President Barack Obama slammed Donald Trump’s proposed ban on Muslims entering the United States while speaking at the Treasury Department on Tuesday, June 14, two days after a gunman killed 49 people and wounded dozens of others in Florida.
Earlier this week, Trump, 70, addressed the Orlando nightclub shooting on Twitter, writing, “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!” Some social media users and celebrities blasted the post, calling it insensitive.
The businessman later tweeted, “Is President Obama going to finally mention the words racial Islamic terrorism? If he doesn’t he should immediately resign in disgrace!” Reports claim that the Orlando shooter, Omar Mateen, pledged his allegiance to ISIS in a 911 call before the rampage.
On Tuesday, the POTUS, 54, addressed Trump’s “yapping” comments and criticized his use of the term “radical Islam.”
“What exactly would using this language accomplish?” he asked. “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.”
He continued, “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. 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 the emotional speech, the politician also slammed the idea of “treating all Muslim Americans differently,” keeping them under “special surveillance” and discriminating against them “because of their faith.”
In a December 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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