Add stunning hypocrisy to the long list of Trump low lights surrounding the ambush in Niger that killed four U.S. soldiers.
Nearly three weeks after four U.S. Special Forces troops were killed by ISIS gunmen during an ambush in Niger, Donald Trump has steadfastly refused to knowledge the terrorist attacks, and has refused to denounce “radical Islamic terror” at the root of the assault.
Trump’s silence stands in sharp contrast to his 2016 campaign when he relentlessly mocked President Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton for supposedly refusing to mention the threats posed by “radical Islamic terrorists.”
“These are radical Islamic terrorists and she won’t even mention the word, and nor will President Obama. He won’t use the term ‘radical Islamic terrorism,’” Trump said during the Oct. 9 debate last year. “Now, to solve a problem, you have to be able to state what the problem is or at least say the name. It’s radical Islamic terror.”
And recall that one of the loudest GOP cat calls following the Benghazi attack in September 2012 was that Obama had failed to call it an act of terror, which meant he couldn’t combat America’s enemies abroad. (The whole claim was false.)
For years, the far-right movement has suggested that it’s impossible to defeat ISIS if you don’t repeat the “radical Islamic terrorist” manta.
Prior to the ambush this month, Trump reveled in using the “radical Islamic terror” phrase as president. During his speech to Congress in February, Trump vowed to eradicate the threat of “radical Islamic terrorism” from “the face of the Earth.”
Just recently he boasted, “We’ve done more against ISIS in nine months than the previous administration’s done during its whole administration. By far, by far.”
Now complicating that talking point is the fact that the Niger ambush represents the deadliest day for U.S. combat troops since Trump took office. And that deadly day came at the hands of ISIS fighters who are waging a global war of terror.
“Perhaps wary of the political ramifications, President Donald Trump has still not publicly stated that an ISIS affiliated group was responsible, ” CNN noted. That was nearly one week ago, and Trump still remains silent on the details of the attack. That is, when he’s not picking a public fight with Myeshia Johnson, a widow whose husband was killed in the Niger ambush.
There’s no question that the fallen U.S. troops were killed by terrorist fighters.
“The Defense Intelligence Agency has said it believes the Islamic State in the Greater Sahara was behind the attack,” the Washington Post reported. “The group has been around at least since 2015, when its leader split from al-Qaeda.”
Even Secretary of Defesne James Mattis last week explained that attacks like the kind that unfolded in Niger are “part of the danger that our troops face in these counterterrorist campaigns. ”
For cowardly and partisan reasons, Trump has opted to ignore the Niger attack. Suddenly, he’s unwilling to name the problem in order to solve it.