President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump to sign executive order promoting artificial intelligence Trump’s new Syria timetable raises concern among key anti-ISIS allies Trump officials considering Mar-a-Lago for next meeting with China’s Xi: report MORE on Monday took aim at El Paso mayor Dee Margo (R) when he said “people were full of crap” if they say a border fence hasn’t made a difference in reducing crime in El Paso, Texas.
“There’s no place better to talk about border security whether they like it or not,” Trump said while speaking at the El Paso County Coliseum. “I’ve been hearing a lot of things. ‘Oh the wall didn’t make that much of a difference.’”
“You know where it made a big difference, right here in El Paso,” Trump continued.
— Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) February 12, 2019
Trump doubled down on his claims that the city became safer after a border wall was built nearby. His comments at the rally follow denials of his claims from Margo and former Rep. Beto O’RourkeRobert (Beto) Francis O’RourkeWhat key 2020 candidates are saying about the Green New Deal O’Rourke rips Trump’s ‘lies’ ahead of El Paso visit Howard Schultz to be featured at CNN town hall in Texas next week MORE (D-Texas).
“And I don’t care if a mayor is a Republican or a Democrat, they’re full of crap when they say it hasn’t made a big difference,” Trump said, referring to the criticism he received from Margo after he made similar claims in his State of the Union address.
The president added that he’s been told by officials in the region that placing a wall in El Paso changed the “whole ballgame” when it came to crime in the city.
The comments came about a week after Trump used El Paso as an example of why walls worked during his State of the Union address.
“[El Paso] used to have extremely high rates of violent crime, one of the highest in the country, and considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities,” Trump said. “Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities.”
Margo condemned Trump’s comments shortly after the speech, tweeting that “El Paso was never one of the most dangerous cities in the US.”
He said last Saturday on CNN that he would “absolutely” correct Trump again if he repeated a similar false line about the city.
O’Rourke also countered Trump’s claims in his own rally on Monday night, saying El Paso is “safe not because of walls but in spite of walls.”
El Paso sits just across the border from the Mexican city of Ciudad Juárez and is divided by the Rio Grande and a stretch of fence that was constructed more than 10 years ago.
Officials in El Paso County, Texas, passed a resolution earlier on Monday stating that the city is “disillusioned by President Trump’s lies regarding the border and our community.”The resolution noted that the county’s violent crime rate dropped 62 percent from 1993 to 2007, and that a fence wasn’t installed until 2008.