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A Local Reporter Just Asked Trump To Provide Evidence For One Of His Lies—And Things Got Awkward

After local Michigan reporter Roop Raj asked Donald Trump for the source of his dubious claim about Venezuelan criminals coming into the U.S., Trump was stumped.

Screenshots of Roop Raj and Donald Trump
FOX 2 Detroit

After local Michigan reporter Roop Raj asked former President Donald Trump for the source of his dubious claim about Venezuelan criminals coming into the United States, Trump was criticized for being noticeably stumped the moment he was called out.

Raj, who reports for Fox 2 Detroit, began with a question about whether or not Trump follows his "convictions or the polls" on the subject of abortion rights given Trump's history of flip-flopping on the subject.

Trump responded:

"I'm following my convictions and what we're doing with states' rights. I also follow the law and when you've got it in the states, it's states' rights, the state will decide."
"Now the state is deciding through votes and the votes in some cases will be tougher and in some cases very loose. I think Michigan actually is going to be very loose."

The conversation wrapped up and Trump offered "one stat before we go" to attack President Joe Biden on immigration:

"Venezuela was very crime ridden. They announced the other day a 72% reduction in crime in the last year. You know why? They moved all their criminals from Venezuela right into the good ol' U.S.A. and Biden let them do it. It’s a disgrace.”

When Raj asked him to explain where those numbers came from, Trump stumbled:

“Uhhh, I guess I get them from the papers in this case. I think it’s a federal statement or, well, they’re coming actually from Venezuela. They’re coming from Venezuela.”

Raj concluded simply:

"We'll have to check on that."

You can watch their exchange in the video below.

Trump was almost immediately mocked following the interview.

Trump has previously claimed that Venezuelan immigration is affecting U.S. national crime statistics, but with a different figure.

At a rally in Green Bay, Wisconsin on April 2, he stated that crime in Venezuela has dropped "by 67% because they’re taking their gangs and their criminals and depositing them very nicely into the United States."

However, Politifact, a nonprofit project operated by the Poynter Institute for Media Studies, shut down the claim, noting that while crime rates in Venezuela have decreased, the actual reduction is estimated to be around 20% to 30%, not the 67% Trump asserts.

The decline is attributed to various factors, including economic challenges and the consolidation of organized crime, rather than Venezuela supposedly sending its criminals to the U.S. as Trump suggests.

Trump claims that Biden's immigration policies are too lenient and has labeled crimes committed by undocumented immigrants as "Biden migrant crime."

Trump has used inflammatory language to describe undocumented immigrants, calling them "animals" when discussing alleged criminal activities and stating they are "poisoning the blood of our country." Critics have condemned his rhetoric as xenophobic and reminiscent of Nazi language, to which Trump has claimed ignorance of Adolf Hitler's use of similar phrases.