Washington, June 14: US presidential candidate Donald J. Trump on Monday accused US President Barack Obama and his rival Hillary Clinton of failing to understand the nature of the terrorist threat facing the country, a day after the biggest massacre in the history of the country left 49 people dead.
Trump also appeared to suggest that Obama might be complicit in such attacks.
“We’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind,” Trump said. “There is something going on,” the New York Times quoted Trump as saying.
Trump also accused the president of coddling terrorists overseas and being overly concerned with collateral damage.
“Can you imagine General Patton saying ‘Please get out of your trucks because we’re going to start dropping bombs in one hour?'” said Trump. “This is the way we fight. We’re led by a fool.”
Taking on his rival Clinton, Trump suggested that she was “too weak to keep the country safe”, while Clinton warned that Trump’s demonisation of Muslims was inciting terrorists.
Trump called for increased bombing of Islamic State (IS) terrorists, accusing American Muslims of looking the other way as attacks unfolded.
He condemned Clinton for failing to use the phrase “radical Islamic terrorism”. They were the first remarks by Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, since the massacre on Sunday in Orlando.
Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, initially offered a measured response and a call for unity before warning that Trump’s policies were part of the problem. She also said that the threat of terrorism was not a matter of language and that she had no problem using the term “radical Islamism” in an interview on CNN.
US President Barack Obama on Monday, called Orlando shooting as ‘home-grown extremism’.
He said that it appeared that the gunman had been inspired by extremist information he found on the internet, but that there was no clear evidence he was part of a wider terrorist plot directed by the Islamic State (IS).
“As far as we can tell right now, this is certainly an example of the kind of home-grown extremism that all of us have been concerned about for a very long time,” the New York Times quoted Obama as saying.
But according to the police the gunman did pledge allegiance to the Islamic State (IS) and tried to negotiate with police during the attack.
“He was cool and calm when he was making those phone calls to us,” Orlando Police Chief John Mina on Monday.
“We had a team of crisis negotiators that did talk to the suspect just trying to get as much information as possible … He really wasn’t asking for a whole lot. We were doing most of the asking,” Mina was quoted as saying.
The mass shooting by Omar Mateen, which killed 49 people and wounded 53, is being investigated as an act of terrorism, and appeared to be “similar” to the one in San Bernardino, California, last year.
The perpetrators of that attack claimed allegiance to the Islamic State (IS), but had no direct connection to the group before unleashing a blood bath.
Obama said the Orlando shooting, which appeared to have been carried out with guns obtained legally, should also prompt Americans to “think about the risks that we are willing to take by being so lax in how we make very powerful firearms available to people in this country.”
“We make it very easy for individuals who are troubled, or disturbed, or want to engage in violent acts to obtain very powerful weapons very easily, and it’s a problem,” Obama said.
Meanwhile, Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) community on Monday came out to support the victims of the mass shooting at the gay nightclub in Florida
Artists and activists from the community responded to the Orlando shooting with love and defiance and posted their kissing and hugging photos on the social media.
People responded with messages of strength and resilience in the face of violence.
“I stand with the LGBT community. I stand with the Muslim community. together we stand against terrorism. together we stand in solidarity,” a user wrote on Twitter.
The community members also took part in Los Angeles Gay Parade on Monday and shared photos and wrote messages on the social media.
“Walked down to be part of the @LAPRIDE parade. Didn’t know what else to do except love and mourn at the same time. #orlando,” another user posted on Twitter.
Considered to be the worst attack on American soil since Sept. 11, 2001, it was carried out on Sunday morning at the gay nightclub in Orlando – where one out of every three people at the crowded Pulse nightclub was killed or injured.
Shalini Singh with agencies