Donald Trump boarded Air Force One on Thursday and flew to his Mar-a-Lago golf club in Florida with the knowledge that he’d be ordering a military strike on Syria that evening. If he’s forced to make an excuse for having been away from the Situation Room, he’ll say that he’d already scheduled a meeting there with Chinese President Xi Jinping and didn’t want to change the location of the meeting. But this is the second time Trump had dodged the Situation Room while ordering military action, and the previous time was far more flagrant.
Trump’s first military action was in Yemen. By all accounts it was a disaster, resulting in the death of a Navy SEAL and at least one civilian child, along with the destruction of expensive equipment, while failing to apprehend or kill the intended Al Qaeda target. It was a high-risk low-reward operation which was aimed at a long diminished terrorist group which no longer has the ability to strike the U.S., so it never should have been ordered to begin with. If Trump had been properly briefed on this, he might have known as much.
But instead Trump made the decision to greenlight the Yemen raid while he was eating – and he never did go down to the Situation Room while it was going on. (source: PBS). In fact, at one point during the raid, Trump tweeted a promo for an upcoming television program (source: Huffington Post). It’s not clear if the Yemen raid could have been less of a disaster, or if it could have been safely aborted just as it was first beginning to go wrong, but Trump not being in the Situation Room was reckless – particularly considering he was in the White House at the time.
So if and when Donald Trump is called to task for having been at a golf course instead of the White House Situation Room while his military strike in Syria was being carried out, keep in mind that he was sitting in the White House dicking around on Twitter while his military strike in Yemen was being carried out. He’s now 0-for-2. That’s a pattern, and it may have already cost the life of a U.S. soldier. Contribute to Palmer Report
Bill Palmer is the publisher of the political news outlet Palmer Report