Sean Spicer on Citing Atlanta Terror Attack That Never Happened: I 'Clearly Meant' Orlando
Kellyanne Conway isn’t the only Trump staffer referring to nonexistent attacks.
By MATTHEW CLAIBORNE
February 9, 2017, 5:09 AM
• 2 min read
-- Kellyanne Conway isn't the only member of the Trump administration citing a terrorist attack that never happened: White House press secretary Sean Spicer is just as guilty, recently referring three times to an attack in Atlanta.
Spicer first made an Atlanta reference during a Jan. 29 appearance on ABC's "This Week," telling chief global affairs correspondent Martha Raddatz, "What do we say to the family who loses somebody over a terroristic — 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."
And the head scratching continued the next day, when on MSNBC's "Morning Joe" he argued that there are too many instances of terrorism in the U.S., "whether you're talking about San Bernardino, Atlanta."
Spicer again cited an Atlanta attack during a press briefing just hours after his MSNBC interview, after being asked by a reporter why some countries with terrorist ties are not included in President Trump's travel ban.
"We're reviewing the entire process over this period of time to make sure that we do this right," Spicer said. "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."
A string of bombings, carried out by domestic terrorist Eric Rudolph, did take place in Atlanta in 1996 and 1997. But that's not what Spicer was referring to.
In an email to ABC News on Wednesday, Spicer finally addressed his repeated references to an Atlanta attack, writing that he "clearly meant Orlando."
Spicer's about-face — saying he intended to refer to the massacre in June at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida — comes on the heels of Conway's repeated references to a nonexistent Bowling Green massacre, which she has since acknowledged never occurred.