Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton referred to the explosions in New York City as “bombings,” then attacked her Republican rival, Donald Trump, for using the word “bomb” before authorities had publicly confirmed the facts of the attack.
Clinton was speaking with reporters on her campaign airplane, reacting to an explosion inside a dumpster in the Chelsea neighborhood in Manhattan that injured nearly 30 people. Another explosive device was reportedly found elsewhere in the city. A pipe bomb had exploded earlier in the day in New Jersey, and a mass stabbing attack had taken place in Minnesota.
Trump told a campaign rally in Colorado Springs, Colorado: “Just before I got off the plane, a bomb went off in New York and nobody knows exactly what’s going on.” Journalists pounced on the statement:
The Latest on NYC blast: Donald Trump declared “bomb went off” in Chelsea before officials released any details. https://t.co/T1Hbd5wRB2
— The Associated Press (@AP) September 18, 2016
CNN commented (in a news story): “Typically, national political figures use caution when describing unfolding situations and law enforcement actions.”
The following exchange, tweeted by ABC News’ Liz Kreutz, then occurred between Clinton and campaign reporters:
Hillary Clinton, on her campaign plane, responds to explosion in NYC pic.twitter.com/4tfyUE2vNc
— Liz Kreutz (@ABCLiz) September 18, 2016
Clinton: I’ve breen briefed about the bombings in New York and New Jersey, and the attack in Minnesota. Obviously, we need to do everything we can to support our first responders, also to pray for the victims. We have to let this investigation unfold. We’ve been in touch with various officials, including the mayor’s office in New York, to learn what they are discovering as they conduct this investigation. And I’ll have more to say about it when we actually know the facts?
Reporter: Secretary Clinton, Do you have any reaction to the fact that Donald Trump, immediately upon taking the stage tonight, called the explosion in New York a “bomb” … ?
Clinton: Well, I think it’s important to know the facts about any incident like this. That’s why it’s critical to support the first responders, the investigators who are looking into it, trying to determine what did happen.
She then added: “I think it’s always wiser to wait until you have information before making conclusions because we are just in the beginning stages of trying to determine what happened.”
However, as Politico (to its credit) noted: “… the Democrat used similar words in her initial public remarks about Saturday night’s explosion in Manhattan.”
The New York explosions appear to have been caused by improvised explosive devices. The second device found in Manhattan was reportedly a pressure cooker, apparently similar to the type used in the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. His new book, See No Evil: 19 Hard Truths the Left Can’t Handle, is available from Regnery through Amazon. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.