Checking the facts: Trump’s dishonest scare-mongers over Biden

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The announcement released on Monday, the latest in a series of similar scaremongering announcements from the Trump campaign, suggests that a Biden presidency would result in unanswered 911 calls from seniors.

It’s just nonsense.

The announcement builds on a single comment from Biden to a progressive activist in a video chat earlier this month, in which Biden suggested he was “yes, absolutely” willing to redirect some of the funding from the police to social services, mental health counseling and affordable housing.

We will set out the context for this comment below. But even if you interpret Biden’s “yes, absolutely” in a way that is charitable to the Trump campaign, nothing Biden has said comes close to justifying the Trump campaign’s terrifying vision of a Biden presidency.Biden spokesman Andrew Bates said Trump was “desperate to run against a fictitious opponent instead of Joe Biden.” Bates said Trump was a “chronic liar” and “the most lawless president in American history.” He also noted, as Biden did at a Monday night fundraiser, that Trump himself had offered to cut federal funding for community policing.

The image of Biden’s presidency announcement

The ad, which the Trump campaign says would air in key states and also be part of national ad buys, shows an elderly woman at home watching a news show that talks about a proposed reduction in the rate. Seattle Police Department budget of 50% and handling transfers from its 911 call center to an entity other than the police department.

The woman then notices an intruder rushing past her door, and she begins to dial 911. In the background, Fox News host Sean Hannity says, “Joe Biden said he was all over there. fact agree with the dismantling of the police. Listen carefully. Biden’s voice said, “Yes, absolutely. The ad shows an empty, dark office with unmanned telephones.

As the intruder breaks in, an automated message says, “Hello, you’ve reached 911. I’m sorry there is no one here to answer your emergency call. But leave a message, and we will get back to you as soon as possible. as soon as possible. ”

The words “You won’t be safe in Joe Biden’s America” ​​appear onscreen as the intruder confronts the woman. The phone falls to the ground.

What Biden said

Nothing Biden said makes it plausible to say that he supports an America in which 911 calls are allowed to go unanswered. (This already happens on rare occasions in Trump’s America due to personnel or technology issues.)

Biden has been attacked in other Trump ads for his past badass positions as a senator from Delaware. And Biden has described himself on several occasions – including during Monday’s fundraiser – as an opponent of the idea of ​​”defunding the police,” saying he preferred instead to condition the funding of the federal police namely if the local services respect the standards of good conduct and introduce the necessary reforms. .

Biden has largely limited his recent comments on policing to those federal funds. In June, however, he said decisions about local police budgets should depend on the needs of certain communities, as some departments have too many officers and others do not have enough.

This is not the rhetoric of the far left. Indeed, Biden has been criticized by some police advocates for not taking their position.

The conversation with Ady Barkan

The “yes, absolutely” quote that the Trump campaign seized upon came during a video chat Biden made with progressive activist Ady Barkan, who backed Biden.

Biden told Barkan his campaign proposals did not amount to cutting police funding. Biden rejected the suggestion to only deploy non-commissioned officers in response to calls for help, pointing out that you can’t just send a social worker to the scene of a potentially violent domestic incident. Instead, he said, you should send both an agent and a social worker. (These comments were excluded from the posted video, but the audio was provided to CNN by the Biden campaign.)

Biden said “yes, absolutely” after criticizing the handing over of surplus military vehicles to local police departments. Barkan, urging him, said, “But do we agree that we can redirect some of the funding? Biden said “yes, absolutely”. Then, in comments also left out in the posted video, Biden immediately reverted to his previous proposal to put conditions on federal funding.

“And by the way, not just redirect – condition them,” he said.

Biden then noted that the federal funding he spoke of putting in place is not the primary source of police budgets, which largely come from local and state governments.

“It’s just the federal government that steps in on top of that, and it says, ‘Do you want help? You need to make the following reforms: You need to make sure that you have eliminated the interdiction warrants. If you have them, you don’t get Byrne Grants. If you’ve got any, boom, ”Biden said.

The Trump campaign is entitled to denounce Biden for saying he was “absolutely” open to redirecting some police funds. Regardless of Biden’s other remarks, he vaguely left the door to some budget cuts.

But, again, there was no call from Biden to cut police budgets to the point that no one would work in a 911 dispatch center.

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