​Trump tars Biden as soft on crime, hostile to cops after Dem's gaffes on police funding, equipment

'Far-left mayors are escalating the anti-cop crusade, and violent crime is spiraling in their cities. It's all far-left cities where they have no understanding of what has to be done,' Trump said.

Updated: July 15, 2020 - 3:25pm

Last week, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden said he "absolutely" supported "redirecting" money away from policing, even though he also said he rejects defunding police.

On Monday, President Trump and his team pounced on Biden for de facto support for defunding police, even as urban crime spikes nationwide.

During a Now This News interview with liberal activist Ady Barkan on Wednesday, Biden was asked, "But do we agree that we can redirect some of the funding?"

Biden replied: "Yes. Absolutely!" 

Citing arguments by Black Lives Matter organizers, Barkan claimed that lethal police encounters would fall if police funds were rerouted to social services, mental health counseling and "affordable housing." 

"Are you open to that kind of reform?" Barkan asked. 

Biden replied: "Yes. I proposed that kind of reform." 

In the same interview, Biden decried the police acquisition of surplus military equipment, likening the use of armored vehicles to military invasion.

"Surplus military equipment for law enforcement — they don't need that," Biden said. "The last thing you need is an up-armored Humvee coming into a neighborhood; it's like the military invading. They don't know anybody; they become the enemy, they’re supposed to be protecting these people." 

On Thursday, Mike Pence laced in to Biden at a "Back the Blue Rally" with police officers and supporters in northeastern Philadelphia. 

"And I heard that, just yesterday, Joe Biden said that well-armed police in his words ‘become the enemy’ and he said that he would 'absolutely cut funding for law enforcement,'" Pence said.

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At the White House on Monday during an event highlighting crime victims' gratitude and reliance on police for help, Trump condemned a wave of violence sweeping the country, citing a 133% spike in murders in Atlanta compared to the same period last year. Among the city's victims was an 8-year-old girl, the president noted, adding, "and we've had younger than that in Chicago last weekend." 

The president reported that in the last two weeks 105 Americans were shot in Philadelphia and noted that in Minneapolis, the city voted to disband the police department.

"If that's what you want for a country, you probably have to vote for Sleepy Joe Biden, because he doesn't know what's happening," Trump said. "The radical politicians are waging war on innocent Americans. That's what you're doing when you play with the police. My administration is pro-safety, pro-police, and anti-crime."

Trump condemned acts of violence against police taking place in the wake of protests and riots after the death of George Floyd at the hands of Minneapolis police.

"But our officers have been under vicious assault, and hundreds of police have been injured and several murdered," Trump said. 

"Reckless politicians have defamed our law enforcement heroes as 'the enemy,'" Trump continued, alluding to Biden's attack on police in the Aden interview. "They call them 'the enemy.' They actually go and say they’re the enemy, and even call them 'an invading army.'" 

Observing that in one recent week in New York City shootings were up 358%, Trump said, "and yet ... they want to do Black Lives Matter signs outside of Trump Tower."

The Trump campaign zeroed in on Biden's comments on police funding and equipment to paint him as soft on crime and hostile to law enforcement.

"Joe Biden recently stated that police officers have 'become the enemy' and shamefully gave his support to redirecting funds away from law enforcement," the campaign said Monday night. "As violent crime continues to rise in Democrat-controlled cities, Joe Biden has completely abandoned the police — leaving Americans unprotected in their own country. In recent months, Joe Biden has aligned himself with radical socialists like AOC and the 'Squad,' who recently introduced legislation to defund law enforcement entirely."

The Biden campaign did not respond to request for comment.

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