Monday 11 December 2017

Trump on attack against Obama with veiled claim he supports Islamic extremism

Donald Trump: renewed call to ban Muslims entering US. REUTERS
Donald Trump: renewed call to ban Muslims entering US. REUTERS

Harriet Alexander

Donald Trump has stepped up his attacks on Barack Obama in the wake of the Orlando nightclub massacre, implying he supports Islamic extremism.

Mr Trump, who has been vocal in his conspiracy theory that the US president is a closet Muslim, repeated his call after the shootings for Mr Obama to resign "in disgrace".

He also renewed calls for Muslims to be banned from entering the US, saying he would "suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism" against the US or its allies. "He doesn't get it or he gets it better than anyone understands," he said yesterday. "Either way, it's unacceptable."

Pressed on what he meant, the controversial Republican presumptive nominee said darkly that Mr Obama was "either not tough, not smart, or has something else in mind". "There is something going on," he added.

In Manchester, New Hampshire, Mr Trump said that, if elected, he would use executive authority to better control immigration, emphasising one of the main themes of his campaign for the November 8 general election.

He noted that Orlando shooter Omar Mateen's parents had been born in Afghanistan.

"I would use this power to protect the American people. When I'm elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe, or our allies until we fully understand how to end these threats," the wealthy businessman said.

"Radical Islam is anti-woman, anti-gay and anti-American," said Mr Trump.

"I refuse to allow America to become a place where gay people, Christian people, and Jewish people are the targets of persecution and intimidation by radical Islamic preachers of hate and violence."

President Barack Obama has risen above the fray, speaking of the attack as a terrorist atrocity and a "hate crime" and asking Americans to pray for the victims.

But Mr Trump's rival for the presidency, Hillary Clinton, said: "I'm fine with calling it radical jihadism or radical Islamism. What I am not okay with is the demonising of an entire religion."

"The Orlando terrorist may be dead, but the virus that poisoned his mind remains very strong, and we must attack it," Mrs Clinton, the Democrats' presumptive nominee for the presidential election, said in a speech in Cleveland.

Mrs Clinton again called for a debate on gun control, pointing out assault weapons like the one used by Omar Mateen were forbidden in the US for 10 years until the ban expired in 2004.

"It's important that we stop the terrorists from getting the tools they need to carry out the attacks, and that is especially true when it comes to assault weapons like those used in Orlando and San Bernardino," California, Mrs Clinton said, drawing a standing ovation from the crowd.

White House spokesman Josh Earnest said yesterday, once again, that the president had been frustrated by the Republican-controlled Congress's continued blocking of gun law reform.

"There are certain common-sense things that Congress could do that would make it harder for any individual to get their hands on a weapon of war," he said. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

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