Where Did Trump Claim That Refugees Have ISIS Pics On Their Phones Come From?

Donald Trump told the debate audience Tuesday that “tens of thousands of people” have “cell phones with ISIS flags on them.”

When asked how to make the country safer, Trump rattled off a list of familiar proposals from building a “great wall” to stopping the drug trade coming from Mexico. But he also alluded to thousands of people with ISIS flags on their cell phones who he would block from coming to the U.S.

“Our country is out of control. People are pouring across the southern border. I’ll build a wall. It’ll be a great wall. People will not come in unless they come in legally. Drugs will not pour through that wall,” Trump said. As far as other people, like in the migration, where they’re going — tens of thousands of people having cell phones with ISIS flags on them, I don’t think so. They’re not coming to this country if I’m president.”

Trump appears to be alluding to a Norwegian newspaper report that refugees in Norway had cell phones with pictures of ISIS flags and other brutal images on them.

According to the Netavisen report, however, a Norwegian official said there could be several reasons why refugees had the pictures. A rough translation of the story claimed: “One can be a witness and have a desire to show what you’ve seen, or you may have been tactically and have symbols associated with organizations that control areas passing through. What looks alarmingly out, may have other explanations than support for terrorist organizations, an official told the newspaper.”

The story was picked up by Infowars as well as the Daily Mail, which focused on the images themselves.

Dear Reader,

When we asked recently what makes TPM different from other outlets, readers cited factors like honesty, curiosity, transparency, and our vibrant community. They also pointed to our ability to report on important stories and trends long before they are picked up by mainstream outlets; our ability to contextualize information within the arc of history; and our focus on the real-world consequences of the news.

Our unique approach to reporting and presenting the news, however, wouldn’t be possible without our readers’ support. That’s not just marketing speak, it’s true: our work would literally not be possible without readers deciding to become members. Not only does member support account for more than 80% of TPM’s revenue, our members have helped us build an engaged and informed community. Many of our best stories were born from reader tips and valuable member feedback.

We do what other news outlets can’t or won’t do because our members’ support gives us real independence.

If you enjoy reading TPM and value what we do, become a member today.

Latest Livewire
Masthead Masthead
Founder & Editor-in-Chief:
Executive Editor:
Managing Editor:
Associate Editor:
Investigations Desk:
Director of Audience:
Editor at Large:
General Counsel:
Head of Product:
Director of Technology:
Associate Publisher:
Front End Developer:
Senior Designer: