These are frightening times. In 2017, there’s no place in America that’s immune to a fabricated terrorist attack.
Taking a page from the Kellyanne Conway playbook, White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer alluded to a deadly terror attack in Atlanta on Thursday — in three different interviews.
As CNN reports, various news outlets worked overtime to try clarifying exactly what terrorist attack Spicer was referring to.
There was a bombing in Atlanta 21 years ago… but that was masterminded by Eric Robert Rudolph, a radical right-wing terrorist from Florida.
Spicer first mentioned Atlanta during ABC’s “This Week” on January 29 when trying to defend Trump’s proposed travel ban that isn’t a travel ban but you can call it a travel ban because it is a travel ban:
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
The next day, Spicer made an appearance on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe,” and once again mentioned this not-existent Atlanta terror attack while defending the travel ban that isn’t a ban, etc.:
“There was a very short period of time in which we had something to execute that ensured that the people of the United States were safe. Everybody’s been protected. 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.”
The third occasion was a January 30 press briefing, when a reporter asked him why several countries linked to terrorism weren’t included on the travel ban list.
“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.”
It was The Daily Beast that first linked the three Atlanta comments.
In an email to CNN, Atlanta police spokeswoman Elizabeth Espy said the department had no idea what attack Spicer might be referring to, nor from whose ass he may have pulled his facts.
“From what we can recall, the last known terrorist attack in the state was 1996 in which Eric Rudolph was implicated….
“We have no record of an Islamic attack in the City of Atlanta.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Steve LeValley apparently went deep into the stacks but came back empty-handed, saying there had never been an Islamist terrorist attack in Atlanta.
The last terror attack of any kind in Atlanta was in 1997, when a lesbian club was bombed by Rudolph, the aforementioned Florida-based right-wing terrorist.
In an apology that expertly manages to add insult to injury, Spicer said on Thursday that he actually meant to say Orlando.
He’d merely goofed up the name of the city and state where America’s deadliest mass shooting in America took place eight months ago, killing 49 people and wounding 53 others inside the gay nightclub Pulse.