Even Fox News has debunked this lie.
Donald Trump and his campaign have repeatedly pushed the false claim that Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden wants to defund the police.
But a cursory glance at Biden's criminal justice reform proposals shows nothing of the sort.
At the 2020 Republican National Convention, speakers ranging from Reps. Steve Scalise and Jim Jordan to former Fox News contributor and current Trump Victory finance committee chair Kimberly Guilfoyle parroted the claim, the latter suggesting that Democrats under a Biden presidency would "defund, dismantle, and destroy America's law enforcement."
"Biden has pledged to defund the police," the president's son, Eric Trump, claimed boldly on Tuesday night.
Some progressive activists have suggested redirecting funds used currently by local governments on police to other programs, specifically in response to a spate of racist police shootings of Black Americans. Those calls have typically focused on shifting funding to community social services instead and limiting police budgets, in order to prevent overpolicing and burdening law enforcement with unrealistic responsibilities.
But Biden has been explicit in his opposition to defunding law enforcement.
"While I do not believe federal dollars should go to police departments violating people's rights or turning to violence as the first resort, I do not support defunding police," Biden wrote in June.
On July 16, Trump campaign press secretary Hogan Gidley told the network, "You don't have to guess what America would look like under Joe Biden, you've seen it. The economy was horrible. The city streets are devolving into lawlessness, and all he says is, 'Should we defund the police? Yes, comma, absolutely.'"
Host Sandra Smith corrected Gidley. "He's not saying to defund the police. He's not calling to defund the police," she responded.
In a July 17 interview, Chris Wallace also fact-checked Trump in real time. When Trump asserted that defunding the police was part of Biden's "charter with Bernie Sanders," Wallace correctly noted that Biden's platform in fact "says nothing about defunding the police."
Wallace later reiterated on the network that Trump and his staff "couldn't find any indication — because there isn't any — that Joe Biden has sought to defund and abolish the police."
Despite this, Trump still doubled down on his earlier claim, tweeting that evening that even though Biden had not explicitly said he would defund the police, "that's what he wants to do."
Biden's actual proposals include "address[ing] systemic misconduct in police departments" through the Department of Justice, investing more in public defenders' offices, ending cash bail, and improving data collection to eliminate racial disparities.
"Biden will appoint Justice Department leadership who will prioritize the role of using pattern-or-practice investigations to strengthen our justice system," his website promises. "In addition, Biden will push for legislation to clarify that this pattern-or-practice investigation authority can also be used to address systemic misconduct by prosecutors' offices."
Published with permission of The American Independent Foundation.