Foreign Policy, a left-leaning publication on international affairs, obtained and published the contents of an internal diplomatic cable from the U.S. embassy in South Africa back to the State Department in Washington, DC, which “rebukes” the president for his tweet last week about land reform and farm murders in South Africa.
Foreign Policy’s Robbie Gramer and Colum Lynch reported Wednesday:
[T]he U.S. Embassy in South Africa has tacitly rebuked the president in a cable sent clarifying the issue and correcting misperceptions put forward by the president …
The cable, sent Wednesday morning and obtained by Foreign Policy, does not mention the president or his tweet at all. Titled “Despite Crime Epidemic, Farm Murders Down,” the cable outlines statistics on murder rates on white-owned South African farms.
“Some journalists and lobby groups have simplified complex land disputes to serve their own ends,” the cable says.
Political officers from the U.S. Embassy reached out to a broad array of experts—including farmers, police, crime researchers, and academics—to gauge the extent of violence against white farmers. They found “no evidence that murders on farms specifically target white people or are politically motivated,” the cable states.
“Farmers suggested that they are more vulnerable to violence because of the remoteness of the farms and inadequate responses of law enforcement agencies, but they also noted that farm violence has never resulted in any kind of land seizure,” according to the cable.
Trump’s tweet appeared to respond to a State Department statement, aired on Tucker Carlson’s show on Fox News, which appeared to defend the South African government’s approach to land reform in optimistic terms.
Though the South African government rejected Trump’s tweet, and commentators in South Africa were generally critical of the president, some applauded his stance.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.
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