I know it’s campaign season, and candidates throw hard punches.
But when the presumptive nominee of the Republican Party questions the patriotism of the president of the United States without taking responsibility for it, I have to ask a question.
After the mass murder in Orlando, Donald Trump went on “The Today Show” and said this of President Obama:
“… there are a lot of people that think maybe he doesn’t want to get it. A lot of people think maybe he doesn’t want to know about it. I happen to think that he just doesn’t know what he’s doing, but there are many people that think maybe he doesn’t want to get it. He doesn’t want to see what’s really happening. And that could be.”
On Fox News, Trump said:
“Look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind… And the something else in mind — you know, people can’t believe it. People cannot, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can’t even mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’ There’s something going on. It’s inconceivable. There’s something going on.”
Trump is suggesting that the nation’s commander-in-chief is consciously unwilling to fight terrorism — a sensational charge he attributes to “a lot of people.”
Excuse me? Who, exactly is “a lot of people?”
Sure, there’s room for debate about how to fight terrorism, but I can’t think of a single public figure who questions Obama’s commitment to trying.
He did, after all, order the raid that got Osama bin-Laden as well as countless drone strikes on al-Qaida and Taliban leaders.
If Trump thinks the president is disloyal, he should say it and take responsibility for it, and provide some evidence.
If he’s hearing this from someone he takes seriously, we deserve to know who that is, so we can assess that person or persons’ credibility.
Jenna Johnson of the Washington Post notes this isn’t the first time Trump has levelled accusations and attributed them to some unnamed people.
So my question is simple: Mr. Trump, who’s saying the president “doesn’t want to get it?” Just give us a name.
( I sent this request late Tuesday to Trump campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks. I’ll let you know if I get a response.)