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Trump’s smile turned quickly into a pointed glare, though, as he blamed ‘weak, ineffective people’ in President Barack Obama’s administration for what he said was an out-of-control immigration problem linked to the weekend’s gun massacre at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida.
In a rare break from the no-drama-Obama voters have come to expect, the president unleashed an angry lecture on Trump in the afternoon, painting him as a know-nothing poseur whose lack of nuanced foreign policy knowledge and china-shop-bull approach to diplomacy would threaten to turn the Arab world against Americans and radicalize a new generation of Islamist jihadis.
‘I watched President Obama today. And he was more angry at me than he was at the shooter!’ he marveled.
‘The level of anger – that’s the kind of anger he should have for the shooter, and these killers that shouldn’t be here.’
And the presumptive Republican presidential nominee dismissed Obama’s law-school oration questioning the value of branding extremist attacks as the work of ‘radical Islamic terrorism’ – a seldom-heard turn of phrase Trump has used for months to clobber reticent Democrats.
Trump said the U.S. had no hope of maintaining homeland security ‘if you don’t know what the term is, and if you don’t discuss what the problem is, and if you can’t say the real name.’
‘We have a radical Islamic terrorism problem, folks,’ he argued. ‘We can say we don’t. We can pretend like Obama that we don’t, where Obama spent a long time talking about it and nobody at the end of that speech understood anything other than, “Boy, does he hate Donald Trump”.’
Trump has sought for the past 48 hours to tie the Orlando murders to a lax immigration program that admits too many loosely screened Arabs, and to Clinton’s pledge to increase America’s commitment to resettle Syrian refugees by 550 per cent.
‘Every year we bring in more than 100,000 lifetime immigrants from the Middle East, and many more from Muslim countries outside of the Middle East,’ Trump said.
‘A number of these immigrants have hostile attitudes toward women, toward gays and people of different faiths,’ he added, claiming that ‘Hillary Clinton’s immigration plan would bring in millions of unvetted immigrants – or very poorly vetted – and how can you vet somebody when you have no idea where they come from, you have no idea about the paperwork?’
‘It doesn’t take a big percentage’ to be deadly, he said. ‘Look what one whack-job – look at this one whack, this one horrible savage – look what he did in a short period of time to great young people!’