The New York Times has reviewed 22 of Donald Trump's campaign ads directed at the 2020 Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden since June, and found that 14 of them have some misleading claims or videos.
In late July, the Trump campaign started airing an ad titled "Break-In." It starts with an elderly woman watching TV and a voice stating, "Seattle's pledge to defund its police department by 50 percent, even including a proposal to remove 911 dispatchers from police control." As she watches in clear disapproval, the silhouette of an intruder can be seen trying to break into her front door.
This commercial plays more like a horror film, which could be the desired effect, especially if it can effectively stoke the fears of the elderly. The woman attempts to contact her local police, but is greeted by a voicemail, saying, "There is no one here to answer your emergency call."
Seattle's city council never proposed to remove 911 dispatchers, but rather, they expressed interest in an activist group's suggestion for the current police call center system to be controlled by civilians. As the elderly woman is making the call, Fox News' Sean Hannity claiming, "Joe Biden said he's absolutely on board with defunding the police." The statement is followed by a clip where Biden simply says, "Yes, absolutely."
Biden has repeatedly said he isn't in support of defunding the police, and there's even an interview with CBS Evening News' Norah O'Donnell where Biden explicitly states, "No, I don't support defunding the police." When asked if his proposal signals his support for redirecting some police funding to other interests, such as mental health and affordable housing, he responded, "Yes, absolutely." The Times also obtained his full remarks where he tries to clarify that his proposals were "not the same as getting rid of or defunding all the police."
Another campaign ad targeting Black audiences accuses Biden of "writing" the laws that led to mass incarceration. "Mass incarceration has put hundreds of thousands behind bars for minor offenses. Joe Biden wrote those laws," the voiceover states.
While Biden did sponsor the Senate's Violent Crime Control and Law Enforcement Act of 1994, his involvement in the law has been exaggerated. In fact, the Times notes that Biden's support came at a time where states were imposing stricter sentencing laws in the decades prior.