Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and MSNBC "Morning Joe" co-anchor Joe Scarborough both slammed Attorney General Jeff Sessions Monday for his letter saying the New York City Police Department is "soft on crime."
"We are a safe city," the New York Democrat told the "Morning Joe" program. "New York has grown from 7 million people in 1990 to 8.5 million today, the largest of any city, because crime went down. Mothers from Denver and Dallas were not sending their daughters and sons to New York in 1990. Now they're happy to do it."
On Friday, Sessions' Justice Department, in a press release to announce warnings to New York and eight other sanctuary cities that they could lose their federal funding, said gang activity has risen in the Big Apple because of its stance on crime.
"New York City continues to see gang murder after gang murder, the predictable consequence of the city's 'soft on crime' stance," the statement said.
Schumer also denied that gang violence is growing.
"My daughters, they're young adults, but they ride the subway at 4 a.m., and I'm perfectly happy about it," said Schumer. "I'll be happy to ride the subway at 4 a.m., Jeff Sessions."
However, Sessions Sunday walked back on the letter, telling ABC's "This Week" that the NYPD has "developed some of the best techniques ever. They are so far ahead of many other cities. I think we all should study the tactics that have been developed."
Sessions also said he meant no disrespect, but if New York wants to be even more safe, it should stop its sanctuary city policies.
"Half of the murders in New York are gang-related. Many of those are people — gangs who have illegal aliens involved in them," Sessions said. "So why would you not want to deport those and make the city even safer?"
Scarborough, despite the Sunday comments from Sessions, said the attorney general owes the NYPD an apology.
"Has he ever been to New York City?" Scarborough said. "I'm just curious. You don't talk about the NYPD that way ... it makes me mad. He needs to apologize to the NYPD rank and file."
Over the weekend, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio responded angrily to Sessions' comment.
"We did not become the safest big city in America by being, 'soft on crime,'" said the mayor. "I never met a member of the NYPD who is soft on crime. This police commissioner is not soft on crime. This is an insult. I would say to President [Donald] Trump and Attorney General Sessions, if you believe this statement is accurate, come here to New York City, look our police officers in the eye and tell them you believe they are soft on crime. See how that feels that and see how the people of New York City feels about that."
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