As President Donald Trump prepares to hold his first campaign rally of the year in El Paso, TX, on February 11, Trump’s allies on Fox & Friends have already picked up on his lie that violence in El Paso decreased following the construction of border fencing. The morning show hosts are pushing this false narrative as fact even though multiple outlets have already debunked it.
During his State of the Union address on February 5, Trump falsely claimed, “The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime - one of the highest in the country, and [was] considered one of our nation's most dangerous cities.” State and local officials quickly pushed back on this claim. PolitiFact also debunked it, writing that El Paso’s “violent crime rate has been significantly below the national average compared to cities of similar size” every year between 1985 and 2014. And as NBC News reported, “Violent crime has been dropping in El Paso since its modern-day peak in 1993 and was at historic lows before a fence was authorized by Congress in 2006.” Both outlets also noted that the violent crime rate in the city increased after the fence was put up. In fact, the El Paso Times reported, “From 2006 to 2011 — two years before the fence was built to two years after — the violent crime rate in El Paso increased by 17 percent.” But as criminologist Charis E. Kubrin told PolitiFact, the increases or decreases in the city’s crime rate aren't necessarily linked to the fence.
Despite the statistical evidence contradicting Trump’s claims, the hosts at Fox & Friends supported the president in lying about crime rates in El Paso. During the February 11 edition of the show, co-host Ainsley Earhardt claimed that Democrats are “upset with [Trump] saying in the State of the Union address that the wall works in El Paso.” Co-host Brian Kilmeade replied, “Right, which it did.”
From the February 11 edition of Fox News’ Fox & Friends: