Trump Resurrects Bloody War Myth in Wake of Barcelona Attack

WASHINGTON — President Donald Trump appeared to cite an apocryphal story about an American general executing dozens of Muslim prisoners in the Philippines and defiling their bodies with pig blood in the wake of a deadly terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, Thursday.

After first condemning the attack and offering the United States' support, the president said to "study what General Pershing of the United States did to terrorists when caught," an apparent reference to a debunked legend about World War I-era General John J. Pershing that Trump repeatedly recounted in his speeches on the campaign trail.

“He took fifty bullets, and he dipped them in pig’s blood,” Trump said at a rally in South Carolina in February 2016. “And he had his men load his rifles and he lined up the fifty people, and they shot 49 of those people. And the fiftieth person he said ‘You go back to your people and you tell them what happened.’ And for 25 years there wasn’t a problem, okay?”