OPIOID SERIES:

CNN's Zakaria: ‘Obama could have given’ Trump’s Saudi speech

CNN’s Fareed Zakaria on Monday praised President Trump's weekend speech in Saudi Arabia, saying former President Obama could have given it.

“It was nuanced. It was frankly the kind of speech that President Obama could have given. It had the kind of empathy and nuance that people look for," Zakaria said Monday on CNN, praising "both the symbolism and ... the substance."

“Because ultimately what you’re trying to do is convince these Muslim countries to in some way take on, battle, expel as President Trump said, the scourge of Islamic terrorism.”

ADVERTISEMENT
Zakaria added that Trump’s remarks pleased Arab leaders by sounding “more resolutely anti-Iranian” than past presidents'.

“There’s no question people in the region, particularly the Arab dictators and Arab monarchs, like what they hear from Trump.”

Trump on Sunday implored Muslim nations to form a new coalition to defeat extremism.

“[Terrorists] do not worship God, they worship death,” he told leaders of more than 50 Muslim-majority nations. “A better future is only possible if your nations drive out the terrorists and drive out the extremists.”

Trump’s speech avoided the term “radical Islamic terrorism,” a phrase he often used during his 2016 election campaign.

The president, who repeatedly criticized Obama for avoiding the term, instead described a “crisis of Islamic extremism, and the Islamists and Islamic terror of all kinds."