Barcelona van attack: Trump tweets fake terror story

Georgia Reed
August 20, 2017

In a Twitter message, Trump instructed his 36 million followers to look to the example of General John J. Pershing, who is said, in stories circulating online, to have dipped bullets in pigs' blood to execute Islamic terrorists in the Philippines whose religion forbid contact with the animals.

Trump fired off his tweet about Pershing hours after an apparent terrorist attack in Barcelona, Spain, in which a dozen or more people were killed and dozens more injured. No. 45 (in 140 characters or less) referred to Army Gen. John Joseph "Black Jack" Pershing ending "Radical Islamic Terror" for 35 years by dipping bullets in pig's blood when fighting Muslims in the Philippine-American War of 1899-1902... except this porcine parable never happened.

Then he tells the story of General Pershing, who according to Trump, once rounded up 50 terrorists, and shot them all - except one - with bullets dipped in pig's blood.

Snopes, a website that fact-checks internet rumors, declared it to be false.

Trump first told his version of Pershing's life at a rally in February 2016 in SC, saying to the crowd, "it's a bad story, but I'll tell you". Authorities there have labeled the incident a terrorist attack and taken a suspect into custody.

The Islamic State terrorist group has claimed responsibility for the attack.

The Washington Post reported that Trump told the story at a rally in North Charleston in February a year ago.

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It was at least Trump's second reference to a story already labeled false previous year, this time coming days after the president justified his equivocal response in assigning blame for violence in Charlottesville by saying that before he makes a statement, "I need the facts".

Trump reignited talk of his anti-Muslim bigotry as he continued to stoke the controversy over his general racial attitudes that has led to his greatest crisis as president to date, with Republican legislators continuing to denounce him Thursday for blaming "both sides" for the violence at a white supremacist demonstration in Charlottesville, Va., on Saturday.

He appeared to take a similar stance yesterday as he told the people of Barcelona: "Be tough & strong, we love you!"

"They were having terrorism problems just like we do". And for 25 years [**NOTE: He said 35 years today.**], there wasn't a problem.

It seems to have had its genesis in a 1927 Chicago Daily Tribune article that described Pershing sprinkling some Muslim prisoners with pig's blood, which the Juramentados believed would condemn their souls. "Okay? Twenty-five years, there wasn't a problem".

"Trump is celebrating torture and mass executions here".

"I wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct, not make a quick statement", said Trump on Tuesday, as quoted by the HuffPost. But is he suggesting United States kill Muslims with bullets dipped in pigs blood.

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