The JFK Files Will Be Released & This Tweet Makes A Crucial Point About It
On Saturday, Donald Trump announced that he planned on allowing the release of the classified and much-speculated-about John F. Kennedy files. It was a grand statement made in front of a nation itching to know more but amidst the thousands of likes, retweets, and comments, one person called Trump's JFK tweet a distraction.
"This JFK Files thing is quite literally the textbook definition of a distraction," Eugene Gu wrote on Twitter. "Trump is a caricature of a corrupt, Nixonian President."
Gu, a surgeon by trade, is a vocal virtual critic of Trump, and tells Bustle there are two main controversies that he believes Trump is distracting the American public away from. Firstly, he points to what he perceives to be Trump's callous treatment of the Gold Star widow, Myeshia Johnson, whose late husband Sgt. La David Johnson was killed in Niger earlier this month. Trump has been going back and forth with the military widow over whether or not his call to her regarding her husband's death was appropriate. Secondly, he points to Trump's ongoing verbal tiff with Florida Rep. Frederica Wilson. In a Saturday tweet, Trump called Wilson "wacky."
"I think he made that tweet about the JFK files to distract everyone from the controversies surrounding the hero Sgt. Johnson and Wilson," Gu says.
Gu's perception of Trump's treatment toward Johnson seems to be corroborated by the Gold Star widow herself. Johnson told ABC's Good Morning America that Trump called her to offer his condolences but only ended up exacerbating the situation by reportedly "stumbling" to recall her husband's name.
"The president said that, 'He knew what he signed up for, but it hurts anyways.' It made me cry because I was very angry at the tone of his voice and how he said it. He couldn't remember my husband's name," Johnson said on the show. In addition to public criticism over his response to Johnson, Trump's ongoing back-and-forth with Wilson is also being criticized by observers.
But besides Gu's description of Trump's tweet being a "distraction," there appear to be several other issues. For instance, Gu also points to the fact that Trump's tweet takes credit for a matter he was not instrumental in — at all.
From a purely historical account, the date on which the JFK files would be released was decided about 25 years ago. Trump will be merely acting in accordance with a law passed by the Congress in 1992, which authorizes the National Archives to release the never-seen-before classified content. The piece of legislation also specifies that if a high-ranking political figure or military member's identity is compromised by the release of the documents, such content must be withheld from public eyes.
In addition to all of this, there's also the undeniable history of Trump's own penchant for conspiracy theories. With the JFK files set to come out on Oct. 26, Trump might get his fill of conspiracy theorizing. After all, in 2016, Trump publicly suggested that his then-rival Ted Cruz's father was connected to Lee Harvey Oswald, the man arrested for alleged involvement in Kennedy's assassination.
In spite of Cruz's campaign calling the suggestion "garbage," Trump never apologized to Cruz for that one.
Gu makes a point. From not being clear that he had no role in the release date of the JFK files to being a conspiracy theory enthusiast, Trump's Saturday tweet could certainly be a distraction of sorts.