During his top-rated radio show last week, Rush Limbaugh took aim at yet another media hit-job on Donald Trump that ended up being a steaming pile of "fake news": Trump's so-called "laptop ban" on certain airlines coming out of terror-risk Middle Eastern countries. Several establishment outlets tried to portray the ban of the use of laptops and tablets on airlines entering the U.S. as "retaliation" against... well, somebody, while the far-left Slate hysterically decried it as "xenophobic." In his take-down of the false narrative, Limbaugh, as usual, had some fun at the media's expense.
Limbaugh addressed the "laptop ban" nontroversy on Wednesday, as news of the terror attack on British Parliament was streaming in. The host began the discussion by citing a Washington Post piece that read "Trump Won't Allow You to Use iPads or Laptops on Certain Airlines."
"Trump," Limbaugh stressed. "Donald Trump is denying you, if you’re on a certain airline flying into the United States, Donald Trump is denying you the chance to use your electronic device."
He continued, reading from the Post's disingenuous article (full quote from article provided):
From Tuesday on, passengers traveling to the U.S. from 10 airports in eight Muslim-majority countries will not be allowed to have iPads, laptops or any communications device larger than a smartphone in the cabin of the plane. If you are traveling from Egypt, Jordan, Kuwait, Morocco, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, or the UAE on Egypt Air, Emirates, Etihad Airways, Kuwait Airways, Qatar Airways, Royal Air Maroc, Royal Jordanian Airlines, Saudi Arabian Airlines, or Turkish Airlines, and you want to use your laptop on the flight, you are probably out of luck.
So why is the United States doing this, and how can it get away with it?
"Don’t you mean why is Trump doing this and how can Trump get away with it?" asked Limbaugh. "Well, the story here says that the U.S. says it’s not all about security. There is an alternative explanation."
Limbaugh then read the following passage from the Post suggesting that the banning of laptops by "Trump" might just be about "retaliation":
Three of the airlines that have been targeted for these measures — Emirates, Etihad Airways and Qatar Airways — have long been accused by their U.S. competitors of receiving massive effective subsidies from their governments. These airlines have been quietly worried for months that President Trump was going to retaliate. This may be the retaliation. ...The United States is weaponizing interdependence.
To demonstrate that it wasn't just the Post (and the Financial Times, which the Post cites) trying to turn the ban into yet another "utterly bogus" conspiracy theory about Trump, Limbaugh quoted Slate's over the top headline, which screams, "Trump’s Laptop Ban Isn’t Just Misguided and Xenophobic. It’s a Giant Middle Finger to Business Travelers"!
But Limbaugh noted a little detail that the Post fails to emphasize: The British are also barring laptops and tablets from cabins on some international flights. Limbaugh launched into his point by reading an AP story admitting that "U.S. and British officials" were in on the laptop ban.
"Wait, there’s another government involved here?" said Limbaugh. "Wait, wait, wait, wait. We just kind of read 'U.S. and British officials.' You mean the Brits have instituted the same ban on electronic devices on certain airliners coming into the U.K. just like we have in the U.S.? Well, shazam! It looks like somebody other than Trump is doing the same thing Trump’s doing. I wonder if Trump’s making ’em do it."
Limbaugh later joked that apparently Trump was being accused of "colluding" with the British. "So we are now being led to believe that Donald Trump colluded with the U.K. to deny airplane passengers the right to use their laptops, their iPads, and their iPhones. Is that right? U.K., United States, Trump colludes with everybody. "
Though AP at least acknowledged that the British also agree that the devices should be banned for security reasons, the news source tried to make the case that the ban is based on "no new threat." But that too is misleading, as Limbaugh pointed out.
"[D]o you know what this really is about? ‘Cause I have that here," said Limbaugh, who then utterly dismantled the key assumption of all the articles by detailing the actual facts behind the "laptop ban":
LIMBAUGH: “Laptop ban on flights ‘is based on intelligence about an ISIS plot to target the West gathered during the raid on Yemen which killed Navy SEAL’. The intelligence centered around al-Qaeda’s ‘successful development’ of compact battery bombs that fit inside laptops or other devices, sources claimed.”
In other words, there is a credible threat. It is a credible threat based on intel that was gathered during the raid in Yemen, in January, a raid that Obama had approved before he left office. The military commanders said they couldn’t launch until they had a new moon. They needed a totally dark sky. There wasn’t a new moon until after Trump was inaugurated. Trump signed off on the deal. He had nothing to do with the strategy, the actual operation. He just signed off on it.
The raid was conducted and we know the details. They somehow knew we were coming, claiming they heard the drone of our drones, they heard the sound, and a SEAL was killed and the terrorists were hiding and dressed as men and women and children and so forth inside mosques or what have you. And everybody proclaimed the mission an abject failure. Trump said, “No, no, there was some really valuable intel gathered.” People pooh-poohed Trump as insane, stupid, and a lying sack of you know what.
It turns out there was intel gathered, and the intel gathered from the raid claimed that ISIS has perfected bombs that work and go inside batteries, inside electronic devices that you would use on the cabin of an airplane: a laptop, an iPad, or an iPhone. And when they learned of this intel, they banned flights from 10 different countries where the intel said people had been perfecting this.
There is a solid, specific reason for this to happen. It’s not because Trump hates anybody. It’s not because Trump doesn’t want you using your iPhone. It’s not because Trump’s flipping off the business community. It’s not because Trump’s a xenophobe or a bigot. It’s because there was a credible threat in both the U.K. and the United States.
And the only place that you will find the details of that story is in the U.K. Daily Mail. You won’t see it in the New York Times. You won’t see it in the Washington Post. You won’t see it anywhere in America because the objective is not to tell the truth. The objective is to destroy Trump.
More from the Daily Wire on Limbaugh:
Transcript via RushLimbaugh.com.