"There was no Islamic terrorism before Obama," says former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani

Giuliani was mayor of New York when 3,000 people were killed in extremist terrorist attacks on September 11th, 2001

Rudy Giuliani,

Former New York Mayor Rudy Giuliani speaks during first day of the Republican National Convention in Cleveland [AP Photo/Carolyn Kaster]

With 83 days left in the run-up to the US presidential election, there is still plenty of time for Republican nominee Donald Trump’s campaign to create even more jaw-dropping gaffes, but few will compare to the clanger just made by former New York mayor Rudy Giuliani. The Republican politician, who failed to secure his party’s nomination in the 2008 campaign, rose to international fame for his steely resolve following the September 11th terrorist attacks in New York, which he appeared to have completely wiped from his memory in a speech designed to undermined President Barack Obama and a Democratic White House.

Speaking at an event where both Trump and his running mate Mike Pence also addressed the Ohio crowd, Giuliani first made the usual decision of criticising Pence’s lack of experience with foreign affairs. Then speaking about the current issues of religious extremist terrorism, Giuliani attacked Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton and President Obama, saying: “Under those eight years, before Obama came along, we didn’t have any successful radical Islamic terrorist attacks in the United States. They all started when Clinton and Obama got into office.”

Giuliani’s comments were immediately condemned in the American media for failing to note not only the 9/11 attack on the Twin Towers, in which more than 3,000 people lost their lives, but also the 1993 World Trade Center bombing. The February 26th explosion, also carried out by religious extremists, killed six people and injured as many as 1,000 when a bomb in the car park beneath one of the towers was detonated. An FBI investigation into that attack also uncovered detailed plans to carry out a number of simultaneous attacks across New York, including the UN building and the Holland and Lincoln Tunnels.

It is expected that the Trump campaign, already doing its best to massage the message over dismal polling data, will release a statement today explaining the logic behind Giuliani’s speech. The campaign has already become infamous for a number of ill-advised statements on the Middle East, with spokeswoman Katrina Pierson recently blaming President Obama for the death of Captain Humayun Khan, despite Khan losing his life while serving the US military four years before Obama was elected to the Oval Office.

Pierson then doubled down on her vague recollection of historical fact after Trump claimed Obama was “the founder of ISIS” by telling CNN “We weren’t even in Afghanistan by this time; Barack Obama went into Afghanistan.” Apologising later for her own gaffe, Pierson said that she had mistakenly said Afghanistan when she meant Syria.

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