The White House list is inane and comical, but in its composition it tells us everything we need to know about how the president and his advisers view terrorist incidents in the United States and around the world.
However, members of the media were quick to point out that the list released by the White House included attacks the received extensive coverage, such as the mass shootings in San Bernardino and Orlando.
Trump had received a briefing and eaten lunch with troops when he spoke to the crowd telling them there were so many terrorist attacks across the globe they weren’t being reported any more.
After questions were raised about his unsubstantiated claim, the White House released a long list of attacks – the majority of which have been extensively covered by major U.S. news organizations. He also added that the press were very dishonest for not wanting to report such attacks.
The release came after Trump on Monday told military leaders in Tampa, Florida, that there have been attacks all over Europe, but “in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it”.
Monday’s list additionally includes repeated misspellings of “attacker” and “attackers” as “attaker” and “attakers”, respectively.
Fact checkers debunked Trump’s claim while also listing many attacks that go unreported every day that don’t rise to the level of an global audience because they cause no harm or are carried out by unknown assailants for unclear reasons.
Asked for details by journalists later on Monday, White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Mr Trump was referring to events that have not “gotten the coverage it’s deserved”, comparing atrocities to demonstrations against the President. Only two attacks from any of these countries are included in Trump’s list – and both were directed against Westerners. The other seven were likely covered as well, but the White House provide too little information to narrow them down. 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”. Conway replied that President Trump was concerned that covering major terrorist attacks was making the media “inured” to some of the smaller, less deadly incidents.
Notorious “Morning Joe” fan Donald Trump seemed to respond about an hour later on Twitter, saying: “I call my own shots, largely based on an accumulation of data, and everyone knows it”. Our producer, Dan Merica, just obtained this from a White House official, and there are 78 attacks listed on this list.
But reporters in print, on air and on social media have robustly covered many of those attacks and terror in general.