Sean Spicer has clarified that on the three occasions he mentioned the most recent terrorist attacks on U.S. soil, what he really meant to say was “Orlando,” not “Atlanta.” Apparently, keeping track of cities that start with vowels is difficult for the White House Press Secretary.
The first mention of the “Atlanta” terrorist attack was back on January 29th, while speaking with ABC’s This Week, where Spicer said:
“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? Those people, each of whom had gone out to a country and then come back.”
Good luck deciphering that gem. We still aren’t sure what he’s trying to say there, but everyone was left even more confused by the Atlanta reference.
The second time he mentioned Atlanta was the very next day, while speaking with MSNBC’s Morning Joe. He defended the travel ban by saying:
“What happened if we didn’t act and somebody was killed? … Too many of these cases that have happened — whether you’re talking about San Bernardino, Atlanta … Boston … would you wait until you do? The answer is we act now to protect the future.”
That same day, Spicer held a press briefing, where he once again mentioned that terrible Atlanta terrorist attack, in response to a reporter’s question about why certain countries linked to terrorism were left off of the ban list. Spicer said:
“Right, and we’re reviewing the entire process over this period of time to make sure that we do this right. But 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 following Wednesday, Atlanta police spokesperson Elizabeth Espy expressed confusion over the mention of terrorist attacks on Atlanta, recalling that the last known terrorist attack in Atlanta was in 1996, in which Eric Rudolph was implicated (with no ties whatsoever to Islamic terrorism).
Spicer was apparently, in all three statements, referring to the deadly Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando. Which, by the way, was the deadliest mass shooting in American history. So, you know, you’d think they’d get that one right.
Despite the fact that Spicer has now clarified his remarks and admitted to his mistake, we can’t help but find it disconcerting that the White House Press Secretary would make such a glaring error – three times in a row, even – right on the heels of the recent and highly controversial travel ban.
This whole thing is highly reminiscent of the recent Bowling Green Massacre faux pas, reiterating the fact that our current government is completely out of touch with reality, and instead relies heavily on “alternative facts” and grasping at straws in a desperate (albeit futile) attempt to gain support from the American public.