Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump on Thursday said the disappearance of an EgyptAir plane that had been travelling from Paris to Cairo looked like an act of terrorism, drawing criticism from a former US Defence Secretary who termed his remarks as irresponsible.
“Looks like yet another terrorist attack. Airplane departed from Paris. When will we get tough, smart and vigilant? Great hate and sickness!” Trump tweeted.
Soon thereafter the Egyptian civil aviation minister Sherif Fethy told reporters in Cairo that this was more likely an act of terror rather than a result of technical failure.
Appearing on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, former US Defense Secretary Robert Gates said that this does not look like a responsible statement.
“Well, the things that you learnt fairly early when you have responsibility is how often the initial reports or information you get on a situation prove to be inaccurate,” he said.
“And with the demands with news media and so on, there is always pressure to immediately react before you know really what’s going on. And that’s a discipline a lot of politicians frankly do not have. At least until they have responsibility,” Gates said.
Gates said Trump’s tweet “prejudges” the outcome of the investigation.
“And let’s suppose that it turns out not to be a terrorist event. Then what do you having made these allegations and so on. So it’s always better to wait until you actually know what the facts are before you open up. I realise that its very unusual thing in American politics, but it ought to be tried occasion loosely,” he said.