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Trump's bogus claims about American cities start to add up

Donald Trump has recently lied about crime in New York, Atlanta, and Chicago. Yesterday was Philadelphia's turn.
Police walk along Arch Street, Sept. 27, 2015, in Philadelphia, Pa. (Photo by David Goldman/AP)
Police walk along Arch Street, Sept. 27, 2015, in Philadelphia, Pa.
During one of the 2016 presidential debates, Hillary Clinton noted that the murder rate in New York City is dropping. "You're wrong," Donald Trump said, interrupting her. "Murders are up." Trump was wrong; murders in NYC are down.Five months later, on Martin Luther King weekend, Trump thought it'd be a good idea to feud with Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) after the iconic congressman questioned the legitimacy of the president's election. The Republican responded in part by going after Lewis' Atlanta congressional district, insisting Lewis should overlook the election scandal and focus instead of his "crime infested" city that's "in horrible shape and falling apart." A closer look revealed Trump's condemnations of Atlanta weren't at all true.Earlier this week, the president turned his attention to criticizing Chicago, insisting that during President Obama's farewell address, "two people were shot and killed during his speech." It turns out, Trump simply made that up and those shootings didn't happen outside of the president's imagination.Yesterday, as the Washington Post noted, it was Philly's turn.

Speaking in Philadelphia on Thursday, President Trump made one of his trademark digressions into a discussion of violent crime.Mentioning the increase in violent crime in some major cities nationwide -- which is true, homicides have gone up in numerous big cities -- Trump also pointed to the city where he was speaking during a Republican strategy retreat."Here in Philadelphia, the murder rate has been steady -- I mean just terribly increasing," he said.

Trump has no idea what he's talking about. The murder rate in the city just decreased, and it's improved steadily in recent decades.For reasons that the White House has not yet explained, the president seems to have a habit of assuming, reflexively and without any real thought or examination, that every urban area is deteriorating and growing more dangerous -- even when the exact opposite is true.Now that Trump's president, perhaps he can stop lying about American cities? Or at least explain why he keeps criticizing them without cause?