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Harvard Professor to Trump: There is No Evidence Media Is Covering Up Terrorist Attacks

StoryFebruary 07, 2017
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On Monday, President Trump falsely claimed that the media is intentionally covering up terrorist attacks. “It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported,” Trump said. “And in many cases, the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it.” The claims appear to be part of a wider push by the White House to increase fear about potential—and even imaginary—terrorist attacks in order to justify President Trump’s crackdown on immigration, including his Muslim ban. We speak to Harvard professor Stephen Walt. His recent piece in Foreign Policy is headlined “Trump Has Already Blown It.”

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This is a rush transcript. Copy may not be in its final form.

AMY GOODMAN: Finally, you just tweeted, “New theory”—you just tweeted, “The media is NOT covering terrorism? Is #trump serious? Delusional? Incurably dishonest? All of the above?” Donald Trump falsely claiming Monday during a speech to U.S. CENTCOM in Florida at the MacDill Air Base that the media is intentionally covering up terrorist attacks. Your response?

STEPHEN WALT: Well, again, I think that there’s no evidence of this at all. If anything, I think the media has overcovered the problem of terrorism really ever since 9/11. It’s why Americans greatly exaggerate the actual risk they are under. The risk that Americans face from a terrorist attack here in the United States is astronomically small, sort of one chance in 4 million. There are so many other things that are much more of a danger to us, much more of a problem that we should be worrying about. And it’s—

AMY GOODMAN: We’re going to have to leave it there, Professor Stephen Walt.

STEPHEN WALT: OK.

AMY GOODMAN: Thanks so much for joining us, professor of international relations at Harvard University.

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