tone deaf
September 17, 2019

"Saudi Arabia is once again a radioactive political football in the U.S., and President Donald Trump can't resist grabbing it," Politico reports. Trump's implication Sunday that Saudi Arabia would dictate the U.S. military response to Saturday's aerial attack on a Saudi oil facility "prompted fury in Washington, where the Saudis have faced an increasingly hostile climate in recent years," in fact "almost as politically charged as in the years immediately following the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks, when it was revealed that 15 of the 19 hijackers were Saudis."

Trump administration officials have said Iran is behind the attack on the major oil facility, though Trump and Saudi Arabia are publicly less definitive on the culprit. In a telephone briefing Monday, Brian Hook, Trump's special representative to Iran, told congressional staffers that Saudi Arabia views the attack as "their 9/11," CNN and The Washington Post report, citing two people familiar with the call.

The comparison to the Saudi-linked terrorist attacks, less than a week after the 18th anniversary of 9/11, "rankled several staffers," the Post reports. People also felt the comment was inappropriate, CNN reports, "because there have been no reported deaths as a result of the Saudi oil field strikes yet nearly 3,000 Americans were killed in New York, Washington, and outside of Shanksville, Pennsylvania, in the 9/11 attacks." An official used the same 9/11 comparison on Trump during a briefing on the Saudi oil explosions, a source tells The Daily Beast, and Trump appeared "unmoved."

"From an American perspective, it seems like a trivialization of the tragedy of 9/11, and perhaps offensively so," Hussein Ibish, a senior resident scholar at the Arab Gulf States Institute, explains to The Daily Beast, "but from a Saudi point of view it is a way of explaining their shock to Americans." Peter Weber

October 30, 2018

President Trump on Monday said there was no reason for him to cancel or postpone his Saturday night rally in Indiana, which took place hours after the deadly mass shooting at Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh.

Speaking to Fox News host Laura Ingraham, Trump first defended playing the Pharrell Williams song "Happy," saying, "Rallies are meant to be fun." He doesn't believe in calling off events when tragedies occur, and stood by his decision to go to Indiana. "Frankly, I think that's the way it should be," he said. "You can't let these people disrupt more than they already have. They are disgraceful."

The president and first lady Melania Trump are expected to travel to Pittsburgh on Tuesday, and Trump said he will "pay my respects and going to the hospital to see the officers and some of the people who were so badly hurt." He also discussed Cesar Sayoc, the man charged with sending explosives to prominent Democrats and Trump critics, saying he "was insane a long time before this." As for the migrant caravan that is still about 1,000 miles away from the southern border, Trump said the people — many of them fleeing poverty and violence in Central America — are "wasting their time" and "not getting in." Those who arrive in the U.S., he added, will be greeted by "tents, they're going to be very nice and they're going to wait, and if they don't get asylum, they get out." Catherine Garcia

June 2, 2015

A Hillary Clinton campaign email shared with The Intercept invites supporters to have a "Conversation with Hillary" — and tickets start at $1,000 a head. The email bills this elite function as part of Clinton's "grassroots campaign":

(The Intercept)

For us little people who can't cough up that kind of cash, the Clinton campaign also offered a "Meet Hillary" contest, but it turns out winners will have to pay several hundred dollars in taxes on the prize. Bonnie Kristian

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