Whether the purpose was to inject uncertainty or fear into the minds of our adversaries from the standpoint of strengthening his negotiating position, an actual statement of imminent military conflict or something else, the words of President Trump were unsettling.
At a reception for top military officials, President Trump said to the media and photographers during a group photo, “You guys know what this represents? Maybe it’s the calm before the storm. Could be the calm before the storm.”
A reporter asks him, “From Iran, on ISIS or what? Another asks, “What storm Mr. President?” as he says, “We have the world’s great military people in this room, I will tell you that. And we’re going to have a great evening. Thank you all for coming, thank you.”
The reporter repeated, “What storm, Mr. President?” He responded with an ominous, “You’ll find out.” President Trump has prided himself on not being one who telegraphs his punches, making this statement even more confusing.
None of the military leaders in attendance appears to be surprised by the comments. They held their smiles for the photographers and their expressions were unchanged. Anderson Cooper gets briefed on what happened by one of their reporters, Ryan Nobles.
He said that the White House has not yet responded to their efforts to “get some clarity as to exactly what the President was talking about.” He names the threats of North Korea, ISIS, Iran, stating that it could be one of those or it could be something else altogether.”
Nobles points out that President Trump “made these comments right after a lengthy dinner with the most important military leaders in the United States.”
Cooper never misses an opportunity for a cheap shot at the President, chiming in and saying, “And the other option of course is he was just speaking off the top of his head and it has no meaning.” They also go into a public admonishment President Trump gave to those same leaders that he wasn’t receiving military plans quick enough.
A public admonishment for faster planning fits with the idea that this was intended for consumption by our adversaries. What other explanation could there be for it to have been conducted in public? President Trump has not been criticized as being too slow to react, so he isn’t trying to save face. It’s unsettling, at a minimum but when that time comes and “we find out,” odds are the President will have had it right all along.
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