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President Donald Trump is not one to shy away from critiquing the media. But a document recently released from the White House makes a particularly puzzling claim: It lists 78 terrorist attacks since 2014 that Trump claims to have been ignored by the Western media, including the Orlando massacre.
The document records the Orlando massacre as: “ORLANDO, FL, US. June, 2016. TARGET: 49 killed and 53 wounded in shooting at a nightclub ATTAKER [sic]: US person.”
The document does have some stats correct: 49 people were killed via an assault rifle in Pulse nightclub on June 12, and 53 more were injured. Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard, massacred the victims during a Latin night at the established queer club in Orlando. It was the biggest mass shooting in U.S. history, and media coverage from all sides of the aisle reflected that, with over 100,000 articles referencing the attack, and countless news and radio sources.
Hey trump: I guess u were too busy grabbing women by the genitals but rest of us saw media coverage of San Bernardino, Boston and Orlando
— (((DeanObeidallah))) (@Deanofcomedy) February 7, 2017
As Nick Duffy at Pink News points out, Trump himself did not visit Orlando after the shootings, depsite being the presumptive Republican nominee at the time.
Many feel that Trump’s comments in support of the LGBTQ community, and the Pulse shooting, in particular, ring too close to anti-Muslim rhetoric and Islamaphobia. For instance, in a speech just after the massacre, Trump called on the tragedy in reference to his idea for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S, saying, “Ask yourself, who is really the friend of women and the L-G-B-T community, Donald Trump with his actions, or Hillary Clinton with her words? Clinton wants to allow Radical Islamic terrorists to pour into our country—they enslave women and murder gays.”
The White House document, riddled with typos, also included the Paris attacks in 2015 and the attempted bombing in San Bernadino that same year, both of which were also heavily reported. As the Washington Post notes, many of the other attacks on the list didn’t result in multiple or any fatalities and primarily focuses on Western victims.
Marissa Higgins is the editor of Green Matters. Her work has appeared in the Washington Post, Slate, Salon, NPR, and elsewhere.