Trump says getting tough on crime is No. 1 issue

Trump rips 'grossly incompetent people' currently in office during exclusive 'Mornings with Maria' interview

Former President Trump, during an exclusive interview on "Mornings with Maria" on Tuesday, revealed that his priority is getting "tough on crime" as the murder rate in the United States is the highest it's been in decades and as smash-and-grab thefts soar

The 2021 United States murder rate is estimated to be nearly as high as it was 25 years ago when more than 19,600 people were killed nationwide, according to statistics shared in a recent report. 

The murder rate was estimated to be 6.9 murders per 100,000 people in 2021 – just 0.5 lower than the 1996 murder rate of 7.4, according to FBI data examined by data analyst Jeff Asher and shared by the New York Times. It’s the closest the nation has come to the high-crime scourge of the early 90s.

The FBI estimated that 19,645 people were murdered in 1996. Meanwhile, 2021 ended with several cities – Chicago, New York, Los Angeles, and Minneapolis, to name a few – reporting upticks in murders.


Former New York Police Department (NYPD) Commissioner Howard Safir attributed the high murder numbers last year to several factors, including "cancel culture and woke mentality that assumes that police are racist and brutal." He also pointed to soft-on-crime policies and a lack of support for police. 

Speaking with host Maria Bartiromo, Trump, who was a New York City resident for most of his life and now lives in Florida, also pointed to soft-on-crime policies and "radical left district attorneys and attorney generals" as root causes and addressed how he would reverse the spike if he were in office again. 

"It’s a disgrace what’s going on in New York and other places," he told Bartiromo. 

He went on to stress that "you have to get tough on crime" and that it is his "number one thing now."

"You have to stop it," Trump added, noting that sentencing criminals and getting rid of cashless bail are important steps in tackling the crime spike. 

New York City Mayor Eric Adams, who’s already seen six officers shot, two of them fatally, as well as two major fires in New York City barely a month since he took office, called on Democratic New York Gov. Kathy Hochul recently to make changes to bail reform. But at a separate press conference, the governor stood by the "fundamental premise" of the controversial legislation that took effect in January 2020 under her predecessor, Andrew Cuomo. 

Shootings and violent crime infamously surged in New York City in 2020 when the anti-gun plainclothes unit was disbanded under former Mayor Bill de Blasio at the height of the defund-the-police movement. Adams, fulfilling a campaign promise, brought a modified version of the plainclothes unit of detectives back last month as part of his Blueprint to Combat Gun Violence. 


As Democrats attempt to put the progressive pipe dream to rest entering a midterm election year, Biden insisted Thursday that "the answer is not to defund the police." His administration’s strategy aims to stop the flow of guns, bolster law enforcement and increase funding for community policing. 

A spokesperson for Hochul did not immediately respond to FOX Business’ request for comment. 

On Tuesday, Trump also slammed the "grossly incompetent people" currently in office. 

"Look at the Iran deal, look at the Afghanistan withdrawal, look at inflation, there was no reason for this inflation," Trump said. 

He pointed to the "ridiculous" energy prices "that should have never happened." 

Trump stressed that inflation is "truly a big problem in this country" and argued that there would have been no inflation under his administration. 

Last month it was revealed inflation rose at the fastest pace in nearly four decades in December, as rapid price gains fueled consumer fears about the economy and sent President Biden's approval rating tumbling.

The consumer price index (CPI) rose 7% in December from a year ago, according to a new Labor Department report released Wednesday, marking the fastest increase since June 1982, when inflation hit 7.1%. The CPI – which measures a bevy of goods ranging from gasoline and health care to groceries and rents – jumped 0.5% in the one-month period from November.

Price increases were widespread. Although energy prices fell 1.1% in December from the previous month, they're still up 29.3% from last year. Gasoline, on average, costs 49.6% more than it did last year. 

January’s CPI data is scheduled to be released on Thursday with consumer prices expected to tick up to 7.3% vs. 7% from December. 

In energy trading on Tuesday morning, benchmark U.S. crude was at $89.60 a barrel. 

U.S. crude oil broke the $90-per-barrel mark last week, the highest since October 2014. Brent crude rose to $91 per barrel. 

The move came one day after OPEC again snubbed requests from the United States to increase production to help quell inflation. The cartel determined at its January meeting it would continue along its path of a 400,000 barrel-a-day production increase. 

Unrest between Russia and Ukraine is also pressuring prices.

On Tuesday, the national average for gas was $3.46, an increase of 99 cents from the same time last year, according to AAA


When Bartiromo asked Trump if he plans on running for president again in 2024, he responded by saying, "the polls say I should."

He went on to argue that "the people of this country are very angry at everything that’s been happening and the incompetence that’s been shown in government." 


FOX Business’ Megan Henney and Fox News’ Danielle Wallace and Stephanie Pagones contributed to this report.