On the same day it was revealed that White House Senior Counselor Kellyanne Conway repeatedly cited a made-up “Bowling Green massacre” to justify President Trump’s Muslim ban, the president suggested media outlets are intentionally suppressing information about real terrorist attacks.
Speaking at U.S. Central Command headquarters in Tampa, Florida on Monday afternoon, the president said, “You’ve seen what happened in Paris, and Nice. All over Europe, it’s happening. It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.”
Trump just named 9/11, Boston, Orlando and San Bernardino to justify his travel ban. None of those attackers were from countries in the ban. pic.twitter.com/jeUoUSLfGe
— Bradd Jaffy (@BraddJaffy) February 6, 2017
Following Trump’s speech, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer told reporters the administration would provide a list of attacks officials don’t think have gotten enough coverage.
“We’ll provide a list later,” Spicer said. “There’s several instances… There’s a lot of instances that have occurred where I don’t think they’ve gotten the coverage it deserved.”
Trump’s suggestion that media members are sympathetic to the cause of terrorists has been pushed by conspiracy theory websites like Infowars. There’s no evidence it’s true. But by accusing the media of clandestinely working on behalf of terrorists, Trump has escalated his ongoing attempt to delegitimize any outlet that covers him critically as “fake news.”
While Conway and Trump hector the media for not covering terrorist attacks both real and imagined — “It didn’t get covered,” Conway said of the massacre she concocted in her head — neither of them has publicly commented on a January 29 mass shooting at a mosque in Quebec City that left six dead and was reportedly perpetrated by a white nationalist, anti-immigrant Trump fan. On February 3, however, Trump saw fit to tweet about about a “radical Islamic terrorist” knife attack at the Louvre in Paris that injured one person.
A recent study concluded that a person in America is seven times more likely to be killed by a white nationalist than an Islamic extremist. Nonetheless, in the wake of the Quebec City shooting, Reuters reported that the Trump administration wants a federal counter-terrorism program to stop focusing on violent white supremacists and any other extremist group not comprised of Muslims.
Suffice it to say it’ll be a shock if the Quebec City mosque shooting ends up on Spicer’s list of attacks the Trump administration thinks should’ve gotten more coverage.