At a rally in California on Thursday, Republican front-runner Donald Trump recycled the widely debunked legend that General John Pershing once stopped terrorism against U.S. forces in the Philippines by executing Muslim terrorists with bullets soaked in pigs’ blood.
The audience at the rally in Costa Mesa, Calif. applauded wildly.
Trump had previously recited the ludicrous tall tale at a rally in South Carolina February. A comparison of the way Trump tells the whopper shows he has likely spent some time getting it down a tee for presentation.
“They had a terrorism problem and there’s a whole thing with swine and animals and pigs, and you know the story, okay, they do’’t like that,” Trump began his self-described “terrible story” back in February. “And they were having a tremendous problem with terrorism — and by the way, this is something you can read in the history books, not a lot of history books because they don’t like teaching this.” (RELATED: Donald Trump Tells Tall Tale Of General Pershing Killing Muslim Terrorists)
“And General Pershing was a rough guy, and he sits on his horse very astute like a ramrod,” Trump continued, “and the year was early 1900s and this was a terrible problem 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 fiftieth person, he said ‘you go back to your people and you tell them what happened.'”
“And for 25 years there wasn’t a problem,” Trump claimed. “So we better start getting tough and we better start getting vigilant and we better start using our heads or we’re not going to have a county, folks.”
Snopes.com calls Trump’s claims about Pershing patently false. The website specializing in urban legends and Internet rumors explains that, actually, Pershing devised a very effective strategy to surround rebelling members of the Moro indigenous ethnic group in the Philippines and then to wait patiently for them to surrender.
PolitiFact, a generally liberal fact-checking site, describes Trump’s claims that Pershing utilized pig blood’s-coated bullets to kill a bunch of rebels as “pants-on-fire” level lying.
The Council on American-Islamic Relations, America’s largest Muslim civil rights group, criticized Trump for repeating the debunked fable.
“It is deeply disturbing that a leading candidate for the nation’s highest office continues to repeat an Islamophobic myth that he must certainly know to be false,” CAIR national executive director Nihad Awad said in a statement sent to The Daily Caller. “Equally disturbing is the positive response of Mr. Trump’s supporters to this violence-inspiring hoax.”
CAIR is most notable, of course, because the organizations was listed by the U.S. government as an unindicted co-conspirator in a scheme that provided funding to the terror group Hamas. In 2014, the United Arab Emirates officially designated 83 groups as terrorist organizations, including CAIR. (RELATED: UAE Designates Two American Muslim Groups As Terrorist Orgs)
After Trump first recounted the fish story about Pershing, bullets and pigs’ blood, the Muslim Public Affairs Council challenged Trump to a debate. (RELATED: American Muslim Group Challenges Trump To Debate After His Pigs’ Blood Rant)
“Ever since you announced your run for presidency of the United States, you have scapegoated the American Muslim community and other minority groups for all your perceived ills of America,” the Muslim group declares in a letter sent, in part, to The Daily Caller.
“You have no understanding of the world in which you live.”
Trump does not appear to have responded to the debate challenge.