On Thursday, President Donald Trump tweeted a claim about General Pershing that he made on the campaign trail in 2016. On the campaign trail Trump said that in the Philippines more than a century ago, Gen. John Pershing “took 50 bullets, and he dipped them in pigs’ blood,” and shot 49 Muslim rebels. “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.”
Today Trump tweeted the following:
Study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught. There was no more Radical Islamic Terror for 35 years!
In both cases he is still wrong. Politifact gave his 2016 campaign claim a Pants on Fire! rating.
Politifact concluded that “of the eight historians we checked with, all were at least skeptical that what Trump said actually happened, and some expressed disbelief even more forcefully than that. The only evidence of something approximating what Trump said stems from one letter documenting a different scenario written by a veteran more than a half century after the fact.”
“Perhaps more important, the historians took issue with Trump’s suggestion that the tactic — if it was even used at all — actually worked to end tensions, noting that unrest persisted for years. In all, Trump’s claim is ridiculous, so we rate it Pants on Fire.”
Snopes also fact checked a similar claim: “U.S. General John J. Pershing effectively discouraged Muslim terrorists in the Philippines by killing them and burying their bodies along with those of pigs.” Snopes also concluded that this was entirely false.
Conclusion: Trump’s claim was false in 2016 and his tweet is still false today.
by Dave Van Zandt
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