- The Washington Times - Monday, September 26, 2016

The White House said Monday that Americans are safer under President Obama, despite FBI crime statistics showing that violent crime rose about 4 percent last year.

“The numbers indicate that since President Obama took office, the violent crime rate has fallen 15 percent,” said White House press secretary Josh Earnest, who said crime rates are still “near historic lows.”

The FBI reported Monday that violent crime rose nationwide, fueled by an 11 percent increase in homicides, particularly in some of the largest cities. Republican nominee Donald Trump has been campaigning on a promise to restore law and order.

Mr. Earnest said the president believes “there’s more that we can do.”

“The country is safer, as measured by the violent crime rate, than it was in any year under the previous four presidents,” he said.

In recent days, the White House has downplayed Mr. Obama’s ability to help with protests in major cities that have sometimes turned violent over police shootings of minorities, saying policing is a local matter. But the White House said Mr. Obama is “proud” of his administrations role in keeping crime rates lower compared with previous decades.

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