Causing controversy again
Donald Trump has come under fire for responding to the Barcelona attack by reviving an untrue story about a US General who supposedly executed Islamist militants using pig’s blood.
The president started off with a more conventional response to the attack on Twitter saying the United States condemned the attack and will do whatever is necessary to help, and urged the people of Spain to ‘be tough & strong’.
He then posted a more cryptic tweet saying: “Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!”
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
The tweet was a reference to the story of US General John Pershing, who supposedly executed Islamist militants in the Philippines using bullets smeared with pig’s blood more than a hundred years ago.
The story has been widely debunked by historians and fact-checkers including Brian M. Linn, a history professor at Texas A&M University.
He told the Washington Post; “There is absolutely no evidence this occurred.”
“It’s a made-up story. It doesn’t seem to matter how many times people say this isn’t true. No one can say where or when this occurred.”
It’s not the first time the President has mentioned the highly controversial story. In a rally in South Carolina in February 2016 he told the story to his cheering supporters.
According to the Washington Post he said: “They were having terrorism problems, just like we do.”
“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.”