Trump Struggles to Cite a Source for His Exaggerated Crime Claim


During an interview that touched on immigration at the U.S.-Mexico border, a Detroit news anchor challenged Donald Trump to support his claim about rapidly falling crime in Venezuela—which fact-checkers have previously noted is false.

In his interview with Fox 2 anchor Roop Raj, which will air in its entirety on Thursday, the former president closed with a shot at President Joe Biden regarding immigration, a topic that Trump has signaled he wants to use to help his campaign at the expense of relevant legislation.

“One stat before we go: Venezuela was very crime-ridden. They announced the other day 72 percent reduction in crime in the last year,” Trump asserted. “You know why? They moved all their criminals from Venezuela right into the good old USA, and Biden let them do it. It’s a disgrace.”

Raj followed up. “But sir, where are those numbers coming from?”

“Uh, I guess I get them from the papers in this case,” Trump replied. “I think it’s a federal statement or—well actually they’re coming from Venezuela. They’re coming from Venezuela.”

Trump made a similar claim during an April 2 speech in Wisconsin, saying crime had decreased 67 percent. In determining that comment to be false, Politifact cited data from Venezuelan sources showing a 32 percent drop in crime in 2024 over the prior year, and a 25 percent drop in violent deaths from 2022 to 2023. The fact that the Venezuelan government doesn’t regularly publish data for homicides or robberies also makes it difficult to support Trump’s claim.

Additionally, one expert told the fact-checker that migration was only one factor in the country’s reduction in crime.

“Crime dropped because the opportunities for crime were lost. Generalized poverty in the country, the absence of money circulating, the bankruptcy of companies and commerce all made the opportunities for crime in the country drop,” said Briceño Leon, the founder and director of the nonprofit Venezuelan Observatory of Violence. “When crime opportunities drop, criminals don’t have people to steal from or extort.”

Trump, who said last month that some undocumented immigrants are “not people,” has made

nativist language a feature of his 2024 campaign, spurring the Biden administration to compare his comments to those of Adolf Hitler.

This post was originally published on Daily Beast

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