Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump. Photo / AP
Hours before the relevant authorities had a clue what had caused EgyptAir Flight 804 to plunge into the Mediterranean, one man was in little doubt.
"Looks like yet another terrorist attack," Donald Trump
, the tweet-happy would-be President of the United States, wrote to his 8.3 million followers. "When will we get tough, smart and vigilant?"
Democratic frontrunner Hillary Clinton, less eager to rush to a conclusion, waited a further eight hours before commenting.
When she did, Trump
told a meeting of supporters: "So today we had a terrible tragedy and she came up and she said that Donald Trump talked about radical Islamic terrorism - which she didn't want to use, she used a different term ... and I'm saying to myself, what just happened 12 hours ago? A plane got blown out of the sky. And if anybody thinks it wasn't blown out of the sky, you're 100 per cent wrong, folks."
"It prejudges the outcome," said Robert Gates, the former US Defence Secretary. "It's always better to wait until you act, know what the facts are before you open up."With his snap judgment Trump once again set the heads of diplomats and national security advisers spinning.
But with Trump there is no pausing for thought before the knee-jerk tweet, no internal filter before the bombshell comment on live television. Trump's supporters expect nothing less of him. His completely unfiltered proclamations are just what they like to hear.