President Obama called out Donald Trump in a Tuesday (June 14) press conference for espousing a dangerous mindset that equates the entire Muslim community with "radical Islam." In fact, Obama expressed incredulity with the entire Republican party, which has supported Trump to the point of making him the presumptive nominee for president. “Do Republican officials actually agree with this?” Obama asked.
In the wake of a mass shooting in Orlando that killed approximately 50 people at a gay club — a death toll that is expected to rise — Obama addressed the nation at the U.S. Treasury Department after meeting with his national security team and criticized Trump for conflating Islam with the acts of shooter Omar Mateen.
Some reports suggested Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS (the Islamic State) before the shooting; other reports suggested he was actually a closeted homosexual who was conflicted about his sexuality. The White House has been reluctant, therefore, to label Mateen's actions broadly. Trump began baiting Obama in the aftermath of the attack, demanding the president's resignation for not blaming "radical Islamic terrorism."
Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn't he should immediately resign in disgrace!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
On Tuesday, Obama reprimanded Trump for "rhetoric, and loose talk, and sloppiness about who exactly we're fighting." Obama continued: "And if we fall into the trap of painting all Muslims with a broad brush, and imply that we are at war with an entire religion, then we are doing the terrorists' work for them."
The president went on to say that proposals to bar all Muslims from immigrating to America, as Trump has suggested, would effectively make it easier to radicalize people here and around the world.
"Where does this stop? ... That's not the America we want. It doesn't reflect our Democratic ideals. It won't make us more safe; it will make us less safe, fueling ISIL's notion that the West hates Muslims."
Immediately after Sunday's (June 12) shooting at PULSE nightclub, Trump took a victory lap on Twitter:
Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don't want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
Obama clapped back on Tuesday, saying “There’s no magic to the phrase ‘radical Islam.’ It’s a political talking point, it’s not a strategy.”