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Trump says 99pc of coronavirus cases are “harmless”
Source: people.com
  • U.S. President Donald Trump has doubled down on his assertion the horrific blast that rocked Beirut may have been an attack rather than an accident
  • U.S. Defence Secretary Mark Esper was quick to counter the President's comments on Wednesday, saying it "was an accident, as reported."
  • But both the President and his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, continue to insist the tragic explosion could have been caused by a bomb
  • Lebanese authorities have placed a number of Beirut port officials under house arrest pending an inquiry into the storage of explosive ammonium nitrate at an unsecured facility
  • So far no terrorist organisations have claimed responsibility for the deadly blast

U.S. President Donald Trump has doubled down on his assertion the horrific blast that rocked Beirut was an attack rather than an accident.

Both the President and his chief of staff, Mark Meadows, continue to insist the tragic explosion — which has left dozens dead and thousands injured — may have been caused by a bomb.

Trump originally commented on the blast, saying he'd "met with some of our great generals and they just seem to feel that it was not a [...] manufacturing explosion type of event. They seem to think it was an attack. It was a bomb of some kind."

U.S. Defence Secretary Mark Esper was quick to counter the President's comments on Wednesday, saying it "was an accident, as reported."

But Mark Meadows hit back, saying Trump's comments were "not speculation on his part," and "what the president shared with the American people is what he was briefed on."

In a press conference shortly after Mark's comments, the President doubled down.

"I mean, somebody left some terrible explosive type of devices and things around, perhaps it was that, perhaps it was an attack. I don't think anybody can say right now," he said. "You have some people think it was an attack and some people think it wasn't."

According to CNN, Lebanese officials raised concerns with US diplomats about the use of the word "attack".

Lebanese authorities have placed a number of Beirut port officials under house arrest pending an inquiry into the storage of explosive ammonium nitrate at an unsecured facility.

While investigations are continuing, the Lebanese Prime Minister Hassan Diab said in a televised address there would be accountability for the blast at the "dangerous warehouse."

American security officials have declined to comment on the blast, saying information is still being gathered. The Pentagon is referring all queries to the White House for comment.

So far, Lebanese authorities maintain the blast was likely triggered by a fire at a nearby facility, and some video evidence seems to support that idea.

No terrorist organisations have claimed responsibility for the deadly blast.


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