Presumptive GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump told CNN this morning that the Orlando shooting was "just the beginning," as he stepped up his criticism of President Obama and Hillary Clinton on Monday, as Politico reports, castigating them as "weak" leaders with a poor understanding of the threat posed to the United States by Islamic radicalism. Having released a statement yesterday decrying Obama's inability to refer to the incident as "radical islamic terrorism," Trump went further, raging that "[Obama] doesn't get it or he gets it better than anybody understands. It's one or the other... he has no clue," reiterating his own call to ban Muslims from entering the US.
What has happened in Orlando is just the beginning. Our leadership is weak and ineffective. I called it and asked for the ban. Must be tough— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
Speaking on "Fox & Friends" this morning, Trump again implied that the president was not a trustworthy leader when it comes to fighting terrorism, and defended a much-criticized tweet he sent on Sunday, saying, "Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism." As Politico reports,
"He doesn't get it or he gets it better than anybody understands. It's one or the other, and either one is unacceptable, No. 1, and No. 2, calling on another gun ban, I mean, this man has no clue. First of all, the shooter was licensed. So he went through all the procedures, he was fully licensed to have a gun. So he would have passed the test that the president would have thrown up there. It's so ridiculous. You know, this is a, this is a mentality, this is a state. And you have thousands of shooters like this with the same mentality out there in this country, and we're bringing thousands and thousands of them back into this country, and into the country every year."
"We're led by a man who is a very -- look, we're led by a man that either is, is not tough, not smart, or he's got something else in mind," Trump said. "And the something else in mind, you know, people can't believe it. People cannot -- they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the ways he acts and can't even mention the words radical islamic terrorism. There's something going on. It's inconceivable."
As he did after last December's attack in San Bernardino, California, Trump said Monday that Muslim refugees could be the "all-time Trojan horse."
"I'm starting to think it could happen," Trump said, "because our politicians are so inept and so incapable and our leadership, especially at the top, is just -- they don't know what they're doing. And we're allowing people to come into our country that are no different than this maniac which, I don't know how many people are going to end up dying from this, but no different than this maniac just that just did this to us yesterday."
Trump also accused Muslim communities of harboring "bad apples" like the Orlando shooter. "They don't report these people. The people know who the bad apples are, where the bad seeds are. And they don't report them," he said. "You'll find out shortly, you'll find out that many people knew that he was bad. Many people knew he had some kind of an idea for an attack. It happens all the time. Almost all the time. We need much better intelligence."
As for Clinton, she is a "weak person," Trump said. "She's a weak person. She's weak on so many different levels. I just see where the Secret Service agent said she should never be president.
He called her almost like a maniac," Trump said, in reference to a forthcoming book by a former agent. " She is not the right person, especially in these times. These are times when you need solidity, you need smart, you have to have smart. But you need, you need something so much different than her. She's just following his exact line, she won't utter the words either, radical Islam. She won't utter the words. He won't, unless you know the words or what's going on, you're never going to solve the problem."
Calling into NBC's "Today," Clinton brushed aside Trump's rhetoric as "obsessed with namecalling" with respect to her decision to call the attacks radical jihadism rather than "radical Islamic terrorism."
On Friday, Trump accused Clinton of failing to understand the gravity of the risk posed by Syrian refugees in a speech to a conservative Christian group.
"Hillary will bring hundreds of thousands of refugees, many of whom have hostile beliefs about people of different faiths and values and some of whom absolutely and openly support terrorism in our country," he said. "We don't need that. ... We have enough problems right now."
Clinton has said she would support allowing more refugees from the war-torn Middle East to come to the U.S., so long as they are carefully screened and vetted.
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It's going to be a long summer.