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An angry President Barack Obama turned his fury on Donald Trump on Tuesday after a meeting with his National Security Council, saying the presumptive Republican presidential nominee is guilty of creating a “political distraction” over the president’s refusal to use the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism.”
“What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change?” a seething Obama asked.
“Would it make ISIL less committed to trying to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this?” he continued. “The answer is, none of the above. Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction.”
“There’s no magic to the phrase, ‘radical Islam.’ It’s a political talking point; it’s not a strategy,” Obama said, adding that the issue “has nothing to do with political correctness.”
The president also slammed Trump for his renewed push for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States.
“This is a country founded on basic freedoms, including freedom of religion,” Obama said. “We don’t have religious tests here.”
The gunman in Orlando, Fla, who claimed the lives of 49 people was born in the United States, but his parents immigrated from Afghanistan.
Trump responded to the president’s remarks later in the day at a camping rally in Greensboro, N.C. — he called Obama “one hell of a lousy president.”
“I watched President Obama today and he was more angry at me than the shooter,” Trump said. “The level of anger, that’s the kind of anger he should have for the shooter and these killers that shouldn’t be here.”
He went on to say that “we have a radical Islamic terrorism problem” adding that at the end of Obama’s speech, nobody “knew anything else besides, ‘Boy, does he hate Donald Trump.’”
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