 

Citing comments from Sen. Ted Cruz, (R-Texas) and Rep. Jim Banks (R-Ind.), Kessler reported that members of the GOP “are still making this false claim,” even after Trump relentlessly tried to tie Biden to calls for radical police reform following the murder of George Floyd and other African Americans who have died in recent months at the hands of police. 

“The problem isn’t guns and it isn’t COVID either. It’s violent rioting and the Defund the Police movement, both of which were supported, financially and rhetorically, by the Biden admin,” Banks tweeted last week. 

Cruz, in a tweet thread of his own this month, suggested “abolish the police” was included in Biden’s five-point anticrime plan. 

“In other words, Cruz and Banks have no basis for claiming that abolishing police or supporting the defund police movement is a Biden administration position,” Kessler wrote. 

Fox News host Chris Wallace pressed Cedric Richmond, a senior White House aide, on Sunday about rising crime rates in the United States and asked if calls from some progressives to limit funding to police departments may have contributed to that trend. 

Richmond shot back that it was Republicans who defunded the police when they refused to support the American Rescue Plan that would have allocated additional funding to law enforcement in response to the pandemic. 

Banks appeared on “Fox News Sunday” later in the program and rejected Richmond’s assertion. 

“When Rep. [Ilhan] Omar says that policing is rooted in evil, and [Speaker] Nancy Pelosi compares police officers to Nazi storm troopers, it makes it very difficult for police departments around the country to recruit police officers,” Banks said.

Kessler awarded Cruz and Banks four “Pinocchios,” the most possible, for repeated attempts to tie Biden to the defund the police movement.

“Republicans keep trying to tag Biden with being part of the defund police movement. But that’s simply false. The flimsiness of the charge is demonstrated by the paucity of the evidence that lawmakers muster when making their hyperbolic claims,” he concluded. “The reality is this: Biden wants to boost federal funding to allow for the hiring of more police officers. He said that during the campaign and then fulfilled that pledge in his initial budget proposal. The president sets the policies in his administration — and he’s been entirely consistent.”

Tags Cedric Richmond Chris Wallace Civil rights in the United States defund the police four pinocchios Joe Biden Law enforcement Nancy Pelosi Police abolition movement police misconduct Ted Cruz Ted Cruz

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