Trump suggests homelessness is a 'phenomenon that started two years ago' in barely comprehensible interview

Emma Snaith

President Trump’s comments on homelessness begin at 3:10.

Donald Trump has suggested that homelessness is a “phenomenon that started two years ago” and said that he “may intercede” to tackle the crisis.

The US president also implied that homeless people living in the streets of US cities were making police officers sick.

He made the comments in a rambling interview with Fox News host Tucker Carlson in Japan, which was broadcast on Monday.

When Mr Carlson asked Mr Trump why US cities including have “a major problem with filth”, unlike Japanese cities, Mr Trump appeared to talk about homelessness instead.

“It's a phenomenon that started two years ago,” he said. “It's disgraceful”.

He added: “You can’t have what’s happening – where police officers are getting sick just by walking the beat,”

“I mean, they’re getting actually very sick, where people are getting sick, where the people living there are living in hell too.”

Mr Trump may have been referring to a Los Angeles police officer who was diagnosed with typhoid fever last month after working in a downtown area with a large homeless population.

“Some of them have mental problems where they don’t even know they’re living that way,” Mr Trump added. “In fact, perhaps they like living that way."

“We cannot ruin our cities. And you have people that work in those cities. They work in office buildings and to get into the building, they have to walk through a scene that nobody would have believed possible three years ago.”

Throughout the segment, it was unclear what the US president was referring to as he did not mention the word “homelessness”.

“When we have leaders of the world coming in to see the president of the United States and they’re riding down a highway, they can’t be looking at that,” he added. “I really believe that it hurts our country.”

Mr Trump said the cities facing these problems “are usually sanctuary cities run by very liberal people”.

“We may intercede. We may do something to get that whole thing cleaned up,” he added. “It's inappropriate.”

Los Angeles has seen homelessness increase by 16 per cent over the last year as the city’s housing crisis intensifies.

Likewise, in San Francisco, homelessness has increased by 17 per cent in the past year despite the tech boom which has benefited many companies based in the city.

In the same fox interview, Mr Trump railed against some of these big tech companies in San Francisco.

“Facebook was against me,” he said. “They were all against me.

“Twitter was against me… I’ve been very good for Twitter. I don’t think Twitter would be the same without what I do on Twitter.”