Trump: Europe attacks proved me right
President-elect Donald Trump on Wednesday said the string of attacks in Europe this week shows he is “right” about restricting Muslim immigration to the U.S.
“You’ve known my plans all along and I’ve been proven to be right, 100-percent correct,” he told reporters at his Mar-a-Lago estate in Florida. “What’s happening is disgraceful.”
It was the first time Trump spoke in person about Monday’s attacks in Germany, Turkey and Switzerland.
“That’s an attack on humanity, is what it is,” he said. “It’s an attack on humanity and it’s got to be stopped.”
Trump said he spoke with President Obama two days ago, but not since the deadly strikes occurred. He received the presidential daily briefing Wednesday morning from intelligence officials, according to his team.
The president-elect is doubling down on his hardline policies on terrorism in the aftermath of the attacks.
During his campaign, he proposed a temporary ban on Muslim immigration to the U.S. and raised the possibility of creating a database to track Muslims living in the country.
But there have been questions about whether Trump will follow through on his plans.
His campaign staff last month temporarily removed mentions of the Muslim ban from his website before restoring them. His aides have long disputed that he has pushed for a registry.
Trump’s plans have faced criticism from Democrats, some Republicans and civil-liberties groups, who argue they scapegoat Muslims and could damage U.S. efforts to enlist foreign partners in the fight against extremist groups.
Monday’s attacks renewed fears of similar strikes happening again on American soil.
The deadliest incident occurred in Berlin, where a man drove a truck into a crowded Christmas market, killing 12 and injuring dozens more.
The Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) took responsibility for the attacks. German authorities believe the suspect in the attack is a Tunisian citizen who was under covert surveillance for months.
Russia’s ambassador to Turkey was assassinated in Ankara on Monday by a man police say was an off-duty police officer. The gunman shouted slogans about the Syrian civil war before opening fire.
In Zurich, a gunman wounded three people attending prayer services at an Islamic center. Police have identified the suspect as a Swiss citizen of Ghanian descent.
Trump’s 85-second remarks were the first time he has taken questions from reporters since Dec. 13, when he appeared in the lobby of his Manhattan high-rise with rapper Kanye West.
Reporters at Mar-a-Lago, where Trump is spending the holidays, initially asked staff on Monday for in-person comments from him on the attacks.
Instead, his team released a series of paper statements and Trump tweeted, calling the strikes terrorism.
Trump has not called a formal news conference since he won the election on Nov. 8.
This story was updated at 2:34 p.m.