Tuesday, August 4, 2020

What did Donald Trump do today?

He blurted out that the Beirut explosion was an "attack," then lied about the military having told him that.

This morning, Lebanon's capital city Beirut suffered an absolutely catastrophic explosion. Dozens of deaths have already been confirmed, and thousands were injured. 

At a press conference this afternoon, Trump called it a "terrible attack." This was the first suggestion by anyone in the United States government—or any government—that this was the case. The working theory was that a fire had ignited stored chemicals and explosives known to be stored in the area. (Lebanon's government later confirmed this theory.)

Asked how he knew the explosion was the result of an attack, and not an accident, Trump said, "Well, it would seem like it was, based on the explosion." He added, "I met with some our great generals, and they just seemed to feel that it was." He did not identify which generals, or why only he—and nobody else in his administration—was talking about it.

Defense department officials later said they had no idea what Trump was talking about.

Why does this matter?

  • It's really bad if a president is this careless with the facts about major world events.
  • It's wrong to lie to cover your own mistakes.