Justice

Donald Trump Just Defended The Wildly Inaccurate Crime Statistics He Retweeted

November 23rd 2015

By:
Alex Mierjeski

A day after manually retweeting some decidedly false crime statistics, Donald Trump said that he is the "least racist person on Earth" in an interview with Fox News on Monday.

"I retweeted somebody that was supposedly an expert and it was also a radio show," Trump told Fox's "The O'Reilly Factor," the New York Daily News reported. The candidate was scheduled to appear on the program Monday night.

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"Am I gonna check every statistic? I get millions and millions of people @realDonaldTrump by the way. I get millions of people, you know what, fine. But this came out of radio shows and everything else, all it was a retweet. Excuse me, all it was was a retweet, it wasn’t from me and it did come out of a radio show and other places because you see all the names,” according to the New York Daily News.

If nothing else, Donald Trump is a prolific tweeter. It's a trait that has often gotten him headlines, and by equal measure, in trouble. This time around, the candidate was in the news after tweeting out questionable racial crime statistics in the U.S.—the same numbers, in fact, touted by social media accounts linked to neo-Nazi groups, Little Green Footballs reported.

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As has been widely reported at this point, the statistics in question don't exactly line up with actual crime statistics. Actually, the source to which the 2015 stats are attributed—the sort-of official-sounding Crime Statistics Bureau - San Francisco—doesn't exist. As the Daily Beast noted, even though 2015's crime stats aren't even out yet, 2014's, reported by the FBI, paint a drastically different picture than those tweeted on Trump's official account.

As Mother Jones' Ben Dreyfuss noted, the dubious infographic, which was manually retweeted, doesn't necessarily mean Trump himself tapped out the message on his phone. In fact, since the tweet was sent using an Android phone, a campaign aide is the likely culprit (Trump, who sometimes does personally use the official account, uses an iPhone). On the O'Reilly show, the candidate didn't necessarily say it wasn't him at the account's helm—a divergence from previous Twitter gaffes, including another Nazi-related misstep that the campaign was quick to blame on an aide.

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What the tweet says about the Trump campaign is perhaps not as instructive from a policy perspective as it is of the candidate's worrisome penchant for bombast, and his signature shoot-from-the-hip style of speaking (and tweeting). But that style frequently does, in fact, characterize much of Trump's policy proposals. Later on the O'Reilly show, he reiterated his stance on blocking Syrian refugees from entering the country.

"I don't want them to come here," Trump said. "We shouldn't be taking anybody."

Last week, the candidate also suggested closing some mosques in the U.S., and creating a registry system for Muslim citizens, as well as requiring them to carry identification cards.

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