President Joe Biden’s senior adviser, Cedric Richmond, pushed back on a Republican critique that efforts to defund the police have played a large part in rising crime rates across the country.
On “Fox News Sunday” with Chris Wallace, Richmond responded to comments by Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) that the president’s recently released gun reform plan will not actually address the uptick in violence.
The plan, unveiled Wednesday, seeks to increase funding for the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, ramp up ATF inspections and enforcement, and provide guidance as to how cities and states can use American Rescue Plan funds for crime intervention.
But Graham said Wednesday it will not address the larger problem.
“We have a lack of prosecution and we've declared war on the police and that is backfiring on those who have done it,” Graham said in a Wednesday interview.
Richmond, a former member of Congress from Louisiana, said the senator “doesn’t have a clue,” when it comes to the issue, and pointed the finger back at Republicans for stifling crime intervention efforts in Congress.
“When we were in Congress last year trying to pass a rescue plan — I'm sorry, not the rescue plan — but an emergency relief plan for cities that were cash-strapped and laying off police and firefighters, it was the Republicans who objected to it and, in fact, they didn't get funding until the American Rescue Plan,” he said.
Richmond added: “Republicans are very good at staying on talking points ... but the truth is, they defunded the police, we funded crime intervention.”