Donald Trump gave an absolutely insane interview with the Washington Post editorial board this week and then followed that up with comments in the wake of the Brussels terror incidents that indicate that he doesn’t really actually know anything about foreign affairs still, except that he’s very pro torture, Geneva Conventions be damned.
Walid Phares, a Donald Trump foreign policy advisor to Donald Trump, says that we should not really worry about these things. Why? Well, because Donald Trump doesn’t mean them, of course:
One of Donald Trump’s foreign-policy advisers said the Republican front-runner is only talking about torturing terrorists because “we are in a political season” and doesn’t believe a Trump administration would resort to such techniques.
In the wake of the terrorist attacks that struck Brussels, the New York billionaire on Tuesday suggested harsh interrogation techniques, including torture, could have prevented the terrorists from carrying out a plan that killed at least 31 people and injured more than 270 in a series of explosions.
Walid Phares, a counterterrorism expert and Fox News contributor, told NPR’s “Inside Edition” on Wednesday that Trump’s rhetoric in response to the terrorist attack isn’t indicative of what he would do as president.
“This is a reaction to a very complex and difficult and challenging situation,” Phares said. “I think Mr. Trump, because we are in a political season, he’s making those statements, but when he will come to the White House … then he’s gonna be tasking experts to answer that question, and I’m not sure that the experts are gonna recommend any form of torture.”
I am at a loss as to how or why this is supposed to be comforting to anyone, least of all Trump’s supporters. If your best defense to something insane your candidate has said is “well, he didn’t really mean it, he’s just saying it to win votes,” then that really calls into question literally everything he is saying, doesn’t it?
Part of the whole idea of a campaign, especially for a guy who has no record of governance like Trump, is to get some sort of idea how the candidate would actually govern, if elected. If the default assumption is that Trump is probably lying about things he says in order to get elected, how should we feel about anything he’s promised? Including about judges?
The really sad thing is, when it comes to foreign policy, I really would be more comfortable believing that everything Trump says is a lie. I just don’t feel like that’s really an acceptable way to go about picking a candidate.