Donald Trump Backed 'Total Racist' Mike Bloomberg's Stop-and-Frisk Policy At 2016 Election Debate

President Donald Trump defended Mike Bloomberg's stop-and-frisk policy during a debate with Hillary Clinton, saying it had a "tremendous impact" on New York City's safety.

In a head-to-head with the former secretary of state ahead of the 2016 presidential election, President Trump said the effect of stop-and-frisk had been "tremendous beyond belief" under former New York City Mayor Bloomberg.

It was also widely reported during the race that the New York real estate mogul said he would implement or support stop-and-frisk as commander-in-chief.

MSNBC's The Beat with Ari Melber re-broadcast a clip of Trump's defense of stop-and-frisk last night as Bloomberg faced criticism for his justification of the policy at a 2015 talk.

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President Donald Trump at 2016 Debate
Donald Trump gestures during the Presidential Debate at Hofstra University on September 26, 2016 in Hempstead, New York. Win McNamee/Getty Images

Speaking at the Aspen Institute in a clip resurfaced on social media on Monday, the Democratic primary candidate and ex-mayor said he put "all the cops in minority neighborhoods," later adding: "Why did we do it? Because that's where all the crime is."

In a statement on his 2015 comments, Bloomberg said he had "inherited" the stop-and-frisk policy, but also apologized and added that he should have cut it back "faster and sooner."

Shortly after the clip of the ex-mayor's Aspen Institute talk re-emerged, President Trump called Bloomberg "a total racist" in a tweet that he later deleted.

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But in a September 2016 debate with Clinton, re-aired by MSNBC and transcribed by The Washington Post, President Trump said: "In New York City, stop-and-frisk, we had 2,200 murders, and stop-and-frisk brought it down to 500 murders. Five hundred murders is a lot of murders."

"And [stop-and-frisk] was continued on by Mayor Bloomberg," the then-presidential candidate added. "And it was terminated by current mayor. But stop-and-frisk had a tremendous impact on the safety of New York City. Tremendous beyond belief.

"So when you say it has no impact, it really did. It had a very, very big impact."

Newsweek has contacted the Trump 2020 re-election campaign for comment and will update this article with any response.

The president is not the only public figure who has criticized Bloomberg over his prior defense of stop-and-frisk.

After the hashtag #BloombergIsRacist trended on Twitter on Tuesday, ex-New York City mayoral candidate Cynthia Nixon told the billionaire that his 2015 defense of stop-and-frisk was "disgusting."

"This unexamined, unapologetic racism disqualifies you to run for President," the actress added.

Bloomberg's own news network also reported that Democratic Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez of New York said the former mayor "decimated a lot of families" with the stop-and-frisk approach to policing.

In a statement both attacking President Trump and apologizing for the policy, Bloomberg said: "I inherited the police practice of stop-and-frisk, and as part of our effort to stop gun violence it was overused. By the time I left office, I cut it back by 95%, but I should've done it faster and sooner.

"I regret that and I have apologized—and I have taken responsibility for taking too long to understand the impact it had on Black and Latino communities."

Donald Trump Backed 'Total Racist' Mike Bloomberg's Stop-and-Frisk Policy At 2016 Election Debate | U.S.