Trump tweets reference to inaccurate anecdote about Gen. Pershing

Trump tweets reference to inaccurate anecdote about Gen. Pershing”

President Donald Trump issued an explosive statement against "Radical Islamic Terror" just hours after an attack in Barcelona, Spain, on Thursday left at least 13 people dead.

As a reference on how to deal with radical Islamists, Trump tweeted about the alleged use of pig blood by U.S. General John J. Pershing to quell a rebellion of Muslims in the Philippines. "There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years".

Speaking at a rally in Charleston February past year, Trump said General Pershing "took 50 bullets and he dipped them in pig's blood". General Pershing was, at the time, governor of the Moro, a muslim province of the Philippines in the throes of an insurgency.

According to the fact checking website Politifact, the late military historian Frank Vandiver said in 2003, referring to Gen Pershing: "I never found any indication that it was true in extensive research on his Moro experiences". The World War I officer, according to the legend, dipped bullets into pig blood, then used the bullets to shoot 50 Muslim prisoners. 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, OK?

"Pershing caught 50 terrorists who did tremendous damage and killed many people".

When asked on Wednesday why he waited two days to call out the white supremacy that fueled Saturday's terror attack, Trump told us that, "I wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct, not make a quick statement". Terrorism is suspected, with one jihadist-activity-monitoring organization saying Islamic State had claimed responsibility.

Earlier in the week, Trump fiercely defended his initial decision not to specifically condemn the white supremacist organizers of the violent rally in Charlottesville by insisting that he "didn't know all of the facts".

He added: "And for 25 years there wasn't a problem" although he seems to have revised that figure up to 35 years. Politifact cited eight historians who not only noted that the evidence for the blood-dipped bullet aspect of the story "is thin", but also that violence and unrest continued in the referenced region in the Philippines for years during and after USA involvement. "Be tough & strong, we love you!" the president said.

"Donald Trump's inflammatory rhetoric has crossed the line from spreading hatred to inciting violence", Nihad Awad, executive director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, said at the time.

McCoy's documentary is the culmination of five years of research about the general, which included multiple trips to the Library of Congress and National Archives.

"Then [Pershing] announced that any Juramentado thereafter would be sprinkled with pig's blood", Archer wrote.

Politifact rated Mr Trump's story about Pershing "pants on fire". He is telling us his own story, based on what he wants to see.

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