To illustrate what he calls the “carnage” of Chicago during Barack Obama’s time in office, President Donald Trump told ABC News that as Obama was giving his hour-long farewell speech there on Jan. 10, two people were shot dead.
One problem: That didn’t happen, according to the Chicago Tribune, which is reporting that police department records and its own crime database indicate that there were no homicides in the city 24 hours before or after Obama’s speech at McCormick Place.
Trump has been railing against Chicago violence on Twitter, threatening to “send in the feds” and using the city to underscore his tough-on-crime stance.
However, when pressed by ABC’s David Muir in the Wednesday night interview, it’s unclear what Trump is willing to do to curb the city’s violence.
“I want them to fix the problem. You can’t have thousands of people being shot in a city, in a country that I happen to be president of,” Trump said. “Maybe it’s OK if somebody else was president. I want them to fix the problem.”
Though some reporters questioned whether the president would send in the National Guard, White House press secretary Sean Spicer clarified on Wednesday that Trump wants to “provide the resources of the federal government, and it can span a bunch of things,” according to Time magazine.
ABC News didn’t include the claim about the Chicago killings in its broadcast of the Trump interview. However, Trump’s statements are reflected in a transcript on the network’s website.
In his remarks, Trump clarified that the supposed victims “weren’t shot at the speech. But they were shot in the city of Chicago during his speech. What — what’s going on?”
He also compared the city to Afghanistan, saying people are being shot “left and right.”
Though Trump is apparently mistaken about the killings during Obama’s speech, Chicago experienced its worst violence in two decades last year, with more than 4,300 people shot and 762 killed, according to police department statistics.
Though no one was killed, there were five shootings on the day Obama spoke. Three people were injured hours before he arrived, and another was injured 20 minutes after he finished. The final shooting occurred about two hours after the end of the speech, according to ABC.