Clinton Waits On EgyptAir Intel To Comment

by Karen Yuan

The cause of the disappearance of EgyptAir Flight 804 is still unknown, but that hasn't stopped some from speculating. Donald Trump tweeted early Thursday morning that the disappearance "looks like yet another terrorist attack." His opponent and Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton hasn't yet responded to the EgyptAir disappearance, perhaps wishing to refrain from jumping to such early conclusions.

Trump's tweet referred to the plane's departure from Paris, a city that was the target of massive terrorist attacks just last November. He lamented the "great hate and sickness" and implored his audience to "get tough, smart and vigilant." Based on what we know thus far, Trump's tweet is speculating without any confirmation, however. EgyptAir said in a press release on Thursday that it denied "all misleading information published by news websites and on the social media channels regarding the reasons of the disappearance of EGYPTAIR flight MS804 and the company confirms that the reason of disappearance hasn't been yet confirmed."

The speculation by Trump rides on a wave of allegations that the plane's disappearance—and crash, as reports of debris belonging to Flight 804 have surfaced—was caused by a terrorist attack. Egypt's own minister of aviation Sherif Fathy admitted to reporters that "if you analyze the situation properly the possibility of having a terror attack is higher than the possibility of having a technical [problem]." French president Francois Hollande also said terrorism could not be ruled out as a cause.

But the conjecture still lacks concrete evidence. Unlike Trump, Clinton has refrained from such speculation. Trump's tweet, unconfirmed by facts, may cause fearmongering and panic. At this point, when there is so little known, driving people's worst anxieties and promoting an aggressive response is not the right move. Moreover, to me, Trump's response reeks of playing politics. It seems Clinton is avoiding appropriating such a tragedy into a political issue.