The Corner

Trump vs. the Washington Post, Ctd.

On Monday, Trump made some vague insinuations:

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.

He also said, “He doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands — it’s one or the other, and either one is unacceptable.” The Washington Post ran the headline, “Trump suggests President Obama was involved with the mass shooting in Orlando.” Trump complained about the headline and revoked the Post’s press credentials.

I wrote here that Trump had a legitimate complaint about that headline, since the Post had made it sound as though Trump had said that Obama was in on the planning of the attack. But in the Post’s defense, Trump had also said that he wasn’t going to clarify his remarks, and of course has a history of making outrageous claims (as Jay and Jonah emphasized in their own posts on this controversy). Now Trump is tweeting out an article that says that the administration supported a precursor to ISIS and claiming vindication for his comments. The suggestion seems to be that Obama has avoided the term “radical Islamic terrorism” not for the (dumb) reasons people typically give for avoiding that term, but because he’s pro-ISIS. That still doesn’t justify the Post headline, which went even further than that, but it’s outrageous in its own right.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

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