Trump is not your run of the mill politician. He does things in his own way, and that includes how he gives his addresses.
Well, an Obama-era diplomatic official had a problem with Trump’s recent address in Saudi Arabia. Farah Pandith, former “special representative to Muslim communities” at the State Department, criticized the President for not saying “salam aleykum” at the beginning of his speech in Riyadh.
During a CNN discussion panel (go figure) hosted by Jake Trapper, Pandith suggested that the absence of an “Arabic hello” was a grave oversight:
The president didn’t do some things that you would have expected culturally. He didn’t open up a greeting with an Arabic hello to the group, which you would have expected in Saudi Arabia.
It doesn’t seem like a huge deal to us, but what do you think?
Let’s continue because Lord knows Pandith wasn’t done there.
She wants Trump to hold more Islamic centered events at the White House. She brought up the fact that Ramadan was around the corner and would be a perfect opportunity to “put actions into words”:
I want to see this president come back to America and put actions into words. So for example, it is Ramadan, almost, and is the president going to break tradition? Or is going to keep tradition and have an Iftar in the White House?
Well, Obama sure didn’t do a good job with publicity on this one. Didn’t even know this was a tradition. Did you?
Now on to one of her last statements. She pointed out that there was a lack of applause among Muslim and Arab political leaders. She claimed this was evidence of a poor reception of Trump. (Let’s just forget about all the other things that had happened that day. You know, the media praising Trump and the First Lady, Trump being welcomed like a king. But sure, we’ll go with the poor reception thing.)
Because what you didn’t hear from the president, were the cultural signals in that speech that I think you didn’t see any, for example, applause during that speech. If you looked at the faces of the leaders, they were listening very intently, and some of that is cultural, but you didn’t see the kind of recognition that you saw, for example, when President Bush or President Obama said some very similar things.
Well, according to The Daily Wire, Pandith is spreading some fake news. Neither Bush nor Obama delivered such a speech in Riyadh, let alone Saudi Arabia.
Not surprisingly, neither Tapper nor any of the CNN discussion panel’s guests challenged any of what Pandith said.
Oh, and one thing we forgot to mention. Pandith criticized Trump back in January over his moves toward “extreme vetting,” saying such a policy “doesn’t make any sense.”
Well, now her comments make a whole lot more sense…