Trump clashes with Fox interviewer over Biden police defunding claim

Washington (AFP)


US President Donald Trump has clashed with a Fox News interviewer over his claims that Democratic challenger Joe Biden plans to defund the police.

During the interview conducted on the patio outside the Oval Office, Trump blamed rising violence in some cities on their Democratic leaders.

"They've run them poorly," Trump said after reporter Chris Wallace pointed out that many of the cities had been run by Democratic mayors for decades.

"It was always bad, but now it's gotten totally out of control. And it's really because they want to defund the police, and Biden wants to defund the police," Trump claimed.

"No, sir, he does not," Wallace countered during a testy moment in the exchange shown in a clip tweeted by Fox News Sunday.

Trump then claimed Biden had signed a charter with left-wing Democratic Senator Bernie Sanders to cut law enforcement budgets.

When contradicted, Trump demanded his aides find the policy charter but was not able to find any such statement, Wallace said in later comments on Fox.

The movement to defund the police followed the death of George Floyd in Minneapolis late in May when an officer held him to the ground with a knee on his neck for nearly nine minutes.

It has had some impact, with New York cutting its annual police budget by $1 billion after weeks of protest in the city.

The full interview is scheduled to be broadcast on Sunday.