Trump calls Paul Krugman ‘demented’ for suggesting he has an ‘incentive’ to benefit from a 9/11-style attack

caption
U.S. President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a USA Thank You Tour event in Mobile, Alabama, U.S., December 17, 2016.
source
Reuters/Lucas Jackson

President-elect Donald Trump blasted a New York Times columnist on Saturday for suggesting Trump has an “incentive” to benefit from a terrorist attack similar to the circumstances surrounding those on September 11, 2001.

“They had a clown today in the failing New York Times saying I wanted to have another World Trade Center catastrophe because it was good for my base,” Trump said at a rally in Mobile, Alabama.

“What kind of demented person would say that?” Trump added.

Although he didn’t refer to the columnist by name, Trump appeared to have been directing his remarks at the columnist Paul Krugman, who was widely criticized for tweeting his speculation Friday.

“Thought: There was (rightly) a cloud of illegitimacy over Bush, dispelled (wrongly) by 9/11. Creates some interesting incentives for Trump,” Krugman tweeted.

Trump said when he was first informed of the columnist’s words, he believed them to be a typo.

“Thousands of people killed. They said I wanted to have another catastrophe like that because it is good for my base,” Trump said.

“Anybody that says that – and this guy is demented. He is. He’s a demented person. And this is why the Times is failing,” he added.

Krugman expanded on his original tweet Saturday, noting that the events he alluded to “won’t be a false-flag terrorist attack,” as many observers had taken his comments to mean.

“It will either exploit a real terrorist attack … or involve a US version of Falklands War – picking a fight with foreign power to rally home base,” Krugman tweeted.

He argued that Trump’s invoking of patriotism after such an event could help “distract” Americans from questioning his legitimacy and criticizing the effects of his policies.

Read Krugman’s tweets below: