Anonymous WH Official Apologizes For Trump Saying 'Islamic' Extremism Instead of 'Islamist'

Chris Menahan
May. 22, 2017

To avoid offending Muslims, an anonymous "senior White House official" apologized for President Trump saying "Islamic extremism" instead of "Islamist extremism" during his speech on Sunday in Saudi Arabia.

From CNN:
The difference between "Islamic extremism" and "Islamist extremism"? One exhausted President.

President Donald Trump's substitution of the slightly different terms during his highly anticipated speech in Saudi Arabia on Sunday might go unnoticed by the average US listener.

But the subtle change -- or slip, as the White House called it -- could mean the difference between offending Middle Eastern allies and not, a concern for any president looking to create a good first impression with a key ally on a first trip abroad.

Using the word "Islamic," a reference to the religion, in the same breath as "terrorism" could be seen by Muslims as an affront to their faith and actually play into the terrorists' "clash of civilizations" narrative -- reasons why President Barack Obama assiduously avoided the combination during his presidency.
Can CNN get any more pathetic?
"Islamist," meanwhile, refers to political movements that seek to implement Islamic law and theology, making it less objectionable to Muslims when paired with "terrorism," the idea goes.

...Although the prepared remarks referred to "Islamist extremism," Trump actually referred to both "Islamists" and "Islamic extremism," as well as "Islamic terror," in the speech.

"There is still much work to be done," Trump said. "That means honestly confronting the crisis of Islamic extremism and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds."

On Sunday night, a senior White House official said Trump's decision to say "Islamic extremism" instead of "Islamist extremism" as written in his prepared remarks was not intentional but the product of exhaustion brought on by the rigorous travel schedule.

"Just an exhausted guy," the senior White House official said.

According to the White House, the President hadn't gotten much sleep. He edited the speech with his aides during the 14-hour journey from Washington, White House press secretary Sean Spicer said, and spent the remainder of the flight reading newspapers, an aide said.
Did Trump even approve of this cowardly apology?

I can't imagine he would.

Even if he said it by mistake, it's accurate and consistent with everything he's said in the past.

Any theoretical damage would have already been done and apologizing just makes him look weak.

Of course, no actual damage was done as Ann Coulter said over the weekend:

"I like the fact because [Trump] is a strong alpha male leader, that the Arabs respect him. They don't respect the beta male Obama. And you see that. He's getting a warmer reception. In fact, they probably like that radical Islam stuff. I don't think they mind. MSNBC was going crazy, 'They will be so upset with the Muslim ban.' No, Saudi Arabia bans Christians, what do they care? They understand the idea of sovereign nations."

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