Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump used a debunked story about US Gen. John Pershing supposedly executing Muslim prisoners to portray himself as being willing to pursue terrorists more aggressively, MSNBC reported on Friday.
Trump cited the story during a speech in Charleston, South Carolina, telling supporters they could “read it in the history books.” In fact, according to the fact-checking site Snopes.com, the story — as he presented it — originated online in 2001.
The real estate magnate said that Pershing ordered the execution of Muslim prisoners in the Philippines.
“He took 50 bullets, and he dipped them in pig’s blood,” Trump said. “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, OK?”
According to Snopes, the incident is not mentioned in biographies of Pershing. Other accounts of his actions while serving as governor for the country’s Moro Providence depict Pershing as wanting to minimize casualties and only threatening to use the “pig’s blood” punishment.
On Friday, Trump also returned to his criticism of waterboarding, which he has described as “minimal, minimal, minimal torture.”
“Can you imagine these people when they sit around at night, eating whatever they’re eating, and talking about the United States that they’re actually worried about waterboarding as being a little bit cruel?” Trump said. “And these people chop off heads. These people must think we are the dumbest and the weakest and the stupidest people on Earth.”
Watch Trump’s speech in its entirety, as posted online, below.
Trump approves of North Korea missile tests: ‘I have no problem’ because they’re just ‘short-range missiles’
On Thursday, in conversation with reporters, President Donald Trump said that he had 'no problem' with North Korea's new round of missile tests.
"Short-range missiles, we never made an agreement on that," said Trump. "I have no problem, we'll see what happens, but these are short-range missiles. They're very standard."
The thought that short-range missiles would still be capable of hitting our allies in the region, like South Korea and Japan, does not seem to have occurred to him.
Trump says he has "no problem" with North Korea testing missiles because they are just "short-range missiles" that are "very standard." pic.twitter.com/fdKtQ6yrBE
Russian Twitter propaganda predicted 2016 US election polls
But one conclusion was unequivocal: Russia unleashed an extensive campaign of fake news and disinformation on social media with the aim of distorting U.S. public opinion, sowing discord and swinging the election in favor of the Republican candidate Donald Trump.
Beto O’Rourke calls for a ‘war tax’ in release of health care plan for veterans
The Democratic presidential candidate uses his eighth policy announcement to focus on an area that he prioritized in Congress.
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke on Monday morning released a plan to improve the lives of veterans, returning to an area of priority during his time in the U.S. House for his latest 2020 policy rollout.
In keeping with measures he supported in Congress, the plan calls for a "responsible end" to the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan — reinvesting $1 out of every $2 saved in veterans programs — and the creation of a Veterans Health Care Trust Fund for each future war. The fund would be paid for by a "war tax" on households without service members or veterans.