Trump Takes Credit for ‘Being Right on Radical Islamic Terrorism’

Donald Trump wasted little time seeking political advantage in the massacre at a Florida nightclub, taking credit for “being right on radical Islamic terrorism” in the wake of the worst mass shooting in American history.

The suspect in the attack, identified by authorities as a U.S. citizen of Afghan descent named Omar Saddiqui Mateen, killed 50 people and injured another 53 during a rampage through a gay dance club in Orlando. He died in a gunfight with SWAT officers after initially firing shots into the club and later taking hostages.

FBI special-agent-in-charge Ron Hopper told reporters that Mateen had been interviewed twice in 2013 after he made comments to co-workers about potential ties to terror groups, and another time in 2014. Just before his bloody rampage on Sunday Mateen called 911 to proclaim “allegiance to the leader of the Islamic State,” Hopper said.

Trump followed up that tweet with a statement expressing his “deepest sympathy and support” for “the victims, the wounded, and their families.”

But he also attacked President Barack Obama, whom he said “disgracefully refused to even say the words ‘Radical Islam'” during his comments on Sunday afternoon. “For that reason alone, he should step down.”

Obama condemned the attack as “an act of terror and an act of hate,” but declined to identify a motive. “We’ve reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer,” the president said. “The FBI is appropriately investigating this as an act of terrorism, and I’ve directed that we must spare no effort to determine what, if any, inspiration or association this killer may have had with terrorist groups.”

Trump also went after his Democratic rival for the White House, writing, “If Hillary Clinton, after this attack, still cannot say the two words ‘Radical Islam’ she should get out of this race for the Presidency.”

“If we do not get tough and smart real fast, we are not going to have a country anymore,” Trump continued. “Because our leaders are weak, I said this was going to happen – and it is only going to get worse. I am trying to save lives and prevent the next terrorist attack. We can’t afford to be politically correct anymore.”

Trump then noted the killer’s ethnicity and religious faith, citing Pew statistics showing that “99% of people in Afghanistan support oppressive Sharia Law.”

He accused Clinton of wanting to “dramatically increase admissions from the Middle East, bringing in many hundreds of thousands during a first term,” warning that “hundreds of migrants and their children have been implicated in terrorism in the United States” since the Sept. 11, 2001, attacks. “We will have no way to screen them, pay for them, or prevent the second generation from radicalizing.”

“We need to protect all Americans, of all backgrounds and all beliefs, from Radical Islamic Terrorism – which has no place in an open and tolerant society,” Trump concluded. “Radical Islam advocates hate for women, gays, Jews, Christians and all Americans. I am going to be a President for all Americans, and I am going to protect and defend all Americans. We are going to make America safe again and great again for everyone.”

Earlier on Sunday, Trump was the first remaining presidential candidate to speak about the massacre, tweeting about the “really bad shooting in Orlando.”

“Police investigating possible terrorism. Many people dead and wounded,” he wrote.

After the death toll had risen from an estimated to 20 to a confirmed 50 with dozens more injured, Trump tweeted again, offering his condolences and urging the U.S. to “get tough.”

“Horrific incident in FL. Praying for all the victims & their families,” he said. “When will this stop? When will we get tough, smart & vigilant?”

Minutes before President Barack Obama spoke, Trump tweeted:

(h/t Politico)

Reality

Donald Trump was quick to congratulate himself over 50 dead Americans, then continued on with his anti-immigrant speech. Trump then spent the rest of the day with tweet after tweet disseminating unverified information.

This could very well be a case of domestic terrorism, but as the day progressed and more information became available another possible motive arose as a hate crime against the LGBT community. The shooter’s father said that his son was angered after seeing two men kissing on the street months ago. More information later came in that the shooter was not mentally stable and was not at all religious or interested in religion.

Donald Trump claims we have to be smart but (and this is important but completely lost on Donald Trump) the investigation is still way too early to jump to his conclusions. That’s not at all smart.

Finally, Trump took the opportunity to bring up the old conservative trope that Obama refuses to acknowledge terrorism, and until he does we’ll be vulnerable to terrorists… or something. However there is a very good reason why President Obama, and before him George W. Bush, will not speak the words “radical Islamic terrorism” when referring to terrorist groups like ISIS. They may sound like small words to Republican critics like Donald Trump and Senator Ted Cruz, but they have big meaning. The members of ISIS and other terrorist groups are desperate for legitimacy. This is why ISIS calls themselves the “Islamic State.” They try to portray themselves as religious leaders, holy warriors in defense of Islam. And they propagate the notion that America, and the West, is at war with Islam. For a President of the United States to infer that we are at war with the Islamic religion, it would have immediate consequences from our Muslim allies in the middle-east as well as give terrorist groups the legitimacy they exactly want.

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