Tags: Donald Trump | ISIS/Islamic State | Robert Gates | Donald Trump | Egyptair | Terrorism

Gates on Trump EgyptAir Tweet: Better to Wait Until Facts Known

(MSNBC's "Morning Joe")

By    |   Thursday, 19 May 2016 09:21 AM

It would have been better for presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump to wait for more information before posting an early morning tweet declaring his opinion on the disappearance of Egyptair Flight 804, former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Robert Gates said Thursday morning.

"The thing that you learn fairly early when you have responsibility is how often the initial reports or information you get on a situation prove to be inaccurate," Gates told MSNBC's "Morning Joe" program. "With the demands of news media and so on, there's always pressure to immediately react before you know really what's going on, and that's a discipline a lot of politicians, frankly, don't have, at least until they have responsibility."

In his tweet, posted at about 6:30 a.m. as news was breaking on the plane's disappearance, Trump said: "Looks like another terrorist attack. Airplane departed from Paris. When will we get tough, strong and vigilant? Great hate and sickness!"

While there has been much speculation that the plane and its 66 passengers were the victims of terrorism, and a terror attack hasn't been ruled out, it also has not yet been confirmed, and Gates said such speculation as Trump's "prejudges the outcome."

French President François Hollande said early Thursday that "no hypothesis should be ruled out," and later, Egyptian civil aviation minister Sherif Fathy asked that people stop speculating until physical evidence of the wreckage is found.

"This does not mean we are denying the hypothesis this was a terrorist attack or denying the other hypotheses," Fathy said in a press conference.

"Let's just suppose that it turns out not to be a terrorist event, then what do you say, having made these allegations?" Gates said. "It's always better to wait until you actually know what the facts are before you open up. I realize that's a very unusual thing in American politics, but it ought to be tried occasionally."

Show co-host Mika Brzezinski commented that with the growth of social media, "we've fast-forwarded into something new."

"This is something, given the fears Americans feel right now," she commented. "It plays to these fears before thinking of the families. But I think there may be some other ramifications to speaking so quickly as well."

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It would have been better for presumptive GOP nominee Donald Trump to wait for more information before posting an early morning tweet declaring his opinion on the disappearance of Egyptair Flight 804, former Secretary of Defense and CIA Director Robert Gates said Thursday...
Robert Gates, Donald Trump, Egyptair, Terrorism
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2016-21-19
Thursday, 19 May 2016 09:21 AM
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