Trump Says ‘No Terrorist Attacks’ While He Was President

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Donald Trump appeared on Fox News this weekend, repeating his campaign pledges on border security and suggesting that a terrorist attack from the border would “100 percent” happen.

Trump, who is competing against Nikki Haley for the Republican presidential nomination, spoke to Fox host Maria Bartiromo at length about immigration, advocating mass deportation and alleging he created the “safest border in the history of our country.”

Trump, seemingly in defense of his record on national security, also told Bartiromo that there had been no terrorist attacks on U.S. soil during his presidency.

Donald Trump speaks at a press conference at 40 Wall Street on January 17, 2024 in New York City. Trump claimed during a recent Fox News interview that there had been no terrorist attacks while…


Alexi J. Rosenfeld/Getty Images

The Claim

During an interview on Fox News with Maria Bartiromo on February 4, 2024, Donald Trump said “during my term, I had no terrorist attacks.”

Trump said; “I believe we’re going to have a terrorist attack 100 percent, 100 percent. You know, during my term, I had no terrorist attacks, you know, right?

“I had all sorts of bans on people from certain countries. I had bans all over the place. We had no attack, I had nothing.”

The Facts

Donald Trump’s claim is inaccurate.

In 2023, Sayfullo Saipov, 34, of Uzbekistan, was sentenced to eight consecutive life sentences, two concurrent life sentences, and a consecutive sentence of 260 years in prison for carrying out a terrorist attack on October 31, 2017, in New York, killing eight people and injuring more.

Described as the worst terror attack in New York since 9/11, Saipov was shot and captured after he rammed bicyclists along a popular bike path that overlooks the Hudson River in Lower Manhattan.

A Department of Justice release that accompanied Saipov’s sentencing said he carried out the attack in the name of ISIS.

Trump made several comments about the attack in the days that followed, referring to Saipov as a terrorist and arguing that he should receive the death penalty.

A jury convicted Saipov on January 26, 2023, on all 28 counts in his indictment which included murder for the purpose of gaining entrance to a racketeering enterprise (ISIS) and providing material support to a designated foreign terrorist organization (ISIS) resulting in death.

“Today’s sentence means that Sayfullo Saipov will spend the rest of his life in federal prison for brutally murdering eight innocent victims during his carefully calculated ISIS terrorist attack,” said Attorney General Merrick B. Garland.

“The Department of Justice honors the victims, their families, and the survivors of this horrific attack. We will continue to vigorously defend the American people from threats of terrorism and will work tirelessly to bring those who perpetrate terrorist attacks to justice.”

This was not the only act of terrorism seen under Trump’s watch.

In January 2018, James Harris Jackson, then 30, became the first white supremacist convicted on terrorism charges in New York, for the killing of 66-year-old Timothy Caughman in March 2017.

Caughman’s death was part of a plan Jackson had made to kill as many Black people as possible.

The army veteran traveled to Manhattan from Baltimore, Maryland, to get as much media attention as possible from the killings, police said at the time.

In his confession tape, played at a pretrial hearing at Manhattan Supreme Court, Jackson can be heard telling detectives how he planned to kill Black people because he believed “we should just preserve the best people and get rid of all the dead weight,” reported the New York Post.

Jackson pled guilty to first-degree murder in furtherance of an act of terrorism, second-degree murder as a crime of terrorism, second-degree murder as a hate crime and fourth-degree criminal possession of a weapon.

Newsweek has contacted a media representative for Donald Trump via email for comment.

Other offenses were investigated as acts of terrorism and appeared to have hallmarks of such an act, although specific terrorism charges were not pursued.

This included the 2019 El Paso shooting in which Patrick Crusius, 21, killed 23 mostly Latino people at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas. Although the Department of Justice said in 2020 that the incident “may be considered an act of domestic terrorism” Crusius was not convicted under the terrorism statute.

In February last year, Crusius pled guilty to a 90-count indictment, including 45 counts of violating the Matthew Shepard and James Byrd Jr. Hate Crimes Prevention Act and 45 counts of using a firearm during and in relation to crimes of violence.

Attorney General Merrick B. Garland said that nothing could undo the “immeasurable loss suffered by the loved ones of the victims of that attack or the terror inflicted on the El Paso community in its wake.”

The Ruling

False

False.

Donald Trump was president during a terror attack in New York in October 2017, in which Sayfullo Saipov, 34, killed eight people in the name of ISIS. He was also president when 30-year-old James Harris Jackson killed 66-year-old Timothy Caughman; Jackson pled guilty in 2019 to first-degree murder in furtherance of an act of terrorism.

FACT CHECK BY Newsweek’s Fact Check team