Trump's Response to Orlando Shooting Should Be Disqualifying

Combining conspiracy theory and narcissism, Trump's response underscores he is temperamentally unfit for the presidency

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Trump's Response to Orlando Shooting Should Be Disqualifying
"Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism," Donald Trump tweeted in the immediate aftermath of Sunday morning's mass shooting in Orlando.

In the hours after the worst mass shooting in our history — also the deadliest-ever attack on the American LGBT community — Donald Trump took to Twitter to mark the moment, not with mourning, but with self-adoration.

"Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism," Trump tweeted shortly before 10 a.m. Eastern Sunday — well before the killer's motivation had been established. "I don't want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!"

Displaying all the self-restraint of a Reddit commentator, the impulsive GOP standard-bearer then tweeted out unverified rumors surrounding the attack on the gay nightclub, citing (unsourced) "reporting" that the gunman had shouted "Allah hu Akbar!" as he carried out the shooting.

Rather than pivoting to a more presidential stance on Monday, Trump has instead reverted to the execrable birther posturing that keyed his rise in national politics. For many years, Trump raised doubts about Barack Obama's citizenship and religion, claiming of Obama's birth certificate on Fox News in 2011: "Maybe it says he is a Muslim."

Appearing on Fox Monday, Trump called on Obama to resign — insinuating that the president of the United States may be a fifth columnist, whose loyalties are divided in a way that aids the terrorists.

Trump's word salad is necessary to quote at length:

"Look guys, we're led by a man that either is not tough, not smart or has something else in mind. And the something else in mind — people can't believe it. People cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can't even mention the words radical Islamic terrorism. There's something going on. It's inconceivable. There's something going on."

Putting a sharper point on his conspiracy theory, Trump added of Obama (emphasis added), "He doesn't get it, or he gets it better than anybody understands — it's one or the other, and either one is unacceptable."

Here's what's really going on, America: Donald Trump has shown us, in the wake of a hate crime, an act of terror and a national tragedy that his vision as a leader is clouded by narcissism and wingnuttery. And either one is unacceptable in the Oval Office.