On Monday, one of the world’s biggest news organizations made a remarkable statement: President Trump cannot be trusted to give accurate information about a terrorist attack.
The Associated Press fact-checked Trump’s tweets and public statements following last weekend’s terror attack in London and a mass shooting in the Philippines. The 171-year-old news service found that the president posted “visceral reactions” instead of information grounded in reality via U.S. intelligence reports and “got ahead of the facts” about Saturday’s situation in London. The organization, which supplies news reports to more than 6,700 news outlets and broadcasters, also found that Trump “got it wrong” in the Philippines case, calling it a terrorist attack when it was a robbery committed by a lone wolf.
Some of Trump’s statements that the AP checked, and the facts:
TRUMP: “We need to be smart, vigilant and tough. We need the courts to give us back our rights. We need the Travel Ban as an extra level of safety!” His tweet Saturday, after the attack at London Bridge and Borough Market that killed seven people and wounded 48.
FACTS: Trump’s tweet directly contradicted an earlier statement by his homeland security secretary that the travel restrictions blocked by U.S. courts do not constitute a ban. “It’s not a travel ban, remember,” John Kelly told Fox News on May 28. “It’s the travel pause.”
To reinforce this, Trump tweeted on Monday: “People, the lawyers and the courts can call it whatever they want, but I am calling it what we need and what it is, a TRAVEL BAN!”
TRUMP: “At least 7 dead and 48 wounded in terror attack and Mayor of London says there is ‘no reason to be alarmed!’”
FACTS: In full context, London mayor Sadiq Khan said that the terror threat remained at “severe” and Londoners had “no need to be alarmed” by the stepped-up police presence.
TRUMP, at a Rose Garden ceremony Thursday marking his decision to withdraw from the Paris climate accord: “I would like to begin by addressing the terrorist attack in Manila. We’re closely monitoring the situation. … It is really very sad as to what’s going on throughout the world with terror.”
THE FACTS: Philippine authorities said the attack that killed 37 people at a casino-hotel complex was by a lone gunman attempting a robbery, not terrorism.
The AP also found that in the last few days, Trump and Vice President Mike Pence made false or misleading statements about the premise and/or details about his influence on NATO, “absolutely tremendous economic progress since Election Day,” the Paris climate accord, an MIT study on global warming, the trade deficit with Germany and the trajectory of American coal jobs.