Trump’s Response to Weekend Terror Short on Facts, Long on Shameless Self-Promotion

Donald Trump responded to incidents in Minnesota, New York, and New Jersey this weekend with shameless self-promotion. He offered nothing substantive in the way of remedies or means by which America can be made entirely secure from people who might want to act in the name of one cause or another.

He spoke to an audience Saturday night and his utterances Sunday were no less fact-free and bombastic. On Saturday we heard,

“We’ve got to get very tough. It’s a terrible thing what’s going on in our world, what’s going on in our country, but we are going to get tough and smart and vigilant and we are going to end it.”

And Sunday night, he tweeted,

President Obama has pursued al Qaeda relentlessly since he took office, finally killing the architect of the 9/11 attacks, Osama bin Laden, in his hiding place in Pakistan. Under his direction, drone attacks have decimated the ISIS leadership and a coalition of US-backed forces have contained and even regained lost ground from the Islamic State.

Yet Trump followed this up with another tweet:

And in fact, as more details emerge, we find that more Americans were saved this weekend than injured. In Minnesota, first responders were on the scene within 5 minutes of the first 911 calls and an off-duty cop shot and killed the attacker, and the FBI revealed this morning that,

And now authorities have a name and are seeking in connection with the Chelsea bombing, 28-year-old Ahmad Khan Rahami. Trump is not going to laud the successes of law enforcement against terrorism because it is not congenial to the dystopian world he creates with his rhetoric.

And let’s put these attacks in perspective for a moment:

No one was killed in the three incidents. One bomb injured 29, and 9 people were wounded by a knife-wielding man in Minnesota, and the other bomb caused no injuries.

On the other hand, according to the Gun Violence Archive, 42 Americans were killed as a result of gun violence on Saturday, and another 20 Americans on Sunday. Trump said nothing about being “tough and smart and vigilant” on gun violence, let alone saying “we are going to end it.”

All those fatalities went, as they so often are, completely unremarked. Yet 62 Americans are dead in a single weekend as a result of gun violence.

Trump ignores gun violence. The NRA loves Donald Trump and Trump loves the NRA. Trump does not ignore “Islamic terrorism” which kills far fewer Americans than do our own children. And Trump is not about to get tough on gun violence, or children wielding guns.

Yes, toddlers with guns kill more Americans than terrorists. From Trump? Silence.

And while Trump does his level best to speak of Obama and Clinton as a single unit, Clinton was Obama’s Secretary of State from 2009 to 2013, but has not acted in an official capacity since February 2013, and therefore has had no role in formulating US policy for going on four years.

Trump likes to talk and he likes to denigrate and he likes to bully, but he doesn’t like facts. He hates facts so much he wants to sue the New York Times using laws that don’t exist to stop the paper from using them.

This weekend’s two bombings and mass stabbing are just another opportunity for personal political gain; for Donald Trump to shamelessly promote himself while ignoring every relevant fact.

The fact is, the system worked this weekend: the Minnesota stabber was shot dead; a man is already sought in connection with bombing; and more bombs found in train station before they could be set and detonated.

Success in the war on terror is the last thing Donald Trump wants to advertise. Trump and terrorists ironically have the same goal: the spread of fear. And both shun the only antidote to fear: facts.