News and Commentary

DANG IT, SPICER: Spokesman Invokes Phantom Atlanta Terrorist Attacks

While a majority of Americans agree with President Donald Trump’s travel ban, which created outrageous and unwarranted hysteria from the mainstream media and Democrats (but I repeat myself), Press Secretary Sean Spicer is not doing Team Trump any favors by backing up the executive order with sloppy language, to put it mildly.

On three different occasions, Secretary Spicer invoked the radical Islamic terrorist attack in Atlanta. Only, there is no jihadi Atlanta attack to speak of.

Here are the three occasions where Spicer invoked the phantom Atlanta attack, via The Washington Post:

On Jan. 29, ABC News’s Martha Raddatz asked Spicer about the travel ban and whether it led to humiliation for travelers denied entrance to the United States, like an Iraqi interpreter who worked for the U.S. military and was temporarily detained. No, Spicer said, then continued:

“… what do we say to the family who loses somebody over a terroristic — to whether it’s Atlanta or San Bernardino or the Boston bomber?”

The next day, during an appearance on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, Spicer revived the same line.

New York Times reporter Jeremy Peters asked if President Trump was motivated to sign his executive order by an imminent threat to the United States.

Spicer responded:

“Too many of these cases that have happened, whether you’re talking about San Bernardino, Atlanta, they’ve happened, Boston,” Spicer said. “Jeremy, what — do you wait until you do? The answer is we act now to protect the future.”

Later that day, during his daily White House press briefing, Spicer lumped Atlanta into his examples for a third time:

“We’re reviewing the entire process over this period of time to make sure that we do this right. But I don’t think you have to look any further than the families of the Boston Marathon, in Atlanta, in San Bernardino, to ask if we can go further.”

Spicer would eventually inform the press that he misspoke and “clearly meant Orlando,” referring to the devastating shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando by radical Islamist Omar Mateen, 29, that left 50 people dead and injured 53 others. Islamic State later took credit for the attack.

A similar situation transpired last week when Trump staffer Kellyanne Conway mistakenly invoked the “Bowling Green Massacre,” which also never happened. Again, Conway merely misspoke here, meaning to reference the Fort Hood Massacre instead, an Islamic terror attack perpetrated on a military base in the United States that did not receive much media attention, particularly in the context of terror, as it was stunningly labeled “workplace violence.”

A couple of things here: The media lie constantly and are openly partisan, quick to jump on a Conway or Spicer for misspeaking but reluctant to criticize King Obama over legitimate issues. It’s also true that constant fibs and/or slip-ups from Team Trump are unhelpful for the American people seeking truth. And a press secretary’s words in particular matter; repeating factual inaccuracies hurts credibility.

Team Trump needs to tighten up, steering clear of avoidable mistakes, to help advance truth and an agenda the American people voted for.