West Side pastor invites Trump to Austin, agrees with his comparison of Chicago to the Middle East

FOX 32 NEWS - On Tuesday, President Trump delivered another fact-challenged homily on Chicago violence as a West Side pastor invited him to the city's deadliest neighborhood.

The pastor agrees with Trump comparing Chicago to violent parts of the Middle East.

Maybe President Trump really doesn't know Indianapolis, St. Louis and many other American cities are more violent than Chicago. He’s appalled by the nearly 800 homicides and 4,400 shootings here last year. And he keeps saying, to a group of sheriffs today, that the bloodshed could quickly be stopped.

"If you ran Chicago, you'd solve that nightmare. I bet everybody in the room would raise their hand... because to allow, literally hundreds of shootings a month... it's worse than some of the places that we read about in the Middle East, we have wars going on. It’s so sad... Chicago has become so sad a situation,” trump said.

One West Side pastor embraces the president's rhetoric.

“It’s a war zone. It’s a war zone,” said Reverend Acree, pastor at Greater St. John Bible Church. “That’s why Donald Trump picked up a lot of traction. Because people who live in these neighborhoods…they know the trauma and the danger that we face all the time.”

Acree sent a letter inviting the president to his Austin neighborhood, where there was an astounding 537 shot last year, 92 of them killed. By far Chicago’s bloodiest, it's one of just ten communities that account for 60 percent of total killings.

Trump hints tougher, stop-and-frisk policing would reduce the toll. Acree wants new social spending.

“Social despair is rooted in all of those things: homelessness, poverty, poor education and segregation,” Acree said.

The president again said the national murder rate is the highest in 45 years. Because facts matter, we'll say this again: murder in America peaked in the 1980s. It’s down by about half. Chicago, on the other hand, is much closer to those bad old days.

The President hasn't responded to an earlier invitation. Congresswoman Robin Kelly tweeted last month that she'd like him to see violent parts of the South Side within her district.

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