WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump continues to decry a record-high murder rate that simply doesn’t exist.
The President said Tuesday that the US murder rate “is the highest it’s been in 47 years.”
“I’d say that in a speech and everybody was surprised because the press doesn’t like to tell it like it is,” Trump said during a meeting with US sheriffs at the White House. “It wasn’t to their advantage to say that. The murder rate is the highest it’s been in I guess 45-47 years.”
But the reason there’s no reporting on a 45- or 47-year high murder rate is because the US murder rate isn’t even close to such record highs.
Trump repeatedly cited this faulty figure during his presidential campaign as he sought to paint the US as besieged by crime unseen in decades presenting his leadership as necessary to clean up the country.
The reality is that the US murder rate in 2015, the latest full year available, was lower than it was 45 years prior.
The US did experience its highest one-year increase in the murder rate in half a century between 2014 and 2015.
But still, the murder rate in 2015 was just 4.9 per 100,000 people. That figure is dwarfed by crime figures in the 1990s when the murder rate hovered between 8 and 10 murders per 100,000 people.
Trump repeatedly misstated the figure during the campaign and has continued to make the erroneous claim about the murder rate despite numerous fact checks.