The dominant news story in the United States this morning is revelations about two additional packages containing explosive devices, which were reportedly directed at Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and former U.S. Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. It brings the new total of Democratic officials and/or veterans of the Obama administration who were targeted to 10.
As the news unfolded, Donald Trump, who said this week that the safety of the American people is his “highest and absolute priority,” published a tweet suggesting Twitter may be conspiring against him. Confronted with images of bomb squads on his television screen, the Republican’s thoughts quickly turned to a social-media company’s alleged “biases.”
Fourteen minutes later, the president addressed the matter at hand in a decidedly Trumpian way:
“Republicans are doing so well in early voting, and at the polls, and now this ‘Bomb’ stuff happens and the momentum greatly slows – news not talking politics. Very unfortunate, what is going on. Republicans, go out and vote!”
There’s a great deal about the packages containing explosive devices that we do not yet know, but at face value, we may be dealing with attempted assassination attempts of current and former high-ranking U.S. officials. It’s the sort of thing an American president should take seriously – not because of its electoral implications, but because the country’s national security interests are critically important in their own right.
But those are not the eyes through which Donald Trump sees the world.
If a major news organization had published a report, quoting anonymous White House insiders, saying that Trump is whining behind the scenes about “bomb stuff” interfering with Republicans’ election messaging, it would’ve made the president look like an awful, petulant child, more concerned with politics than national security.
But as it turns out, we don’t need a behind-the-scenes account: Trump just put this exact sentiment on Twitter.
The president thinks an attempted bomb attack is “very unfortunate,” not because of the number of Americans who were threatened, but because he’s worried about his political party and its election “momentum.”
There was nothing about a briefing from federal law enforcement, and nothing about his personal concern for those who’ve been targeted. Instead, we were treated to a presidential reminder that he wants Republicans to look past the “bomb stuff” and vote.
Occasionally, we’re reminded that Trump is exactly who we think he is.