US President Donald Trump responded to the Barcelona attack by sharing a fake news story about a famed US general who executed Muslims using bullets dipped in pigs’ blood.
In the aftermath of the Barcelona attack, which killed 13 and injured over 100 more, Trump took to Twitter to write: “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 POTUS appeared to be referring to a, now debunked, story about the early 20th century general overcoming Muslims in the Philippines by killing them and burying them with pigs. The legend also went that he would shoot them with bullets dipped in pigs’ blood.
However, historians have since said both stories were false, adding that the claims were never verified in Pershing’s memoir and doesn’t fit with his usual behaviour, the Independent reports.
Trump came in for a lot of flak on Twitter after sharing the post, particularly, because he said just days ago he checks facts before making a statement, when asked why it took him so long to condemn the Neo-Nazis is Charlottesville.
He said: “Unlike the media, before I make a statement I like to know the facts.”
This isn’t the first time Trump has used Pershing’s legend in a speech. Speaking back in February 2016 while on a campaign rally, he said: “They were having terrorism problems, just like we do. And he 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.”
Fact checking website Politifact spoke to Brian McAllister Linn, a Texas A&M University historian, who said: “This story is a fabrication and has long been discredited. I am amazed it’s still doing the rounds.”
Featured Image Credit: PA