-- President Barack Obama strongly rejected calls from Donald Trump to label the Orlando shooting "radical Islamic terrorism," blasting the presumptive Republican presidential nominee's proposals after meeting with the National Security Council today.
"That's the key, they tell us, 'We can't beat ISIL unless we call them radical Islamist.' What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change? 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? The answer is none of the above," Obama said at the Treasury Department. "Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction."
As for the "radical Islamic terrorism" label, the president said, "Not once has an adviser of mine said, 'If we use that phrase, we're going to turn this whole thing around.' It's a political talking point. It's not a strategy. And the reason I am careful about how I describe this threat has nothing to do with political correctness and everything to do with defeating extremism."
Obama then took direct aim at Trump, trashing his proposals to temporarily bar foreign Muslims from entering the country, pointing out that the killers at San Bernardino, Orlando and Fort Hood were all U.S. citizens.
"Are we going to start treating all Muslim-Americans differently? Are we going to start subjecting them to surveillance, discriminating against them for their faith?" Obama wondered. "Do Republican officials actually agree with this? Because that's not the America we want. It doesn't reflect our democratic ideals. It won't make us more safe. It will make us less safe."
Hours after the shooting Sunday morning, Trump tweeted that Obama should "resign in disgrace" if he did not call the massacre "radical Islamic terrorism." That tweet has since been retweeted nearly 40,000 times.
Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn't he should immediately resign in disgrace! — Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
"That kind of yapping has not prevented folks across government from doing their jobs, from sacrificing and working really hard to protect the American people," Obama said. "Where does this stop?"
Trump responded in a statement after the tongue-lashing by Obama, launching an attack on the president in the process.
“President Obama claims to know our enemy, and yet he continues to prioritize our enemy over our allies, and for that matter, the American people,” he said. “When I am President, it will always be America First.”