Trump Falsely Claims Biden Wants to Defund Police in Fox News Interview

A Fox News presenter has called out President Donald Trump for falsely claiming that Joe Biden supports defunding the police.

Speaking to Chris Wallace for a Fox News Sunday interview due to air this weekend, the president said he believed certain cities were being run poorly by Democratic leaders.

Without naming names, he said "they wanted to defund the police," referring to the movement whose advocates support moving money toward projects that serve communities. Such calls have grown in recent months following the police killing of George Floyd.

Trump went on: "And Biden wants to defund the police," to which Wallace replied: "Sir, he does not."

Becoming frustrated, the president said: "Look, he signed a charter with Bernie Sanders."

Interrupting the president during the interview on the Oval Office patio, Wallace told Trump the charter "said nothing about defunding the police."

Trump responded: "Oh really? It says abolish, it says a fund. Let's go," before calling on his aides to bring him the document.

Fox released a clip of the encounter as a teaser ahead of Sunday's broadcast. Discussing the interview with a Fox News colleague, Wallace said the clash lead to a "very interesting exchange" where Trump's staff fetched highlights from a document the Biden and Sanders team signed.

The president found many things he objected to, Wallace said, "but he couldn't find any indication, because there isn't any, that Joe Biden has sought to defund and abolish the police."

A "unity" task force between the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee and the Vermont senator made a list of policy recommendations, including a focus on community policing.

Following the interview, Trump tweeted: "Corrupt Joe Biden wants to defund our police. He may use different words, but when you look at his pact with Crazy Bernie, and other things, that's what he wants to do. It would destroy America!"

Corrupt Joe Biden wants to defund our police. He may use different words, but when you look at his pact with Crazy Bernie, and other things, that’s what he wants to do. It would destroy America!

— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) July 18, 2020

Wallace said he and the president reflected on a number of topics in the hour-long interview, including COVID-19, the recent rise in cases, and masking. They also discussed polling, including one by Fox News which was the latest to show the president trailing behind Biden.

Despite the seemingly bleak outlook, Wallace said the president seemed "dead certain" he would beat Biden in November. The president's strategy on campaigning had changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to Wallace, with fewer big rallies in arenas which characterized his efforts in the last election, and more virtual campaigning and telephone calls.

The broadcaster said Trump took "some shots at Joe Biden that I've never heard before."

The pair also spoke about the new book by his niece Mary Trump, in which she made accusations including that he used racist language.

Asked how the president behaved during the interview, Wallace said: "generally speaking friendly, but occasionally I ticked him off."

Wallace said: "If it looked like it was hot on that patio right outside the Oval Office there – it was about 100F."

"[Trump] kept saying, 'Whose idea was this?' Well, of course, it was the president's idea but, as he said, he wanted to make me sweat.

Newsweek has contacted the White House for comment

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U.S. President Donald Trump pauses while speaking during an event about regulatory reform on the South Lawn of the White House on July 16, 2020 in Washington, DC. Drew Angerer/Getty Images