Recently, a surrogate voice for President Donald Trump attempted to place blame on former President Obama for his response to the killing of Daniel Pearl, and American-Israeli journalist who was murdered by terrorists. The surrogate, Kayleigh McEnany, said that Obama rushed away to play a game of golf at the time instead of using his presidential position to ease the situation.
Unfortunately for Trump and his surrogate, Pearl was actually killed in 2002. This was several years before Obama became president, and at the time he was merely a state senator. The blame comes as a deflection of accusations that Trump has already spent too much time vacationing and playing golf instead of performing his duties as President of the United States. In order to make it seem as if, by comparison, Trump is doing exactly what others did in the past, McEnany tried to blame Obama for something that didn’t occur while he was president.
The surrogate used the tactic when asked about the excessive amount of golf played by Trump. So far, he has vacationed nearly every single weekend in office, and the cost to the taxpayer is adding up quickly. To divert that negative attention, McEnany hoped to put Obama in the hot seat. Her attempts to justify Trump’s behavior are not only illogical, but they were based on untruths.
When Pearl was murdered by terrorists in 2002, George W. Bush was the president. Pearl was on assignment in Pakistan for the Wall Street Journal when he was taken by local terrorists. Pearl was executed via decapitation on video, and his body was eventually collected by American forces. It is disgusting that a Trump surrogate would use the death of a citizen to attempt to smear a past president, especially when the details of the event as she presented them did not occur.
In the video leading up to his beheading, Pearl was forced at gunpoint to criticize the United States. He was also forced to call himself a Zionist, which was meant to spread anti-Semitism through the rest of the potential terrorists in the area. The death of Pearl was something that will go down as one of the greatest tragedies of modern America, yet the vile characters within the Trump administration have no problem disrespecting that legacy with an attempt at a retroactive smear campaign.
Of course, it is possible that the surrogate simply got the name wrong. She may have been referring to James Foley, who underwent a similar fate in 2014 at the hands of ISIS. Obama actually was taking a vacation at the time the story broke, and he called the family of the fallen journalist immediately. Obama stated that he had a difficult time holding back his tears while listening to the pain coming from the family.
After speaking with the family, Obama then gave a public statement to the American people in which he denounced ISIS. He then listened to his intelligence officers regarding what exactly happened with Foley, and after paying his respects, he returned to his family on vacation. Later on, Obama would admit that he shouldn’t have returned to the vacation, and that he felt he made a grave error in judgement.
While it was quite clear that Obama handled the situation with responsibility and respect, his critics pounced over the situation instantly. It would not be shocking if that event was what McEnany was referencing, especially considering the number of times a Trump surrogate has misquoted or mis-referenced some terrible tragedy. The Trump surrogates really have no choice since they must respond to the behaviors of Trump in some way, and it seems the only way they can justify his behavior is by smearing others.