Following his controversial opinions regarding the violent alt-right protests held this past weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, many eyes were fixed on Donald Trump’s Twitter account after yesterday’s terrorist attacks in Spain.
CNN reports that the primary attack – which has been linked to ISIS via the group’s media wing, Amaq – in Barcelona killed 13 and injured 100. Meanwhile, separate violent incidents happened in nearby Cambrils and Alcanar.
At 2pm ET on August 17, Trump tweeted out this message of support: “The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help. Be tough & strong, we love you!”
Instead of leaving it there, Trump took to Twitter 45 minutes later to issue this: “Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!”
After studying this tweet, others took to social media to remind onlookers that Trump’s tale of General Pershing’s actions is, in fact, fake news.
During a February 2016 rally in South Carolina, Trump was talking tough on terrorism and started speaking about General Pershing and the actions he supposedly took during the Philippine-American War in the early 1900s. The Washington Post transcribed this section of Trump’s speech:
“They were having terrorism problems, just like we do. And [General Pershing] caught 50 terrorists who did tremendous damage and killed many people. And he took the 50 terrorists, and he took 50 men and he dipped 50 bullets in pigs’ blood — you heard that, right? He took 50 bullets, and he dipped them in pigs’ blood. And he had his men load his rifles, and he lined up the 50 people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said: You go back to your people, and you tell them what happened. And for 25 years, there wasn’t a problem. Okay? Twenty-five years, there wasn’t a problem.”
The problem now, however, is that Trump’s recollection of these actions were quickly disputed by media outlets like MSNBC and the Washington Post (in 2016), as well as rumour-tracking website Snopes.com.
Yet, after a deadly terrorist attack in Spain, Trump again fell back on his thoroughly disputed Pershing anecdote. For starters, Trump went from saying, in 2016, that terror wasn’t a problem for 25 years after these alleged actions, to upping that number to 35, in his 2017 remarks.
On a recent episode of “theZoomer,” Host Marissa Semkiw was joined by seasoned journalists and digital news newcomers to explore the recent phenomenon of ‘fake news’. You can watch that episode below.