Mayor Kenney responds to President Trump's claim about Philly's murder rate

- President Trump on his first official trip since his swearing chose friendly territory the Republican retreat in Philadelphia's Center City with the GOP congressional caucus.

Trump's midday remarks Thursday in Philadelphia come a day after he began overhauling the nation's immigration rules and moved to jumpstart construction of his promised U.S.-Mexico border wall. He also ordered cuts Wednesday in federal grants for "sanctuary cities," which shield some immigrants from federal law enforcement, and increases in the number of border patrol agents and immigration officers.

President Donald Trump called on fellow Republicans to help him enact "great and lasting change" during a party retreat Thursday, but offered the lawmakers few details about his views on key issues including tax reform and health care. 
 
The president was greeted by cheers as he took the stage in a hotel ballroom, telling senators and House members, "This Congress is going to be the busiest Congress in decades -- maybe ever."
 
Trump's election put Republicans in control of both the White House and Congress for the first time in more than a decade. Yet Trump's often fluid ideology has sometimes put him at odds with his own party, making agreement on issues including a tax overhaul and entitlements no guarantee. 
 
The president spoke about his agenda in broad terms and then skipped a planned question-and-answer session. He gave Republicans no specific marching orders for tackling the repeal and replace of "Obamacare," one of the most complicated issues Congress is expected to tackle this year. 

He also spoke about Philadelphia's homicide rate. It didn't take long for the mayor to respond.

READ MORE: AP FACT CHECK: No murder surge in Philly despite Trump claim

Mayor Jim Kenney issued the following statement in response to President Trump’s claim that "here in Philadelphia murder has been steady - I mean just terribly - increasing." 

"President Trump’s false statements today were an insult to the men and women of the Philadelphia police force—the very same men and women who are working long hours today to ensure his safety. Our police officers have worked tirelessly and with great personal sacrifice to get Philadelphia’s crime rate down to its lowest point in forty years, while also successfully implementing reforms to strengthen police-community relations and uphold the rights of all our residents. Our homicides are, in fact, slowly declining, and while we are not satisfied with even our current numbers, we are handicapped by Republican refusal to enact any kind of common sense gun control and by their obsession with turning our police officers into ICE agents - which will prevent immigrants from coming forward to report crimes or provide critical witnesses statements that can put dangerous criminals behind bars."
 

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