What Trump Doesn’t Know Could Hurt Us

Earlier this week I wrote about the fact that Trump took sides on the ancient Sunni/Shia tensions in the Middle East, and contributed to a dangerous escalation.

To recount one of the examples, on Monday, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, Bahrain, and the United Arab Emirates suspended economic and diplomatic relations with Qatar after it was claimed that Qatar’s Sheikh Tamim gave a speech at a military graduation ceremony in which he criticized the growing hostility towards Iran, said Trump would not stay in office for very long, and defended Hamas and Hezbollah.

Apparently Trump didn’t know that U.S. officials were in Qatar investigating the source of that story, which looks to be fake news planted by Russian hackers. Desperate to take credit himself, Trump tweeted in a way that appeared to be an attack on Qatar.

As was noted at the time, it looked as though the president was taking sides against a country that hosts the largest U.S. military base in the region. But guess what, apparently the president didn’t know that.

Here we have another item in the long list of things Trump didn’t know. But if we wanted to be generous, we could avoid a faceplant and simply recognize that no one person knows everything. The real problem is that Trump doesn’t know when to keep his mouth shut—especially about things he doesn’t know.

I am reminded that on a few occasions when the press wanted an immediate reaction from Obama about something, he told us that he didn’t speak until he knew what he was talking about. Yeah, those were the good old days when we had a president who had the self control to keep his mouth shut and not inflame Middle East tensions with his ignorance.

Nancy LeTourneau

Nancy LeTourneau is a contributing writer for the Washington Monthly.