President Trump on Thursday called a violent incident in Manila a “terrorist attack” without any officials having ever described it as such, and despite Philippines police saying they don’t see any ties to terror groups. “I would like to begin by addressing the terrorist attack in Manila,” Trump said at the beginning of his Rose Garden speech announcing the U.S. withdrawal from the Paris climate accord. “It is really very sad as to what is going on throughout the world with terror,” he added. Philippines national police chief, however, publicly stated that the reported incident at Resorts World Manila was likely a robbery and that terrorism links are “doubtful.” Trump never explained how or why he determined it to be “terrorism.” A U.S. official told NBC News that the president was “freelancing” with the terrorism declaration and “a laugh went up in the Situation Room” when he said it.
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