Video of then-candidate Donald Trump telling the fake story of a U.S. general who executed 49 Muslims with bullets dipped in pig’s blood is making its rounds again after last week’s terrorist attack in New Zealand that claimed the lives of 50 Muslims.
According to The Independent, the footage is of Trump in 2016 telling supporters at a campaign rally in South Carolina about the story of General John Pershing that supposedly took place in the early 20th century.
“General Pershing, did you ever hear? Rough guy, rough guy. And they had a terrorism problem,” Mr Trump said. The reference, apparently, was to the Muslim Moro rebellion during the Philippine-American War, The Independent noted.
“And there’s a whole thing with swine, and animals, and pigs, and you know the story OK? They don’t like that. And they were having a tremendous problem with terrorism,” he said.
Trump also told the crowd that the story did not make it into many history books, because “they don’t like teaching this”.
He went on: “He took 50 terrorists, and he took 50 men, and he dipped 50 bullets in pig’s blood. You heard that right? He took 50 bullets and he dipped them in pig’s blood, and he had his men load up 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.”
The story has long been decried as fake by historians, who say there is no evidence indicating it is true, and the story was not verified in the general’s memoir — but that has not stopped Trump from repeating the claims.
He mentioned Pershing again in 2017 after a terrorist attack in Spain, tweeting, “Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!”
The president’s anti-Muslim rhetoric received renewed attention after the New Zealand terrorist attack on Friday, during which a self-described white supremacist fascist opened fire in two mosques, killing 50 people who were there for Friday prayers.
Trump’s critics have suggested that his divisive rhetoric and policies hostile toward immigrants in general and Muslims in particular have contributed to a rise in white nationalism around the world.