During a counterterrorism speech on Monday, Donald Trump claimed that Orlando shooting suspect Omar Mateen was born in someplace called “Afghan.” He then transitioned to discussing how his proposed ban on Muslim immigration would help prevent similar attacks from occurring in the future.
But there’s a big problem with Trump’s linkage of the Orlando shooting suspect’s origins and his Muslim ban — Mateen wasn’t actually foreign-born. In fact, he was born in the same borough of New York City that Trump was. (Mateen’s parents were born in Afghanistan.)
Like Trump, the Orlando killer is from Queens. pic.twitter.com/9GQa3dVYPo
— Spencer Ackerman (@attackerman) June 13, 2016
Trump’s “Afghan” comment may have been a slip of the tongue, but he’s recently made the same sort of error while attacking the judge presiding over a Trump University fraud case. He’s repeatedly referred to federal Judge Gonzalo Curiel as “Mexican” despite the fact Curiel was actually born in Indiana. (Curiel’s parents were born in Mexico.)
During Monday’s speech, Trump later turned his focus to the alleged dangers of letting Syrian refugees into the country. His fear-mongering about refugees is belied by the fact that not a single one has been found to be involved in planning a credible terrorist attack against the United States. In fact, a recent analysis found that Americans are seven times more likely to be killed by a right-wing extremist than they are to be killed by a Muslim terrorist.