On Thursday, a van careened into pedestrians along Las Ramblas in Barcelona, killing 13 and injuring at least 100 in a terror attack for which ISIS later claimed responsibility. (The degree to which the group communicated with attackers beforehand, if at all, remains to be seen.) It was the deadliest such incident in Spain since the 2004 Madrid train bombings that killed nearly 200 people, and world leaders responded with a wave of solidarity and sympathy. Initially, U.S. President Donald Trump seemed to join in.
“The United States condemns the terror attack in Barcelona, Spain, and will do whatever is necessary to help,” he tweeted, shortly after. Later, he added “Be tough & strong, we love you!”
Within 45 minutes, the president had changed his tone, directing followers to Google the work of early 20th Century U.S. General John Pershing.