President Trump suggested that Baltimore’s murder rate is higher than that of war-torn Afghanistan during a campaign rally in Ohio on Thursday night.
“The homicide rate in Baltimore is significantly higher than El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala,” Trump said during his speech.
Trump was likely referencing a Washington Examiner article that compared Baltimore’s numbers in 2019 with those of each of the three northern triangle countries fueling the migrant crisis on the US’s southern border.
“I believe it’s higher than – give me a place that’s pretty bad,” he said, asking the crowd at his Cincinnati rally to shout out suggestions.
“The guy says Afghanistan,” Trump laughed. “I believe it’s higher than Afghanistan.”
Knowing he’d likely get in trouble for the claim he added, “I’ll check the numbers, and if we’re wrong, they’ll tell us tomorrow.”
“It will be headlines: Trump exaggerated,” the president added.
At the same rally, Trump said, “I don’t want to be controversial,” when knocking Democrats.
He didn’t name members of the so-called “squad,” which at his last campaign rally got the crowd going with a “send her back” chant, directed at Somali-born Rep. Ilhan Omar, who’s an American citizen.
“The Democrat party is now being led by four left-wing extremists who reject everything that we hold dear,” Trump said, taking a veiled swipe.
He then pivoted to his new favorite target: Baltimore and other Democrat-led American cities including San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles.
“No one has paid a higher price for the far-left destructive agenda than Americans living in our nation’s inner cities. We send billions and billions and billions for years and years and it’s stolen money, and it’s wasted money,” Trump said. “They’ve squeezed the blood out of them.”
Trump originally started going after Baltimore after the congressman who represents part of the city, House Oversight Committee Chairman Elijah Cummings, criticized the conditions at the border under this administration. Trump’s defense was that Cummings’ district was a “rodent infested mess.”