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Donald Trump Suggests That Obama Let the Orlando Shooting Happen

Trump did the morning talk show rounds, arguing that the Orlando club-goers should have been had weapons — even though the club had armed security.

by Justin Ling
Jun 13 2016, 4:15pm

(AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

In a flurry of Monday morning interviews on the attacks in Orlando, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump seemed to suggest that President Barack Obama was somehow complicit in the attacks that killed 49 in a gay nightclub Sunday.

"He doesn't get it, or he gets it better than anybody understands. It's one or the other, and either one is unacceptable," Trump told Fox & Friends over the phone, doubling-down on his call for the president to resign because he does not use the phrase 'radical Islamic terrorism.' He added: "There's something going on."

Later in the morning, when the Today Show's Savannah Guthrie asked him on NBC to clarify those comments, Trump repeated the sentiment.

"Well, there are a lot of people that think that he doesn't want to get it, that he doesn't want to know about it. I happen to think that he just doesn't know what he's doing," Trump said.

When Guthrie followed up, Trump lamented that "he's not addressing the issue. He's not calling it what it is. This is radical Islamic terrorism." The suspected gunman, Omar Mateen, a US citizen by birth, was a Muslim, although not very observant.

"The last thing we need is to take in more people like this guy," Trump added on CNN.

Trump said the same of presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton, despite the fact that Clinton, in fact, uses the phrase.

At the same time, Trump rejected any sort of additional screening or controls on assault weapons. "He had the right to have a gun," Trump told CNN. "If you had some guns in that club, the night that this took place, if you had guns on the other side, you wouldn't have had the tragedy that you had."

When it was pointed out that there was an armed security guard in the club who returned fire at the attacker, Trump ignored host Alisyn Camerota and kept talking.

Trump called Mateen "a maniac" — and then, later in the interview, went on to use the same insult to describe Clinton.

Trump repeatedly called for America to "get smart" on terror attacks like this one, offering up his usual solutions — a ban on allowing Muslims coming into America, using the phrase 'radical Islamic terrorism,' and getting people to report more suspicious incidents.

When it was pointed out to Trump on the Today Show that Mateen was born in New York, Trump ignored the question, and instead blamed a failure in intelligence. "We need far better intelligence gathering, we have terrible intelligence gathering right now," he said.

All morning, Trump cited the example of the San Bernardino shooting, where he said neighbours saw "bombs all over the apartment," but didn't report anything. There, he seems to be citing one report where the neighbours of the two attacks reported being suspicious about seeing "quite a few packages" being delivered to the apartment — but never reported seeing bombs.

Trump also repeated that there were "thousands" of refugees coming in from Syria with the same mentality as Mateen.

On Fox, Trump seemed to suggest that the Muslim community was to blame for failing to turn Mateen in. "People in his community, in their community, they know who they are...they brag about it, they talk about it," Trump said.

On CNN, he elaborated: "for some reason, the Muslim community does not report people like this."

Trump repeated his calls to bomb Islamic State infrastructure in Syria, irrespective of civilian casualties.

Follow Justin Ling on Twitter: @Justin_Ling