White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki falsely started making the claim on June 23 that Republicans wanted to defund the police because they voted against a Democratic spending bill.
Did Jen Psaki just imply that Republicans support defunding the police? pic.twitter.com/5GZAK5m1zs
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) June 23, 2021
Psaki made it more definitive and more shameless on June 28.
Absolutely shameless. Under questioning from Fox's Peter Doocy, White House Press Secretary Jen Psaki argues it's *Republicans* who have been defunding the police and not supporting law enforcement because they didn't vote for Biden's stimulus boondoggle the American Rescue Plan. pic.twitter.com/pIwfFkonu1
— Curtis Houck (@CurtisHouck) June 28, 2021
Another White House official, Mike Gwin, doubled down on the lie as well.
The Rescue Plan is providing significant money to help state and local governments hire police and fund a range of other crime fighting measures.@POTUS and Democrats supported that funding. The GOP voted against it unanimously.
So, yes. https://t.co/gYGQTBqst9
— Mike Gwin (@MGwin46) June 28, 2021
Even though Psaki pushed this lie, she wasn’t able to produce the name of even one Republican member of Congress who said they weren’t supporting the Democrat’s bill because they wanted to defund the police, completely blowing up her lie.
It’s taken awhile, but even the WaPo isn’t able to avoid it — WaPo fact-checker Glenn Kessler is finally calling it false, albeit many days later.
Kessler notes the obvious — that not voting for a Democratic bill doesn’t equal defunding. Nothing in such an action would equal a defunding. There’s also the small problem that there was no line item related to the police in the bill. While aspects of the bill provided for local and state funding, it was up to the state what to use that on. There was no police provision even in the bill.
So it was just a straight-up lie from Psaki and the rest.
However, in so calling them out, Kessler does soft-pedal it — giving three Pinocchios instead of the four for the whopper of a lie that it obviously is. He also calls it a “slipshod claim” in the headline as though it’s just a bookkeeping error, not the deliberate falsehood that it is. They told the lie to deflect away from the result of the Democratic defunding across the country — the rising crime rate — because they didn’t want the blame for that.
Kessler also claimed that Biden “firmly rejected” defunding the police. That’s not true, as this video demonstrates, he did make defunding comments.
REMINDER: During a “Now This” interview, Joe Biden said he wants to defund the police.
Here’s the exchange⬇️
Ady Barkan: “Can we agree that we can redirect some of the funding [from the police]?”
Joe Biden: “Yes, absolutely”pic.twitter.com/m9iLxssYih
— GOP (@GOP) July 19, 2020
Yes, at various points (especially after it became polling popular), he did make pro-funding police statements. But that didn’t mean that he didn’t make the above statement, too.
Kessler gave Republican lawmakers four Pinocchios last week for saying Biden wanted to defund the police, a bigger number than the Biden three Pinocchios.
Bottom line? It’s been Democrats all the past year who have moved to defund and attack the police. It’s Democrats who should get all the anger of the public for all the bad results including the rise in crime. Democrats can’t argue that away or deflect the blame elsewhere. They own all of it.
Yes, Democrats support defunding the police. pic.twitter.com/HHXgJPXw2m
— Townhall.com (@townhallcom) June 29, 2021