The White House's list of 78 terrorist incidents it claims have been under covered by the media was hastily assembled to defend President Trump's latest broadside on the "dishonest press" and doesn't show what the administration says it does.
White House press secretary Sean Spicer said Tuesday that the list demonstrated "the reason the president is acting in so many of the ways he has, with executive order and otherwise" — connecting the president's claims to the legal battle over his order banning people from seven predominately Muslim countries from traveling to the United States. "And I think what we need to do is to remind people that the Earth is a very dangerous place these days," he said.
A USA TODAY analysis of the incidents in the White House list published Monday night found that it has little bearing on the fight over the travel ban.
- Most of the incidents were perpetrated by home-grown terrorists, with only 11 involving a demonstrated connection to the seven banned nations.
- Only 10 of the incidents happened on U.S. soil.
- While some of the incidents involved dozens of deaths, 38 had no fatalities.
- Three of the incidents aren't even properly classified as terrorist incidents, according to the National Consortium for the Study of Terrorism and Responses to Terrorism. They include an attack by a French national who killed his British backpacking companion in Australia after she rejected his advances.
The list was compiled after the president made his false claim that news organizations ignored or downplayed terrorist attacks tied to Muslims. But the White House's list included well-chronicled, large-scale attacks — including shootings and bombings in San Bernardino, Calif., Orlando, Brussels and Paris.
And the list contained several errors, including the date of a 2015 attack in Bosnia-Herzegovina. That attack, which killed two soldiers, was perpetrated by a French national who was said to have fundamentalist views, although no terror group claimed responsibility.
Nevertheless, the White House claimed the events have not received "the spectacular attention they deserve."