Trump doubles down on unsubstantiated claim about Beirut blasts

US President Donald Trump has doubled down on his unsubstantiated claim that the deadly explosions in Lebanon’s capital Beirut could be “an attack”, while dismissing the Pentagon chief’s assessment.

“I mean, somebody left some terrible explosive type of devices and things around, perhaps it was that, perhaps it was on attack. I don’t think anybody can say right now,” Xinhua news agency quoted Trump as saying at a press conference on Wednesday.

“You have some people think it was an attack and some people think it wasn’t,

“In any event, it was a terrible event and a lot of people were killed and a tremendous number of people were badly wounded, injured,” the President added.

Following the explosions on Tuesday, Trump claimed that he had “met with some of our great generals and they just seem to feel that this was not some kind of a manufacturing explosion type of event”.

His claim was contradicted by US defence officials, including Defence Secretary Mark Esper, who said on Wednesday that while the Pentagon was still gathering information about the explosions, “most believe that it was an accident as reported”.

Two massive explosions rocked Beirut on Tuesday and primary information has revealed that they might have been caused by ammonium nitrate that was stored in warehouse No. 12 at Port of Beirut since 2014.

Lebanese Health Minister Hamad Hassan on Wednesday said the death toll increased to 135, while the number of injured people stood at 5,000.