Trump flip-flopped three times in one day on whether terrorism in Europe is "unreported"

Source: AP
Source: AP

This is a story about how President Donald Trump says the media isn't telling you the whole story.

Trump went off on the press Monday at MacDill Air Force Base in Florida. Reporters, he said, intentionally hide news of terrorist attacks from the public, ostensibly to minimize the kinds of national security threats he says back up his attempt to ban refugees and citizens of seven Muslim countries from entering the United States.

"It's gotten to a point where it's not even being reported, and in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn't want to report it," he said in Tampa. "They have their reasons and you understand them."

It wasn't long before press secretary Sean Spicer, who's been charged with both defending Trump's controversial travel bans and explaining just what it is Trump "actually" means with some of his remarks, was jogging that back.

Asked during a brief gaggle on Air Force 1 if Trump was implying the press was being devious to make him look bad, Spicer said, "No, that's not it. That's not what he said at all."

Then asked if Trump meant to say terror attacks were going unreported or underreported, Spicer, according to a pool report, opted for the latter, defending his boss to the hilt:


"He felt members of the media don't always cover some of those events to the extent that other events might get covered. Protests will get blown out of the water, and yet an attack or a foiled attack doesn't necessarily get the same coverage. He's doing what he can to protect this nation and protect our people. And that's why I think sometimes the polls don't reflect what you see on the media. You see a wide degree of support for the president's policies to protect this country, to create jobs, to grow the economy. And yet a lot of those stories and success that he's had – in a mere two and a half weeks in office – aren't exactly covered to the degree to which they should be."

Spicer also promised the White House would back up its contention with a rundown of under-covered incidents: ""We'll provide a list later." he said, per the pool.

At MacDill, Trump discussed five major terror attacks that got wide press coverage.

The pushback on Twitter to his accusation, of course, was swift.

"Ya know... this journalist's beheading is kind of what thrust ISIS into the American consciousness, @RealDonaldTrump," tweeted NPR's Domenico Montanaro, who linked to a story about the death of reporter James Foley.

The Trump broadside and Spicer parsings on terror come after top presidential adviser Kellyanne Conway attacked the media's failure to cover a terrorist incident in Bowling Green, Kentucky, that never happened. 

In the evening, the White House did release a list of the incidents Spicer claimed had been "underreported."

Most, it claimed, per CNN, had not received "enough" attention from the media.

Among those listed: The San Bernardino, California killings of December, 2015 and the Paris concert hall massacre of that November.

You can read extensive coverage of those incidents here and here.

How likely are you to make Mic your go-to news source?

Celeste Katz

Celeste Katz is senior political correspondent at Mic, covering national politics. She is based in New York and can be reached at celeste@mic.com.

MORE FROM

Why Republicans aren't saying health care is over and Democrats aren't ready to cheer its defeat

"It's not over till it's over and it's not dead until it's dead."

Senate Republican health care plan has dismal 17% approval, new poll finds

Not even Republicans approve of their own party's health care plan, an NPR/PBS poll found.

Sarah Palin has filed a long-ditch lawsuit against the 'New York Times'

Palin's lawsuit comes at a time when President Donald Trump has threatened to "open up" libel laws.

Mic Original Video: Meet Jackson Faw, the lifelong Republican who went blue for Jon Ossoff

"Don't think that just because I'm a white, middle aged redneck ... you can judge me by that."

Reporter takes Sarah Huckabee Sanders to task during briefing over "inflammatory" media comments

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders slammed "fake news" and went after CNN.

Why Republicans aren't saying health care is over and Democrats aren't ready to cheer its defeat

"It's not over till it's over and it's not dead until it's dead."

Senate Republican health care plan has dismal 17% approval, new poll finds

Not even Republicans approve of their own party's health care plan, an NPR/PBS poll found.

Sarah Palin has filed a long-ditch lawsuit against the 'New York Times'

Palin's lawsuit comes at a time when President Donald Trump has threatened to "open up" libel laws.

Mic Original Video: Meet Jackson Faw, the lifelong Republican who went blue for Jon Ossoff

"Don't think that just because I'm a white, middle aged redneck ... you can judge me by that."

Reporter takes Sarah Huckabee Sanders to task during briefing over "inflammatory" media comments

White House deputy press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders slammed "fake news" and went after CNN.