The No. 1 trending question related to Donald Trump on Google right now is “Who tried to shoot Trump?” The Washington Posts reports, as many Trump supporters may not even know that technically an assassination attempt took place. Although authorities may not have considered this attempt a series threat, I feel that everyone should be made aware of this story as it will likely not be the last attempt on Donald Trump’s life this year.
So why isn’t this story being widely addressed? The Washington Post reports:
The answer, authorities say, is Michael Steven Sandford, a 20-year-old British citizen who was in the United States illegally after overstaying his visa. Sandford allegedly tried to pull a gun from the holster of a police officer at a Trump rally in Las Vegas on Saturday. He was arrested and later told the Secret Service that he had driven to the event from California and had been planning to kill the candidate for a year, according to a criminal complaint filed Monday in U.S. District Court in Nevada.
News outlets have certainly reported on the incident, but it hasn’t gotten anything resembling wall-to-wall coverage. Cable news shows devoted little time to Sandford Tuesday morning and afternoon. Trump’s dismal fundraising report from May and his recent firing of campaign manager Corey Lewandowski received far more attention. Trump called in to the Trump-friendly “Fox & Friends” morning show and wasn’t even asked about the attempt on his life.
It’s worth noting that the real estate magnate didn’t bring it up, either. Trump hasn’t so much as tweeted about it, which suggests he doesn’t consider it a huge deal or doesn’t want to talk about it.
The most obvious explanation is that Sandford doesn’t appear to have come particularly close to completing his alleged mission. He didn’t even succeed in arming himself at the Trump rally. Sandford’s plot seems to have been feebly unsophisticated; he told authorities the extent of his training was a visit the day before the rally to a gun range, where he fired 20 rounds from a 9mm Glock pistol, a common service weapon, to learn how to use one.
In short, calling Sandford a legitimate threat might be giving him too much credit. A rough analogue might be Oscar Ramiro Ortega-Hernandez, who tried to kill President Obama in November 2011, but came nowhere close to doing so. Ortega-Hernandez got off shots — but fired aimlessly at the White House from 750 yards away — and hadn’t done enough research to know the president was in San Diego at the time.