President Donald Trump on Tuesday falsely attributed the release of detainees at Guantanamo Bay to his predecessor Barack Obama. However, it was actually former President George W. Bush who released the vast majority of them.
Continuing his habit of early-morning tweets while watching cable news, Trump, apparently responding to a Fox News segment, blamed Obama for freeing “122 vicious prisoners” from the U.S. military detention facility who went on to engage in terrorism.
Unlike Trump, the Fox News segment did not attribute that number to his predecessor, only reporting that a former detainee killed in a U.S. airstrike on Yemen this month was released by Obama in 2009, the Pentagon announced Monday.
Experts including Miami Herald journalist Carol Rosenberg, who has reported on Guantanamo for years, immediately debunked the tweet, noting that it was actually Bush who released nearly all of the 122 detainees. Obama released only nine of them, according to September U.S. intelligence reports.
Meanwhile, during his presidential campaign, Trump claimed he wanted to try U.S. citizens at Guantanamo Bay, which is illegal. He also proposed reviving the practice of waterboarding and other forms of torture, which he described as “things that are unthinkable.”