Just 45 minutes after issuing a statement condemning “the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain,” President Trump resurrected a false, internet-created conspiracy theory about how to deal with Muslim terrorists.
“Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!” Trump encouraged in a tweet.
Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 17, 2017
During the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump repeatedly referenced the widely debunked urban legend that, according to the lie, claims United States Army Gen. John Joseph “Black Jack” would have Muslim prisoners in the Philippines executed with bullets coated in pig’s blood to discourage rebellion against American rule, according to Mediaite.
The website PolitiFact has ruled Trump’s claim “pants on fire” — the rating it gives the “most ridiculous falsehoods.”
The Hill notes that Corey Lewandowski, Trump’s former campaign manager, said his team knew the story was a myth even when Trump told it in 2016 but decided to tell it at rallies anyway.
“It’s not about that,” Lewandowski told The Washington Post last June following his firing. “Look, it’s an analogy.”
While the attack has been described as an act of terror, Spanish authorities have yet to determine whether the perpetrator was motivated by Islamic extremism. During his incendiary press conference about Charlottesville this week, Trump said he wanted to wait for the facts before blaming “both sides” for what happened in the race riots of the past weekend.