CLEVELAND — Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort suggested Thursday that the FBI might be cooking its statistics to hide the increase in violent crime that many speakers at the Republican National Convention — including Donald Trump himself — claim is occurring.
In the text of his prepared speech, Trump claimed that “Decades of progress made in bringing down crime are now being reversed by this administration’s rollback of criminal enforcement.”
In an interview, CNN’s Jake Tapper reminded Manafort that statistics show “crime rates have been going down for decades.”
“People don’t feel safe in their neighborhoods,” Manafort responded. “I’m not sure what statistics you’re talking about.”
Tapper said the figures come from the FBI, and Manafort retorted that “the FBI’s certainly suspect these days, after what they just did with Hillary Clinton” — a reference to FBI head James Comey’s recommendation that the former secretary of state not be prosecuted over her use of a private email server.
In fact, although crime rates in general are far below the levels of the 1990s, some cities have seen an increase in shootings and homicides over the last year. It was not clear what Trump meant by the Obama administration’s “rollback of criminal enforcement,” which is generally a state and local responsibility.