President Obama said Sunday the nation again faces the “horrific massacre” of innocent people.
While the president has become all-too-accustomed to consoling a nation after tragedy, the Orlando attack is likely to become something different: An issue in the presidential campaign.
The commander in chief, who has now spoken out at least 15 times in the wake of a mass shooting during his presidency, has also mourned gun killings at an elementary school in Connecticut, a movie theater in Colorado and an African-American church in South Carolina. He described the Orlando club attack as “the most deadly shooting in American history,” one targeting gays and lesbians and leading to the deaths of at least 50 people.
“This was an act of terror and an act of hate,” Obama said in the White House press room.
The political debate over this latest terrorist attack, less than five months before the presidential election, came via the Twitter account of Donald Trump, who has hammered Obama — and presumptive Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton — over previous attacks in Paris and San Bernardino, Calif.
While “praying for all the victims & their families,” the presumptive Republican presidential candidate tweeted: “When will this stop? When will we get tough, smart & vigilant?”
Trump referenced himself in a subsequent tweet: “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!”
In a statement after Obama spoke, Trump blasted the president, saying he “disgracefully refused to even say the words, ‘Radical islam.'”
“For that reason alone, he should step down,” Trump said. “If Hillary Clinton, after this attack, still cannot say the two words ‘Radical Islam’ she should get out of this race for the Presidency.”
Omar Mateen, the alleged Orlando shooter, pledged allegiance to the Islamic State during a 911 call from the nightclub, according to the FBI.
Expect more politics in the days, weeks, and months ahead.
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SOURCE: USA Today – David Jackson