As his own crimes begin to come to light, President Donald Trump has taken to Twitter, advancing a conspiracy theory that preys on misguided, manufactured fears of immigrants and Muslims.
Trump tweeted about ranchers finding prayer rugs on the southern border, where he still demands a wall and has proven willing to hold the government hostage to do so.
Border rancher: “We’ve found prayer rugs out here. It’s unreal.” Washington Examiner People coming across the Southern Border from many countries, some of which would be a big surprise.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2019
Even if finding a religious artifact near the border was somehow enough of a reason to worry about incoming terrorists, the President neglected to mention that the Washington Examiner article provided no pictures and no valid sources.
The Washington Examiner article the president is quoting is very bad. The “prayer rugs” claim was made by a single rancher who would not allow her name used and who apparently provided the journalist no evidence. pic.twitter.com/iq4t0BOzR9
— Daniel Dale (@ddale8) January 18, 2019
This appears based on a Washington Examiner story which cited one rancher who also noted “Czechoslovakians” crossing border. https://t.co/X9gttoLec6
— Jim Sciutto (@jimsciutto) January 18, 2019
The article is based on a single source: an unnamed rancher. She claims that people have been finding prayer rugs, or fragments of them, yet provided no evidence to the Washington Examiner, which is known to be a right wing publication.
It’s a good indication of the sources Donald Trump trusts as “real news,” and people are getting sick of his attempts to stoke fear.
I see you’re throwing in some anti Islamic sentiment to appease your racist base
— Roland Scahill (@rolandscahill) January 18, 2019
Defend you from prayer rugs?
— Carolyn (@Carolyn160) January 18, 2019
Prayer? Did you mention prayer?
Here's a great Bible quote for you:
"Do not mistreat or oppress a foreigner, for you were foreigners in Egypt."
~ Exodus 22:21
— William LeGate (@williamlegate) January 18, 2019
I drew you a Venn Diagram pic.twitter.com/sNEOnXXelB
— Mary Wynne Kling (@MaryWynneKling) January 18, 2019
Though Trump cited the Washington Examiner, the rancher’s lack of sources and admission to never having seen these prayer rugs herself in the article led one Twitter detective to resurface an even more outrageous story.
The radical white nationalist publication Breitbart shared what it purported to be a “Muslim prayer rug” at the Arizona border.
Turns out, it was a discarded Adidas jersey.
Somebody found what is obviously an Adidas shirt on the ground near the border in 2014, and conservatives decided it was a “Muslim prayer rug.” Now the president is using that Adidas shirt to stoke fear and anti-immigrant sentiment in 2019. Truly the dumbest timeline. pic.twitter.com/lczWaiXmkj
— Yes, Youre Racist (@YesYoureRacist) January 18, 2019
Americans have had enough.
Please stop the country, I would like to get off now…
— Arya Speedwagon (@RagingNerdon) January 18, 2019
Well, that’s good. I was worried about the absentminded Muslims who left all their rugs after prayer.
“Oh crap Tim, I lost another rug.”
— Kevin Donato (@WhatMyWifeYells) January 18, 2019
Glad you found it! I knew I had heard that story somewhere.
— Rusty Shackelford (@DontUnderest) January 18, 2019