Donald Trump Trots Out Tale of Muslims, Pig Blood, and Bullets

<a href="https://www.flickr.com/photos/cornstalker/23975407111/in/photolist-oskUH-CunnCo-CwCef8-BGpP5E-C6qaRX-BGwTMF-CBBALm-C6qcD4-BGpGEq-CDVuwt-CwCd3P-BGpJm1-CwCjmv-Cunda5-CBBxn7-CDViy6-BGpAmd-CwCifH-5KnqeT-HkLZL-D4fR4D-DaCH5y-xRyc1-xcB4KT-BmMeY2-2graPM-DvMQa7-BD3rgM-xGitau-9VT6fh-CtkRVA-zyLLPy-yUubdV-yUubNT-DrTAmo-yqiXpj-D9HSL5-DjhR3P-DjhQUn-D9HSB7-xVQhrF-D9HSym-DjhR7B-D9HSQy-CKN5Pk-CSb6F1-CKN5Qn-CmMfWQ-CmUnpV-Dc1yoM">Matt Johnson</a>/Flickr

Fight disinformation. Get a daily recap of the facts that matter. Sign up for the free Mother Jones newsletter.


Donald Trump ended his final campaign rally of the South Carolina primary Friday night with a story about a four-star general, Muslim insurgents, and bullets dunked in pig blood. Forty minutes into his address at a not-quite-full convention center in North Charleston, after mocking Texas Sen. Ted Cruz’s lack of enthusiasm for waterboarding, the Republican presidential front-runner told the crowd that he wanted to share an anecdote he’d heard about General John Pershing.

“General Pershing was a rough guy,” Trump said. He explained that during the early 1900s, when the general was battling Muslim insurgents in the US-controlled Philippines, he decided to make a point:

He caught 50 terrorists who did tremendous damage…and he took the 50 terrorists and he took 50 men and dipped 50 bullets in pig’s blood. You heard about that? He took 50 bullets and dipped them in pig’s blood [which is considered haram]. And he has his men load up their rifles and he lined up the 50 people and they shot 49 of those people. And the 50th person, he said, you go back to your people and you tell them what happened. And for 25 years there wasn’t a problem.

“We’ve got to start getting tough and we’ve got to start being vigilant and we’ve got to start using our heads or we’re not gonna have a country, folks,” Trump concluded.

Snopes, the online mythbuster, classifies the Pershing tale—which is popular on the right—as a “legend.” “We haven’t eliminated the possibility…but so far all we’ve turned up are several different accounts with nothing that documents Pershing’s involvement,” it explains.

But a lack of evidence has never stopped Trump, especially when it comes to the anti-Islam invective that has helped keep him atop the polls in South Carolina. His proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States is hugely popular among Republicans; a recent survey of his supporters found that just 44 percent believed Islam should even be legal. So with his candidacy on the line, he’s sticking with what got him to this point.

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you'll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

ONE MORE QUICK THING:

Or at least we hope. It’s fall fundraising time, and we’re trying to raise $250,000 to help fund Mother Jones’ journalism during a shorter than normal three-week push.

If you’re reading this, a fundraising pitch at the bottom of an article, you must find our team’s reporting valuable and we hope you’ll consider supporting it with a donation of any amount right now if you can.

It’s really that simple. But if you’d like to read a bit more, our membership lead, Brian Hiatt, has a post for you highlighting some of our newsroom's impressive, impactful work of late—including two big investigations in just one day and covering voting rights the way it needs to be done—that we hope you’ll agree is worth supporting.

payment methods

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our free newsletter

Subscribe to the Mother Jones Daily to have our top stories delivered directly to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate