President Trump said Wednesday that minorities “want” and “need” more police protection than other Americans, and blamed Democrats for a “crazy” number of murders in Chicago and other large cities.
In an interview with Sean Hannity, the Fox News Channel anchor who also is a friend and informal adviser to the president, Trump said police in big cities are “not allowed” to respond to what he described as rampant crime because “they have to be politically correct.”
“Minorities want police protection more than anybody,” Trump said. “They need it more than anybody. What’s going on is crazy. And you look at some of these inner cities where it’s just out of control.”
Trump’s comments came during a discussion of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Colin Kaepernick and other NFL players who have demonstrated during the playing of the national anthem in protest what they see as injustices against blacks in this country.
“We have incredible police in this country,” Trump said. “They could stop [crime] if they were allowed to do their jobs… In many cases, it’s the police are not allowed to do their job. They have to be politically correct.”
Trump placed the blame for what he described as rampant murders and shootings squarely on Democratic politicians. “Don’t forget, the Democrats have ruled the inner cities for 100 years,” he said. “This is their rule.”
In the Fox interview, Trump also gave a convoluted answer about economic policy, when trying to connect the surge in the stock market since his election to the growing federal debt, which recently eclipsed $20 trillion.
“The country — we took it over and owed over $20 trillion,” Trump said. “As you know, the last eight years, they borrowed more than it did in the whole history of our country. So they borrowed more than $10 trillion, right? And yet, we picked up $5.2 trillion just in the stock market. … So you could say, in one sense, we’re really increasing values. And maybe in a sense we’re reducing debt. But we’re very honored by it. And we’re very, very happy.”
The stock market and federal debt levels are not connected. The stock market could reverse its gains and all of those profits could disappear, and the debt would remain at around $20 trillion. And the deficit, which is the gap between government revenue and spending that adds to the debt, has actually grown under Trump because spending has increased and people have cut back on paying certain taxes compared to expectations.
Trump also told Hannity that his administration’s tax-cut plan would amount to a massive reduction in taxes for the middle class, but so far there is no evidence this would be the case. The nonpartisan Tax Policy Center has estimated that middle-income earners would get a slight tax break, but the real benefits would flow to the wealthiest Americans who are in the top 1 percent of households.
Trump also denied in the Fox interview that the wealthy would get a tax break in his plan, but he tried to do this by saying people in California, New York and Illinois would no longer be able to deduct their state taxes from their federal taxable income. There are many rich people who live in other states, such as Florida, who would not be as impacted by that restriction.