President Barack Obama took on Donald Trump Tuesday afternoon, calling the controversy over the use of the term “radical Islam” a “political distraction” and criticizing the Republican presidential nominee’s call to bar Muslims from immigrating to the United States.
Obama, addressing his reluctance to use the “radical Islam phrase,” Obama said, “What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make terrorists less committed to killing Americans? Would it bring in more Allies?
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“The answer is none of the above,” Obama said. “Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction.”
Obama said America is “not confused about who our enemies are.”
“If there’s anyone out there who thinks we are confused who are enemies are . . . that would come as a surprise to the thousands of terrorists we’ve taken off the battlefield.”
After 49 people were killed in a terror attack early Sunday at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Trump ripped Obama and presumptive Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton for avoiding use of the term “radical Islam.”
Obama also addressed Trump’s call to bar all Muslims from immigrating to the United States.
“Where does this stop? The Orlando killer, one of the San Bernardino killers, the Fort Hood killer, they were all U.S. citizens. Are we going to start treating Muslims who live here differently?
“Do Republican officials actually agree with this? Because that’s not the America we want. It doesn’t reflect our Democratic ideals.”
Obama said such a stance would “make us less safe, fueling hatred toward us.”
It also makes “Muslim-Americans feel like their government has betrayed them.”