On Tuesday, Donald Trump stood in the White House press briefing room and sent "America's deepest sympathies" to Lebanon, after it suffered what "looks like a terrible attack." Wait what? Nobody had said the massive explosion that happened in Beirut yesterday was an "attack."

Journalists, as you might expect, were like wait, the fuck, what? So Trump doubled down, passing off the blame for how he apparently just made some shit up on "great generals" who told him it was probably a bomb. You how Trump always listens to his "great generals." You betcha. They probably had a really good talk yesterday, him and the great generals.

TRUMP: Well it would seem like it, based on the explosion. I met with some of our great generals and they just seem to feel that it was. This was not some kind of a manufacturing explosion type of event. This was a – seems to be, according to them, they would know better than I would – but they seem to think it was an attack. It was a bomb of some kind, yes.

Oh, now it's confirmed! Great! He's not sure, but it seems like it, and the generals think maybe, so yes, definitely, SORRY YOU GOT BOMBED, LEBANON!

So of course, like clockwork, Pentagon officials started whispering to reporters saying PSSSST, we have zero fucking idea what Trump is talking about, please do not listen to the crazy batshit person:

Three US Defense Department officials told CNN that as of Tuesday night there was no indication that the massive explosion that rocked Beirut on Tuesday were an "attack," contradicting an earlier claim from President Donald Trump. [...]

[T]he defense officials, who declined to be identified so they could speak freely, said they didn't know what the President was talking about.

One official said that if there were indications anyone in the region pulled something off of this scale, it would trigger automatic increases in force protection for US troops and assets in the region -- if for no other reason than worry about retribution attacks. That official noted that none of that has happened so far.

The Washington Post likewise reports from its sources that while Pentagon officials allow that it could have been an attack, pretty much nobody so far thinks that.

Agence France-Presse reports that when it asked the Pentagon for an official comment, the Pentagon was like, yeah, we don't fuckin' know, ask the White House what the hell he was talking about. (Slight paraphrase.)

CNN reporter Kylie Atwood says her sources at State told her the Lebanese government was like "Wait what?" after Trump called it an "attack."

But whatever! Donald Trump says it was an attack, so maybe the voices in his head know something we don't! (Person. Woman. Man. Camera ... BOMB!)

So What DID Happen?

Quite frankly, most people aren't sure what the hell happened in Beirut. More than 100 are dead, at least 4,000 injured, and according to the governor of Beirut, possibly 250,000 people or more are now without homes. the Lebanese government is saying more than 2,750 tons of ammonium nitrate were stored in that warehouse, apparently in a way that wasn't quite secure enough to keep it from catching on fire. (For a comparison, the bombing of the federal building in Oklahoma City was two tons of ammonium nitrate.) They are investigating, but at least so far, it looks like it was an awful accident, and Prime Minister Hassan Diab sounds pissed.

"I promise you that this catastrophe will not pass without accountability … Those responsible will pay the price," Diab said in a televised speech the night before. "Facts about this dangerous warehouse that has been there since 2014 will be announced, and I will not preempt the investigations."

The Washington Post reports that port officials had been ringing the bell about that ammonium nitrate that had been in that warehouse since 2014 for a while now. (Apparently it was left there by a Russian businessman who just went bankrupt and ... left it there.)

Could it have been something else? Surely. There's other shit going on in that neighborhood, like there always is. (And by "neighborhood," we mean the Middle East.) The Post mentions some current shit between Lebanon-based Hezbollah and Israel, but both entities say nope, not us, and they are sending thoughts and prayers. Could the Lebanese government know something it's not saying? Well yeah!

However, it remains that the Lebanese government isn't calling it an attack. The American government isn't calling it an attack. Nobody is calling it an attack. So unless Donald Trump read in his briefing book (hahahahaha) or listened intently to an intel briefing (hahahahahahahahahaha) and found out that actually it was an attack, then SHUT THE FUCK UP ABOUT IT BEING AN "ATTACK."

He Does This. The President Of The United States Does This. He Just Makes Shit Up. Constantly.

You will be surprised to learn this is not the first time Trump has just gone out and just cold made shit up, either calling things "attacks" when we did not know if they were attacks, claiming the military was doing things it most certainly was not doing, or suggesting that the coronavirus escaped from a lab in Wuhan, based on intel he had received from these gremlins what live up inside his butt. (They are Mike Pompeo's neighbors!)

In June of 2017, Trump sent "our thoughts and our prayers" to the people of Manila, Philippines, which he said had just endured an awful "terrorist attack." It was a robbery at a casino. In February of 2017, Trump acted distraught at one of his Hitler rallies about an attack he said happened in Sweden the night before. Not a fucking thing had happened in Sweden the night before. Then he claimed actually he was talking about immigrants doing crime in Sweden, because of something he saw on goddamned Fox News. A month later, he said actually there had been these terrible "riots" in Sweden, therefore he had been right all along. There was a riot, but it happened a couple days after Trump said the dumb thing about the terrorist attack. A year later, in March 2018, Trump was still saying he was "proven right" about the imaginary Swedish terrorist attack that turned out to be riots that happened two days after Trump said the thing about the imaginary Swedish terrorist attack.

At the MaddowBlog, Steve Benen notes specific times the Pentagon has had to say "Sadly, no!" when Trump starts making up garbage. Doing war crimes to Iran's cultural sites? No, said the Pentagon. Stealing oil from Syria in 2019? Not no but fuck no, said the Pentagon.

Point is, he does this shit. Constantly. He's stupid, he lies, he wings it, and he just cold makes shit up. About coronavirus, about national security issues, about foreign policy. The president of the United States does this.

We've already ended a post today by reminding you we are 90 days out from the election. Now we're doing it again.

[Washington Post / CNN]

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Evan Hurst

Evan Hurst is the managing editor of Wonkette, which means he is the boss of you, unless you are Rebecca, who is boss of him. His dog Lula is judging you right now.

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