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Photos: Drew Angerer/Getty Images; Mark Wilson/Getty Images

President Trump's campaign seized Tuesday on 2015 audio of Mike Bloomberg defending the controversial stop-and-frisk policing tactic that was utilized by New York City during his mayoral tenure.

Why it matters: It's a significant and sustained attack by the Trump camp on a candidate that's gotten the president's attention — if his Twitter feed is any indication — and it comes as the former New York mayor has been gaining ground in national polls in a crowded Democratic field.

What Bloomberg said:

"95% of your murderers — murderers and murder victims —  fit one M.O. You can just take the description, Xerox it and pass it out to all the cops. They are male minorities, sixteen to twenty-five. That's true in New York, that's true in virtually every city. ... And that's where the real crime is....
"One of the unintended consequences is people say, 'Oh my God, you are arresting kids for marijuana that are all minorities.' Yes, that's true. Why? Because we put all the cops in minority neighborhoods. Yes, that's true. Why do we do it? Because that's where all the crime is."

The backdrop: Stop-and-frisk is a policing strategy that allows police to detain people they think have been — or will be — involved in a crime in some capacity. It allows the detaining officer to attempt to feel if someone is armed by touching outside their clothing.

  • Bloomberg, who took office in 2002, did not begin the city's stop-and-frisk policy but significantly expanded it, recording over 5 million stops during his three terms, the New York Times reports.
  • During each of Bloomberg's years in office, more than 75% of the people stopped were black or Latino, per ACLU data. A federal judge ultimately ruled the practice unconstitutional in 2013.
  • Despite historically low crime levels in New York City recorded under Bloomberg's tenure, there is no correlation between the use of stop-and-frisk and the city's crime rate, per the Washington Post.
  • He apologized for his support for the tactic in November, saying that he was "focused on saving lives" at the time but "didn't understand ... the full impact that stops were having on the black and Latino communities."

The state of play: Trump campaign manager Brad Parscale led the broadside against the former mayor, asking if Bloomberg News would cover it — a dig at the company's policy that it will not investigate Bloomberg or other 2020 Democrats running for office.

  • That decision led the Trump campaign to announce in December that it was blacklisting Bloomberg News employees from its events.
  • Trump tweeted and then deleted the audio on Tuesday. His now-deleted post called Bloomberg a "TOTAL RACIST."
  • The president still retweeted a picture of him and Bloomberg on the golf course, mocking the mayor's height in the process. That amplified tweet used the hashtag #BloombergIsRacist, which was trending on Twitter.

Reality check: Trump himself has continuously promoted stop-and-frisk, saying in 2018 that it was "meant for problems like Chicago" and on the campaign trail in 2016 that it "worked incredibly well" in New York.

  • While in office, Trump has refused to apologize for calling for the death penalty in 1989 for the Central Park Five, a group of black and Latino men who were wrongfully convicted of rape.

The other side: Bloomberg, who argued the practice did not violate civil rights as recently as a September 2018 interview with the Times, said in a statement that "this issue and my comments about it do not reflect my commitment to criminal justice reform and racial equity."

  • "I inherited the police practice of stop-and-frisk, and as part of our effort to stop gun violence it was overused. By the time I left office, I cut it back by 95%, but I should've done it faster and sooner. I regret that and I have apologized — and I have taken responsibility for taking too long to understand the impact it had on black and Latino communities," he added.

Go deeper:

Go deeper

3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Trump to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations before leaving office

Photo: Mandel Ngan/AFP via Getty Images

President Trump plans to issue at least 100 pardons and commutations on his final full day in office Tuesday, sources familiar with the matter told Axios.

Why it matters: This is a continuation of the president's controversial December spree that saw full pardons granted to more than two dozen people — including former Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, longtime associate Roger Stone and Charles Kushner, the father of Trump's senior adviser and son-in-law, Jared Kushner.

  • The pardons set to be issued before Trump exits the White House will be a mix of criminal justice ones and pardons for people connected to the president, the sources said.
  • CNN first reported this news.

Go deeper: Convicts turn to D.C. fixers for Trump pardons

Schumer's m(aj)ority checklist

Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer. Photo: Tasos Katopodis/Getty Images

Capitalizing on the Georgia runoffs, achieving a 50-50 Senate and launching an impeachment trial are weighty to-dos for getting Joe Biden's administration up and running on Day One.

What to watch: A blend of ceremonies, hearings and legal timelines will come into play on Tuesday and Wednesday so Chuck Schumer can actually claim the Senate majority and propel the new president's agenda.

The dark new reality in Congress

National Guard troops keep watch at security fencing. Photo: Kent Nishimura/Los Angeles Times via Getty Images

This is how bad things are for elected officials and others working in a post-insurrection Congress:

  • Rep. Norma Torres (D-Calif.) said she had a panic attack while grocery shopping back home.
  • Rep. Jim McGovern (D-Mass.) said police may also have to be at his constituent meetings.
  • Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Ill.) told a podcaster he brought a gun to his office on Capitol Hill on Jan. 6 because he anticipated trouble with the proceedings that day.