Carrying 69 people from Paris to Egypt, the plane disappeared from radar Wednesday night over the Mediterranean Sea, roughly 10 miles before entering Egyptian air space. Early Thursday morning it became clear that the plane had crashed into the Mediterranean.
At 6:30am, Donald Trump figured out what was going on and tweeted this:
Several hours later, Egypt’s civil aviation minister said that it was more likely that the plane was brought down by terrorism than by a technical issue, but when Trump tweeted this, very little was known about the plane’s disappearance. There are two possibilities here, and neither of them are good, given the whole “this dude is one step away from the nuclear codes” thing. One is that Trump has a habit of jumping to conclusions before he has all the information he would need to make the most educated decision. The other is that Trump is cynically using terrorist attacks to stoke fears and get himself elected.
This has happened before—Trump made similar statements after the Paris attacks in November and those in Brussels in March—and they mark yet another departure from traditional politics and campaigning. Trump doesn’t offer condolences or prayers, he immediately tells everyone they should be scared.