And this is Trump's chief political problem. Polls suggest Americans are wary of the administration's approach to combating domestic terror, which includes refusing to use the words "Islamic terrorism" for fear of alienating moderate Muslims in the U.S. and our allies in the Arab world.
But Trump's first instinct is to make events like Orlando all about himself and not the American people. So what could be an opportunity to offer a comprehensive and credible strategy to combat a grave internal threat becomes just another exercise in braggadocio and self-congratulation.
And Trump has a massive hill to climb to convince Americans he is a plausible commander-in-chief. The real estate magnate has double-digit leads over HIllary Clinton on dealing with terrorism. But in the last Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll only 12 percent of Americans said he had the "temperament" to be president.
Events like Orlando offer Trump the opportunity to improve this devastatingly bad number by showing compassion for the victims and their families and demonstrating a steely resolve to execute a new plan to reduce the risk of more Orlando-style attacks. Instead he slaps himself on the back and tweets stuff like this: "I will be interviewed on @foxandfriends at 7:00 a.m. Sadly there is a very bad event to talk about."
A bad event? Really?
Perhaps Trump, or someone in his campaign, realized how silly and self-promotional the tweet sounded because it was deleted not long after it appeared. The next tweet only said "I will be interviewed on the @todayshow at 8:10 a.m." It still started with "I" but at least he adopted a more somber tone. Still, Trump is likely to revert back to the self-aggrandizement because it is who he is. Thus far Trump has not shown himself capable of rising to a new level of seriousness that might elevate him beyond support among white Republicans and angry independents.
Trump is also continuing to press for his ban on Muslims entering the United States as if it would have done anything to stop an attack by an American citizen born in New York. In fact, a compelling case can be made that the kind of religious test Trump wants to apply to entrants to the country is both a constitutionally dubious affront to American values and the perfect recruiting tool for groups like ISIS.