President Donald Trump on Thursday tweeted a discredited reference to former Army Gen. John Pershing in battling Islamic terrorists following the Barcelona attack that killed 13 people and injured as many as 50.
Here's the president's post:
Trump's post came after a terrorist attack in Barcelona in which a white van plowed a crowd in the central tourist area — and authorities said they had arrested two suspects.
President Trump has often used the Pershing anecdote to discuss ways to battle Islamic jihadism, saying that the four-star commander executed Muslim insurgents with bullets dipped in pig's blood during the Philippine-American War from 1899 to 1902.
"He took 50 bullets and dipped them in pig's blood," Trump told a rally just before the South Carolina primary in February 2016, Mother Jones reports.
Eating pork is a sin for Muslims. Pig's blood is considered unholy.
"And he has his men load up their rifles and he lined up the 50 people and they shot 49 of those people," Trump said. "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."
However, the Pershing story has been debunked by historians and by Snopes, the myth-busting website.
One historian, Brian McAllister Linn, a professor at Texas A&M University, told Time magazine in February 2016 that he and a co-author of a Pershing biography found no evidence of the story.
"We both checked our notes and found no evidence to support this," Linn said. His colleague, Frank Vandiver, died in 2005.
"We also concluded it was out of character," Linn said.
Snopes.com also reached the same conclusion, in 2001.
"We haven't yet found any references to this alleged incident in Pershing biographies, however, nor does it match the way Pershing is generally recorded as having dealt with the Moros in 1911," the site concluded, the site concluded in a report from Oct. 31, 2001.
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