Donald Trump fired back at President Barack Obama’s opposition to his comments about the recent mass shooting in Orlando and said that the president is angrier at him than he is at the gunman, who killed 49 people and wounded dozens more at Pulse, an LGBT nightclub.
“I watched President Obama today,” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, 70, said during a Tuesday, June 14, rally in Greensboro, North Carolina. “And he was more angry at me than he was at the shooter! The level of anger — that’s the kind of anger he should have for the shooter, and these killers that shouldn’t be here.”
As previously reported, the ex–Celebrity Apprentice host has proposed a ban on Muslims entering the United States, which Obama, 54, addressed on Tuesday during a speech at the Treasury Department. He slammed Trump’s “yapping” remarks and condemned his incessant use of the term “radical Islam.”
“What exactly would using this language accomplish?” the commander in chief said. “What exactly would it change? Would it make [ISIS] less committed to try and kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is none of the above. Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away.”
“The men and women who put their lives at risk, and the Special Forces I ordered to get [Osama] bin Laden and are now on the ground in Iraq and in Syria — they know full well who the enemy is,” Obama continued. “So do the intelligence and law enforcement officers who spent countless hours disrupting plots. And protecting all Americans, including politicians who tweet and appear on cable news shows. They know what the nature of the enemy is. So there’s no magic to the phrase ‘radical Islam.’ It’s a political talking point.”
During his Tuesday event in North Carolina, Trump challenged Obama’s point of view by reiterating his belief that Muslims pose a threat to America. “We have a radical Islamic terrorism problem, folks,” he argued. “We can say we don’t. We can pretend like Obama that we don’t, where Obama spent a long time talking about it and nobody at the end of that speech understood anything other than, ‘Boy, does he hate Donald Trump.’”
Earlier this week, the reality star turned politician responded to the shooting in Florida via Twitter. “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!” His comment was widely interpreted as insensitive and was met with major backlash.
In a subsequent post, he tweeted: “Is President Obama going to finally mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism’? If he doesn’t he should immediately resign in disgrace!” According to several outlets, the shooter pledged his allegiance to ISIS before he began his violent rampage.
In a December 2015 press release, Trump called for a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States until our country’s representatives can figure out what is going on.”
“Do Republican officials actually agree with this?” Obama asked on Tuesday, according to NBC News. “Because that’s not the America we want. It doesn’t reflect our ideals.”
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