Jake Tapper didn’t mince words on Monday about President Donald Trump’s false claim that El Paso, Texas, was one of the nation’s “most dangerous cities” before a border barrier was constructed in 2008.
“The president is lying to you to get his border wall,” the CNN host said on his program, “The Lead with Jake Tapper,” that aired before Trump held a rally in El Paso.
Trump made the unsupported assertion about the city’s crime rate and the effect of a wall in his State of the Union address last week. He said the border town once had “extremely high rates of violent crime” but that it became “one of the safest cities in our country” upon the erection of “a powerful barrier” in recent years.
Fact-checkers quickly debunked the comment that night, and an array of El Paso leaders chimed in, noting that El Paso had low crime rates long before the barrier was erected.
Tapper did his part to keep a spotlight on Trump’s lies. Noting the president had continued “to spread a falsehood that he loves to trot out, he said, “El Paso has never had ‘one of the highest rates of violent crime in the entire country,’ according to FBI data.”
Echoing the point the city’s leaders have been making, Tapper added that its “violent crime rate has always been well below the average rate for the top 35 cities with a population over 500,000.”
The CNN host also noted that violent crime “actually increased 5.5 percent from the year before construction of the fence started to the year it was completed.”
Watch Tapper debunk Trump’s lies in the video above.