Belgium’s Interior Minister Jan Jambon had said on Monday that the country was on the highest level of alert for possible revenge attacks after the capture of Salah Abdeslam. He told Belgian radio: “We know that stopping one cell can… push others into action. We are aware of it in this case.” [BBC]
DONALD TRUMP went to AIPAC and received a luke warm reception. Then he slammed President Obama by saying it was his last year, “Yay!”, and the auditorium erupted in applause. The ad lib, off the cuff candidate used a TelePromTer for his speech, laying out his thoughts on Israel and the greater Middle East, slowly but surely drawing his audience in.
Whoever was looking for Donald Trump to fail at AIPAC, including people in the auditorium, were likely forced to admit he did what he had to do to prove he’s ready to protect Israel as he pivots to proving he can be presidential. That he received several standing ovations amid continual “believe me” statements that left his audience laughing when he said he knows more than anyone else about the Iran Deal, was no doubt jarring for Republicans against Trump.
The conservative Wall Street Journal agreed saying that Mr. Trump faced a “largely receptive” crowd and “read from a prepared text, and eschewed the harsh, sometimes profane rhetoric that he has often employed on the campaign trail.”
It’s Trump at his most Trumpian. Vague. “STRONG.” Mercurial.
Favorite secretary of state: George Schultz of the Reagan era. Reminded that Reagan was focused on democracy and nation-building, he was asked if that should continue, to which he responded that it’s a different world today. Should we “promote democracy” and our values? Look at “some of our inner cities,” then segued to schools we built in Iraq being blown up while our own cities need tending. “Our country is disintegrating, especially the inner cities…” Trump responded. But when asked about law enforcement and race, specifically in Baltimore, he landed squarely on the side of the police. What about incarceration rates of blacks versus whites?, asked Ruth Marcus. Trump’s answer: “jobs.”
What’s gotten a lot of attention from the press and political writers is Mr. Trump’s idea of altering U.S. libel laws, which comes at about 20 minutes into the audio. He then cited Gawker and Hulk Hogan, and the media for being “incorrect” in stories, expecting a retraction at the very least, not necessarily that he’d sue, which I have to say sounds disingenuous at best.
This is the most worrisome aspect of Trump’s ideas. He’s got a fantasy about the free press being controlled. He wants to “loosen them up,” taking about libel laws. Lack of transparency is one thing, on which both Obama and Clinton are guilty, but Trump’s idea to make it “more fair” is a slippery slope.
No wonder the Washington Post had an adverse reaction to the over one-hour conversation, saying he would be a “radical risk.” Fred Hiatt, who is a neoconservative, in my opinion, as is Charles Lane, aren’t going to applaud an anti-interventionist Republican, which is what Trump sounds like today.
When the WashPost editorial board went off on Trump’s hands they’re the ones that sounded like a bunch of pantywaists.
So when Brussels erupted today all eyes were on Donald Trump’s response. He didn’t disappoint his supporters.
Bloomberg reporting from Trump’s “Today Show” appearance.
In the wake of a series of fatal terrorist attacks in Brussels, Belgium, on Tuesday, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump said he would go beyond waterboarding when interrogating suspected terrorist leaders and repeated that the U.S. should “close up our borders until we figure out what’s going on.”
“Waterboarding would be fine and if they could expand the laws, I would do a lot more than waterboarding,” Trump said Tuesday morning on NBC’s Today, adding authorities should “should be able to do whatever they have to do.” Asked if he believed people, when tortured, yield useful rather than false information, he said he was “in that camp.”
“You have to get the information and you have to get it rapidly,” he said.