The Slatest

Trump Might Have Lied About Meeting High-Ranking Chicago Cops Who Have a Secret Plan to End Crime

Donald Trump on Tuesday in Austin, Texas.

John Moore/Getty Images

During a Monday night appearance on The O’Reilly Factor, Trump said he’s been in touch with “very top police” in Chicago, and with one “top police officer” in particular, who could make the violence-plagued city safe in a single week. The transcript:

When I was in Chicago, I got to meet a couple of very top police. I said, “How do you stop this? How do you stop this? If you were put in charge — to a specific person — do you think you could stop it?” He said, ‘Mr. Trump, I’d be able to stop it in one week.’ And I believed him 100 percent. … All I know is this. I went to a top police officer in Chicago, who is not the police chief, and I could see by the way he was dealing with his people, he was a rough, tough guy. They respected him greatly. … He said, “Mr. Trump, within one week, we could stop much of this horror show that’s going on.”

Seems plausible! The Chicago PD, however, says that Trump has not met with any of its employees who could in any way be considered “top” officers. From the Chicago Tribune:

“No one in the senior command at CPD has ever met with Donald Trump or a member of his campaign,” Chicago police spokesman Anthony Guglielmi said.

Guglielmi clarified later that since at least March, when a Trump rally at the University of Illinois at Chicago was planned and ultimately canceled, none of the department’s deputy superintendents, commanders of the city’s 22 districts, chiefs of patrol or chiefs of detectives has met with Trump.

In response, Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks explained that when Trump said “very top officers” and “a top police officer” he meant that the individuals he spoke to were “capable, smart and talented,” not that they were high-ranking.

Incidentally, Trump did not elaborate on what his “very top” sources’ plan for seven-day crime elimination actually constituted except to say that it would be “very much tougher” than the Chicago force’s current approach. And as Slate’s Jamelle Bouie observes, the city of Chicago recently created a reparations fund for victims of police torture, which means whatever Trump and his top guys have in mind must be very tough indeed.

Read more Slate coverage of the 2016 campaign.