Back on October 5th, Donald Trump caused a firestorm of confusion and concern when he stood for a photo shoot with U.S. military leaders and randomly blurted out that it was the “calm before the storm.” What was he talking about? Was he threatening to take the United States to war, just to distract everyone from his own scandals? Now we know precisely what he was talking about, because we know what happened behind the scenes the day before he made the remark.
October 4th was the day that four U.S. soldiers were killed during a failed military op in Niger. Trump and his administration worked hard to try to prevent any aspect of that op from becoming public. He nixed a public statement that had been prepared for him. He even avoided calling the families of the four soldiers. It took until this week for the media to suss out that whatever happened in Niger, it was profoundly scandalous, and it’s since been the subject of a panicked coverup.
One day after those soldiers were killed in Niger, at a time when one of the four was still missing and had apparently been left behind by mistake, that’s when Trump made his “calm before the storm” remark while posing with military leaders. By that time he would have been fully briefed on the disastrous outcome of the mission and the fact that it was likely to get even worse – and he would have already signed off on the decision to try to cover up the entire thing.
So now we know what Donald Trump was hinting at that day. The Niger debacle had just happened. He knew it was going to be a major scandal for himself and for the military. He knew it would come out eventually. And he knew that he was having one of the last days of his tenure before the Niger scandal became public, and swallowed him and his administration whole. Contribute to Palmer Report
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Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report