Daily Beast’s Woodruff: Bannon’s Absence Felt in Trump’s Afghanistan Speech That Didn’t Mention ‘Radical Islamic Terrorism’

The Islamic State group's leader in Afghanistan and Pakistan, Hafiz Saeed, was killed in July in a strike in the border region between the two countries, a US defense official says

The Daily Beast’s Betsy Woodruff mentioned this week that former White House Chief Strategist Steve Bannon’s absence could already be felt after President Donald Trump delivered his neoconservative Afghanistan speech that did not mention “radical Islamic terrorism.”

Woodruff, the MSNBC troublemaker whom some are apparently blaming for perhaps inadvertently persuading Trump to endorse Luther Strange in Alabama’s Senate race, seemed awfully chipper that Bannon was not in the White House during her appearance on MSNBC’s The Last Word with host Lawrence O’Donnell.

She told the former top Pat Moynihan adviser that the biggest takeaway from Trump’s Afghanistan speech was “Steve Bannon doesn’t work here anymore.” Woodruff also noticed that Trump did not once say “radical Islamic terrorism” even though Trump, according to her, said on the stump that “unless you use those three magic words, the terrorists will win.”

“He didn’t use those three magic words tonight,” she said, adding that Trump used language approved by Generals H.R. McMaster and Jim Mattis. “I could really feel Bannon’s absence in this speech.”

On Saturday, Trump’s former adviser Sebastian Gorka told Breitbart News’ Matt Boyle on Breitbart Radio that Trump’s Afghanistan speech, which sanitized the threat of radical Islamic terrorism so Trump could sound in a way that Messrs. Mattis and McMaster thought would gain him approval from the media elite, was one of the main reasons he decided to leave the White House.

“That speech was written by people for the president in direct contravention of everything that we voted for November 8,” Gorka told Boyle on Sirius XM Patriot channel 125. “It is not clear why we are in Afghanistan, it doesn’t explain why were are going to continue potentially spending American lives and American money in that nation. Most importantly, it did not mention once the phrase ‘radical Islam’ or ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’”

NPR’s Tamara Keith, like many others, also noticed the absence of “radical Islamic terrorism” from Trump’s Afghanistan speech:

Trump refers to terrorists as thugs, criminals and losers, but one of his trademark phrases was missing from this speech: “radical Islamic terrorism.” In a speech focused on defeating ISIS and al-Qaida and driving back the Taliban, it is notable that he didn’t utter the words he so criticized Obama and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for avoiding.

“Hillary Clinton can’t even say the words ‘radical Islamic terror.’ Can’t say the words. She won’t say the words, and our president won’t say the words,” Trump said at a rally in Salem, N.C., in early November 2016. “And unless you’re going to know what the words are, unless you’re going to admit what the problem is, you’re never going to solve the problem. She won’t say the words; he won’t say the words.”


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