The Corner

Trump vs. the Washington Post

This morning, Trump told Fox News, “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 a story headlined, “Trump suggests President Obama was involved with the mass shooting in Orlando.” Later that headline changed to, “Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando shooting.” In the lede, Jenna Johnson writes, “Donald Trump seemed to repeatedly accuse President Obama on Monday of identifying with radicalized Muslims who have carried out terrorist attacks in the United States and being complicit in the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando over the weekend, the worst the country has ever seen.”

Trump said about the headline was “dishonest“ and then announced that his campaign was revoking the Post’s press credentials.

I think Trump has a legitimate gripe about the headline. Both in its initial and revised versions, it reads to me as a Post claim that Trump implied that Obama was in on the planning of the attack. Johnson’s comment, on the other hand, seems to me much more defensible — especially since Trump has refused to clarify his meaning (“Well, you know, I’ll let people figure that out for themselves”).

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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