GOP presidential nominee Donald Trump has insinuated that President Barack Obama is concealing a sinister motive by refusing to describe the Orlando mass shooting as radical Islamic terrorism.
On June 12, 29-year-old Omar Mateen entered an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida. He murdered 50 people and wounded 52 others, marking the worst mass shooting in U.S. history.
After being briefed by the FBI, President Obama delivered remarks the following morning, stressing that Mateen’s motivations had yet to be determined, according to The White House.
“We’ve reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer,” Obama said. “The FBI is appropriately investigating this as an act of terrorism … What is clear is that this was a person filled with hatred.”
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The president added, “Over the coming days, we’ll uncover why and how this happened and we will go wherever the facts lead us.”
Trump was unsatisfied with President Obama’s comments, demanding that he describe the massacre as radical Islamic terrorism.
On June 13, the business mogul implied that the president may have a secret reason for refusing to use the term.
“We’re led by a man who is very — look, we’re led by a man that either is not tough, not smart, or he’s got something else in mind,” Trump told Fox News’ “Fox and Friends.”
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“And the something else in mind, you know, people can’t believe it. People cannot believe, they cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and he can’t even mention the words ‘radical Islamic terrorism.’”
Trump did not explicitly state what he suspects is “going on,” but it is relevant to note that the business mogul had been the figurehead of the Obama “birther” movement in 2011, a conspiracy group that vocally doubted Obama was born in the U.S. and openly asked if he was a secret Muslim.
The business mogul has refused to talk about his participation in the birther movement throughout his presidential campaign.
“He doesn’t get it or he gets it better than anybody understands,” Trump said. “It’s one or the other, and either one is unacceptable.”
Calling in for an interview with NBC News’ “Today Show” later that morning, Trump was asked by host Savannah Guthrie to clarify what he meant when he said that Obama may be hiding something.
“He’s not addressing the issue,” Trump said. “He’s not calling it what it is. This is radical Islamic terrorism … These are people who come out and you have no idea who they are and he doesn’t want to discuss it, and he doesn’t want to properly describe it,” Trump said. “And if you don’t discuss it and describe it properly, you’re never going to solve the problem.”
Trump’s proposal to solve the problem? Placing a travel ban on all Muslims from entering the U.S. and increasing surveillance of American Muslims.
The business mogul also appeared to distance himself from his earlier comments about Obama’s intentions.
“I happen to think he just doesn’t know what he’s doing, but there are many people that think maybe he doesn’t want to get it, he doesn’t want to see what’s really happening,” Trump said.