Washington Post Gives White House Three Pinocchios for False Claims Republicans Defund the Police

In this June 22, 2020, file photo Metropolitan Police Department bicycle division officers
AP Photo/Maya Alleruzzo

The Washington Post fact-checked claims from President Joe Biden’s White House saying that Republicans are trying to defund the police, not Democrats.

Many people in the Biden White House made these false claims in recent weeks since the Democrats are now trying to sway the messaging from their own party. The Post quoted former Rep. Cedric Richmond (D-LA), a senior adviser to Biden. Last month in an interview on Fox News, Richmond, when talking about funding the police, said Republicans were the ones who “objected to it” last year.

Richmond further claimed cities that were “cash-strapped and laying off police and firefighters” did not get any funding until the American Rescue Plan. “Republicans are very good at staying on talking points of who says ‘defund the police,’ but the truth is, they defunded the police,” he added.

The Post claimed that Biden’s advisors in the White House, like Richmond, are “trying to turn the tables on the GOP with a new talking point, claiming it’s actually Republicans who are working to defund the police.”

Fact check continued that even though the Republicans voted to oppose Biden’s Chinese coronavirus relief package, “no one voted to cut, or defund, anything.”

The Post explained the importance of law enforcement:

Police officers are one category of essential workers covered by the law, but they are not mentioned specifically like “impacted industries such as tourism, travel, and hospitality” or “water, sewer, or broadband infrastructure.” As the bill worked its way through Congress, Democrats said these “state and local aid” funds would help shore up a host of local services, such as “health care workers, police, fire, transportation, EMS, teachers.

“We often fact-check claims in which huge spending bills are reduced to one cherry-picked expense out of thousands,” the Post said. However, this case was unique. Normally the Post would attach a line item to the White House’s claims, but there is not one.

The fact check explained that the American Rescue Plan, which Richmond is talking about, would have devoted $350 billion for “state and local aid.” Still, there was no guarantee where the money was going and no guarantee that the money would be going to the police. Even more so, the Post added, there is little basis to claim that Republicans are trying to “defund the police.”

The Post had given these claims “Three Pinocchios” overall.

Mike Berg, a National Republican Congressional Committee (NRCC) spokesman, responded to the Post’s decision to admit that Republicans are not trying to defund the police. “Democrats across the country defunded the police and caused a crime wave. No amount of spin will change that,” he said.


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