WASHINGTON: President Donald Trump on Tuesday (Aug 5) cast a massive explosion in Beirut as a possible attack, despite statements by Lebanese leaders that it was likely caused by highly explosive material that had been stored at warehouses in the capital for years.
"The United States stands ready to assist Lebanon," Trump said at a White House briefing of Tuesday's explosion, which killed at least 78 people and injured thousands.
"It looks like a terrible attack."
READ: Two explosions in Beirut port area rock Lebanon's capital, at least 78 dead and thousands injured
When asked later about his depiction of the explosion, Trump said that he had met with some US generals who feel the blast was not "some kind of a manufacturing explosion type of event."
He told reporters that according to these unnamed generals "they seem to think it was an attack. It was a bomb of some kind."
The Pentagon referred questions to the White House.
Two US officials, speaking on the condition of anonymity, said it was unclear where Trump was receiving his information but that initial information did not appear to show that the explosion was an attack.