Trump takes credit for calling Chelsea blast a "bombing" before authorities.

Trump’s NYC Bomb Boast: “I Should Be a Newscaster Because I Called It Before the News”

Trump’s NYC Bomb Boast: “I Should Be a Newscaster Because I Called It Before the News”

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Sept. 19 2016 10:05 AM

Trump’s NYC Bomb Boast: “I Should Be a Newscaster Because I Called It Before the News”

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Donald Trump steps out of his plane for a rally at the JetCenters of Colorado in Colorado Springs, Colorado on September 17, 2016.

Mandel Ngan/AFP/Getty Images

Donald Trump on Monday took credit for saying that this weekend’s explosion in New York City was a bombing before officials declared as much. “I heard I was criticized for calling it correctly, but what I said was exactly correct,” Trump said during a Fox News interview. “I should be a newscaster because I called it before the news.”

On Saturday night—roughly 45 minutes after the blast went off in Chelsea, and as the investigation was still in its early stages—Trump declared at a Colorado rally: “I must tell you that just before I got off the plane, a bomb went off in New York and nobody knows exactly what’s going on.” The Republican nominee then told the crowd: “But boy, we are living in a time—we better get very tough, folks. We better get very, very tough. We'll find out. It's a terrible thing that's going on in our world, in our country and we are going to get tough and smart and vigilant. ... We'll see what it is. We'll see what it is.”

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Trump’s decision to jump to a conclusion before authorities had reached their own was widely criticized, including by his general election rival. “It’s important to know the facts about any incident like this,” Hillary Clinton said Saturday on her campaign plane when asked about Trump’s categorization, adding: “I think it's always wiser to wait until you have information before making conclusions.” (Clinton described the blast itself similarly during that same conversation with her press corps, telling them that she had been briefed “about the bombings in New York and New Jersey.” Notably, however, her tone and audience were far different than Trump’s.)

This wasn’t the first time that Trump reacted to news of an apparent terrorist attack by congratulating himself. Earlier this year he took to Twitter just hours after the mass shooting at an LGBTQ club in Orlando, Florida, to declare that he “appreciate[d] the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.”

Josh Voorhees is a Slate senior writer. He lives in Iowa City.