Donald Trump cannot be trusted to give accurate information during a terrorist attack, says leading fact checker

Mr Trump had commented before knowing all of the facts as chaos swirled in Britain

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The Independent US

The Associated Press says that Donald Trump isn’t a reliable source for accurate information when violent acts are unfolding abroad after the President’s Twitter firestorm over the weekend in response to the terrorist attacks in London.

“The latest deadly London attacks, like one in the Philippines last week, prompted visceral reactions from Trump instead of statements shaped by the findings of the U.S. intelligence and diplomatic apparatus,” the news service wrote in a fact-check of Mr Trump’s tweets. “He got ahead of the facts emerging in Britain’s chaos Saturday and got it wrong in the Philippines case, calling the episode there a ‘terrorist attack’ when it was not.”

The Associated Press (AP) fact-check is the latest example of the news media contradicting Mr Trump's public claims, and is likely to add to the rift between the Fourth Estate and the White House. The AP is a widely respected news agency with reporters all over the world who provide reports that are reprinted by news agencies from all over the ideological spectrum.

The AP wrote that Mr Trump couldn’t be counted on to accurately inform Americans about what was happening, noting that he had contradicted his homeland security secretary in calling for a travel ban following the attacks, and that there wasn’t enough information available at the time of that tweet to know for certain that a travel ban would’ve had any impact on the events in London.

Mr Trump’s criticism of London Mayor Sadiq Khan for telling Londoners there was “no need to be alarmed” by increased police presence in the city also lacked important context, the AP wrote. Mr Khan had said that Mr Trump's statements were a deliberate misrepresentation of his comments.

The news agency also fact-checked comments made by the President last week when he announced that the US was withdrawing from the Paris climate agreement.

While Mr Trump said that staying in the climate agreement would cost the US $3 trillion in lost gross domestic product, and 6.5 million industrial jobs, the AP noted that he was referencing studies by two groups that have had long-standing opposition to environmental regulations. The studies make worst-case assumptions about the cost Paris would have for Americans while ignoring the economic benefits of operating renewable energy projects, the fact-checker said.