On Monday Donald Trump held a speech that detailed how he would deal with ISIS and “radical Islamic terrorism”. During the speech, he repeated a trope that he has used in the past…that neighbors of the terrorists who committed the attack in San Bernardino saw bombs in the apartment of the terrorists…and did nothing because they were too politically correct, and didn’t want to be accused of racial profiling.
This assertion is NOT TRUE.
Trump said that one of the shooters’ neighbors “saw suspicious behavior—bombs on the floor and other things—but didn’t want to warn authorities because they said they didn’t want to be accused of racial profiling.” Trump’s been making the same claim for a few months now, despite the fact that it is unsupported by the available evidence.
Fact checkers at the Annenberg Public Policy Center looked into the assertion shortly after Trump made it during an appearance on Fox and Friends in mid-June and concluded:
There is also no evidence for Trump’s repeated claim that “many people” including neighbors of the San Bernardino shooters saw “bombs all over the floor” of the apartment, but did not report it to authorities because of politically correct concerns about racial profiling.
Politifact came to a similar conclusion way back in January when Chris Christie made a similar claim during a GOP debate:
We looked for any reports of the neighbors saying they had an inkling of any plans for an attack. We didn’t find any. We did find second-hand reports that weren’t well sourced, and these were repeated primarily on right-leaning news websites. … We rate this statement False.
So why does Trump keep repeating this lie? The answer is two-fold. One, it incites fear…and that is what the GOP is all about. Two, it gives Trump the ability to talk about political correctness…and how dangerous it is, and how if the US was less PC, the attack in San Bernardino wouldn’t have happened. Of course all of this is ridiculous…but can you imagine if Hillary Clinton repeated verified lies over and over again?