A House Democrat says misstatements by two top White House aides show the Trump administration is dangerously bad at fighting terrorism.
Rep. Kathleen RiceKathleen Maura RiceDemocrats weigh changes to drug pricing measure to win over moderates Internal battles heat up over Biden agenda Moderate Democrat says he can't back House spending plan 'in its current form' MORE (D-N.Y.) on Thursday tore into White House press secretary Sean SpicerSean Michael SpicerBiden administration competency doubts increase Overnight Defense & National Security — Iron Dome funding clears House Sean Spicer, Russ Vought sue Biden over Naval Board removal MORE's reference to an Islamic terror attack in Atlanta and and White House counselor Kellyanne ConwayKellyanne ConwayEthics watchdog accuses Psaki of violating Hatch Act Biden administration competency doubts increase Cook Political Report shifts Virginia governor's race to 'toss-up' MORE's reference to the "Bowling Green massacre" — two attacks that didn't happen.
“In the past week, two of President TrumpDonald TrumpMcAuliffe takes tougher stance on Democrats in Washington Democrats troll Trump over Virginia governor's race Tom Glavine, Ric Flair, Doug Flutie to join Trump for Herschel Walker event MORE’s top spokespeople have repeatedly made public statements referencing terrorist attacks that simply did not occur. That is as dangerous as it is incompetent,” Rice said in a statement.
“The American people need to know that this President will keep us safe and confront that threat like a serious adult,” added Rice, the ranking member of the House Homeland Security Subcommittee on Counterterrorism and Intelligence. “It’s extremely disturbing that right now, he seems more focused on telling people who to blame when the next attack occurs.”
“We cannot allow this administration to distort the facts when it comes to national security. We cannot allow them to use the very real threat of terrorism as a tool to stoke fears for their political purposes."
Spicer earlier Thursday admitted he misspoke after repeatedly referencing an attack in Atlanta while defending Trump’s temporary ban on travelers from seven Muslim-majority nations.
“[I] clearly meant Orlando,” he told ABC News. The Orlando terrorist attack last June was a mass shooting targeting a nightclub that resulted in 49 deaths.
Atlanta was the site of three bombings in 1996 and 1997 perpetrated by Eric Rudolph, a domestic terrorist motivated by anti-LGBT and anti-abortion views.
Conway is weathering criticism and social media derision for referencing a nonexistent terrorist attack in Bowling Green, Ky. at least three times since late last month. She has since clarified she intended to mention indicted “terrorists” who had posed as refugees there instead.