We won’t attempt to render a verdict on that case in a quick fact check. But Trump also made a number of claims that were clearly false or misleading.
Trump claimed that during Biden’s speech Monday, the nominee did not mention violence from the far-left and that he “blame[d]” police.
“He didn’t mention the far left, or from what I saw I don’t believe he mentioned the word ‘Antifa,'” Trump said. “But mostly seemed to blame the police and law enforcement.”
Facts First: It’s true Biden didn’t condemn “Antifa” or the “far left” by name in this speech, but he issued a broad condemnation of rioting and looting. It’s unclear what Trump believes Biden was blaming cops for. Biden said most cops “are good and decent people” but condemned police brutality.
Before strongly condemning riots, Biden spoke against “The violence of extremists and opportunists — right-wing militias, white supremacists, vigilantes — who infiltrate protests carrying weapons of war, hoping to wreak havoc, and to derail any hope and support for progress.”
Biden continued. “I want to make it absolutely clear … rioting is not protesting, looting is not protesting. Setting fires is not protesting. None of this is protesting. It’s lawlessness, plain and simple.”
On police, Biden spoke against “violence we’ve seen again and again and again of unwarranted police shootings [and] excessive force,” mentioning the deaths of Breonna Taylor, George Floyd and the recent shooting of Jacob Blake. Biden also noted that “most cops are good and decent people.”
“I have worked with police in this country for many years,” Biden said. “I know most cops are good, decent people. I know how they risk their lives every time they put that shield on and go out the door. And I am confident I can bring the police to the table as well.”
Protests in Portland
Trump said of Portland: “The entire city is ablaze all the time.”
Josh Campbell, a CNN law enforcement correspondent on the ground in Portland and who is a former FBI supervisory special agent, told us in an email after Trump’s news conference: “Insisting this is a city ablaze is a lie.”
“Portland is not a city under siege. Today, I went to a Starbucks downtown, ate lunch at one of the city’s famous downtown food trucks, and bought a new pair of shoes at the mall. As I write this, I’m looking out of my hotel room at a bike tour riding by outside on the downtown street,” Campbell said.
“To be sure, there have been protests — peaceful during the daytime, and some turning violent at night — for over 90 days, but the rioting has largely been confined to one city block downtown near the federal courthouse. Last night, protesters showed up at a police precinct a few miles from downtown and were dispersed by police after some protesters started throwing eggs and rocks at police cars. There has been periodic, localized violence, but nothing widespread.”
Commending Operation Legend, where the FBI has provided federal resources to support law enforcement efforts to address violent crime in nine cities, including Chicago, Trump claimed “in the last month alone, we cut the murder rate in Chicago in half.”
Biden’s comments on rioters
Trump claimed Biden has told a “monstrous lie” by describing vandalism, anarchy, rioting and looting as “peaceful” protest.
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