WASHINGTON, DC – Today, U.S. Senator Jack Reed (D-RI), Ranking Member of the Armed Services Committee, urged President Trump to walk back his unsubstantiated statement that that the massive explosion in Beirut was some type of “terrible attack.”  President Trump publicly discussed the blast, stating: “I’ve met with some of our great generals and they just seem to feel that this was not some kind of a manufacturing explosion type of event,” the president told reporters. “It was a bomb of some kind.”

President Trump doubled down the next day by stating: “How can you say accident? Somebody ... left some terrible explosive-type devices and things around perhaps. Perhaps it was that. Perhaps it was an attack. I don’t think anybody can say right now.”  Adding: “I’ve heard it both ways.”

While Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and other Pentagon and foreign policy officials affirmed they believe the explosion was an accident, and not an attack, President Trump’s unwillingness to clarify his comments just sows further confusion.

Today, Senator Reed stated:

“I’m not aware of any information that this incident was some kind of “attack,” as the President seems to be insinuating.  It’s disturbing that President Trump is irresponsibly intimating this was likely a targeted attack, but the Pentagon says otherwise.  The President’s words and conspiracy theories can have very serious, real world implications for the U.S., our allies, and the region.  It’s not healthy for our democracy or good for national security to have a President making unfounded, unsubstantiated claims and going unchecked.  The President owes the American people an explanation.”