Looks like Kellyanne Conway is not the only high-ranking White House aide making up fictional terror attacks to justify President Donald Trump’s bigoted travel ban restricting people from seven predominantly Muslim countries from entering the United States.
After the former Trump campaign manager made headlines by citing the imaginary “Bowling Green Massacre,” press secretary Sean Spicer decided to steal the spotlight by coming up with an equally phony Islamist attack, though this time in Atlanta, Georgia.
There has never been a terror attack in the city.
As the Daily Beast pointed out, Spicer alluded to the non-existent incident, supposedly carried out by Muslims who left the country and came back radicalized, at least three times in one week. He cited it while talking about the San Bernardino shooting and Boston marathon bombing.
However, his attempt to demonize Muslims worked out just as well as Conway’s “Bowling Green Massacre.”
Here are the three times Spicer has talked about the fabricated terrorist activity.
The First Mention
During an appearance on ABC’s “This Week” on Jan. 29, Spicer said the White House needed to implement the executive order before another terror attack could take place in the country.
"What do we say to the family who loses somebody over a terroristic (sic), to whether it's Atlanta or San Bernardino or the Boston bomber?” he asked. “Those people, each of whom had gone out to a country and then come back.”
The Second Mention
The next day, Spicer made a similar claim on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” when asked if Trump signed the damning executive order as the result of an imminent terror threat.
“Too many of these cases that have happened, whether you’re talking about San Bernardino, Atlanta, they’ve happened, Boston,” he responded. “Do you wait until you do? The answer is we act now to protect the future.”
The Third Mention
Spicer again cited the Atlanta attack while explaining the need for the “extreme vetting” during the White House press briefing later that day.
“I don’t think you have to look any further than the families of the Boston Marathon, in Atlanta, in San Bernardino to ask if we can go further,” the press secretary said. “There’s obviously steps that we can and should be taking, and I think the president is going to continue do to what he can to make sure that this country is as safe as possible.”
Now, it is quite possible he was referring to the pipe bomb explosion at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games. The thing is, though, a radial Muslim terrorist did not do it. In fact, a right-wing domestic terrorist from Florida, Eric Rudolph, carried out the attack.
Social media users had a lot to say about Spicer’s flub:
So insensitive of Sean Spicer to make up a terrorist attack in Atlanta when we're still healing from Bowling Green.— Craig V. O'Connor (@MorrisDWIAtty) February 9, 2017
Sean Spicer cites Atlanta terror attack that never happened— Paul Lander (@paul_lander) February 9, 2017
Maybe he was just referring to what happened in 2nd half of Super Bowl
Sean Spicer keeps talking about a terror attack on Atlanta. Look, I'm sad the Patriots beat the Falcons too but let's not exaggerate.— Jonathan Strickland (@JonStrickland) February 8, 2017
They are huffing paint. That, or the Bowling Green Fantasy Terror League franchise moved to Atlanta https://t.co/70BFBDQQba— Keith Olbermann (@KeithOlbermann) February 9, 2017
Sean Spicer just told ABC News he “clearly meant Orlando” when he said Atlanta — all three times.
Thumbnail/Banner Credits: Reuters