Trump compares Chicago violence to Afghanistan

"Afghanistan is not like what's happening in Chicago."

President Donald Trump repeated a threat that he would "send in the feds" if law-enforcement officials in the nation's third-largest city fail to reduce the crime rate.

During an interview with ABC News' David Muir on Wednesday night, Trump asserted that "carnage" in Chicago is getting out of hand.

"People are being shot left and right, thousands of people over a short period of time," the president said. "This year, which has just started, is worse than last year which was a catastrophe."

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CHICAGO, IL - JULY 25: Kathleen Sances, executive director of the Gun Violence Prevention PAC, protests with other demonstrators outside the Hilton Hotel where New Jersey Governor Chris Christie was attending a fundraiser for Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner on July 25, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. About 100 demonstrators opposed to Christie and Rauner's stances on gun control, teacher and other public employee pensions and other issues chanted and made speeches outside the hotel during the fundraiser. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 20: Melted candles stain the sidewalk during a memorial service for Shamiya Adams on July 20, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Adams, 11, was killed while spending the night at a friend's home when a stray bullet flew through an open window and an interior wall and struck her in the head on July 18th. The memorial service was held outside of the home in which Adams was killed. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 20: Jonathan Beavers, 11, signs a poster memorializing Shamiya Adams on July 20, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Adams, 11, was killed while spending the night at a friend's home when a stray bullet flew through an open window and an interior wall and struck her in the head on July 18th. The memorial service was held outside of the home in which Adams was killed. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 20: Residents watch from across the street during a memorial service for Shamiya Adams on July 20, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Adams, 11, was killed while spending the night at a friend's home when a stray bullet flew through an open window and an interior wall and struck her in the head on July 18th. The memorial service was held outside of the home in which Adams was killed. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 20: Members of a motorcycle club rev their engines during a memorial service for Shamiya Adams on July 20, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Adams, 11, was killed while spending the night at a friend's home when a stray bullet flew through an open window and an interior wall and struck her in the head on July 18th. The memorial service was held outside of the home in which Adams was killed. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JULY 20: Audry Miller is comforted by community activist Andrew Holmes during a memorial service for her granddaughter, Shamiya Adams, on July 20, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Jalante, along with family members, prepare to release ballons during a prayer vigil. Adams, 11, was killed while spending the night at a friend's home when a stray bullet flew through an open window and an interior wall and struck her in the head on July 18th. The memorial service was held outside of the home in which Adams was killed. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
CHICAGO, IL - JUNE 9: A teddy bear rests on a memorial in the Roseland neighborhood with stones for each young person 24 and under killed in shootings in the metro area since May 2007, on June 9, 2014 in Chicago, Illinois. Diane Latiker, who lives across the street, started the memorial and founded a nonprofit called Kids Off the Block. 'I built it because I was tired of the violence,' she says. The memorial is full with 374 stones. An additional 452 stones are waiting for space. Home Depot is going to sponsor a bigger memorial in the same spot. Roseland, on the south side of the city, is one of the most crime-ridden neighborhoods in the area. (Photo by Melanie Stetson Freeman/The Christian Science Monitor via Getty Images)
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Trump has previously urged Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel to seek US help if the city fails to reduce its homicide rate. January could become a record-setting month for shootings and homicides in the city.

Chicago Police Superintendent Eddie Johnson issued this response to a tweet on Chicago violence that was sent from Trump's personal account one night earlier: "The Chicago Police Department is more than willing to work with the federal government to build on our relationships with DOJ, FBI, DEA and ATF and boost federal prosecution rates for gun crimes in Chicago."

Trump continued during his ABC News interview on Wednesday: "If [Chicago] wants help, I would love to help them. I will send in what we have to send in."

During and after the presidential election, Trump often labeled urban cities like Chicago as the centers of crime and violence, while touting his intentions to usher in an era of "law and order."

Civil rights groups have interpreted Trump's rhetoric on the matter as a call for increased policing in large urban centers. The same groups insist that such areas are already over-policed. Some advocates have pointed to the record numbers of black citizens who have been killed during police encounters as evidence of that.

During his ABC News interview Wednesday night, Trump also suggested that reducing crime in Chicago could include methods that are less "politically correct," a suggestion that civil-rights advocates have interpreted as a call for more heavy-handed policing.

Watch a portion of Trump's ABC News interview below:

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