Trump doubles down on terror, immigration pitch

Trump doubles down on terror, immigration pitch
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Donald TrumpDonald TrumpRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Jake Ellzey defeats Trump-backed candidate in Texas House runoff DOJ declines to back Mo Brooks's defense against Swalwell's Capitol riot lawsuit MORE is doubling down on arguments that immigration — both legal and illegal — are endangering national security in the wake of a mass shooting at an Orlando, Fla., nightclub that appeared targeted at gay people and left 50 dead.


Trump is set to deliver a speech Monday on national security that is expected to use the worst mass shooting in U.S. history as its centerpiece.

Trump previewed his arguments as the nation was coming to grips with the killings, arguing President Obama should not be in office if he cannot acknowledge a war against radical Islamic terrorism, while simultaneously arguing that legal immigrants are making American less safe.

“We admit more than 100,000 lifetime migrants from the Middle East each year. Since 9/11, hundreds of migrants and their children have been implicated in terrorism in the United States," Trump said in his statement.

He then said presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary ClintonHillary Diane Rodham ClintonBiden says Russia spreading misinformation ahead of 2022 elections Highest-ranking GOP assemblyman in WI against another audit of 2020 vote Women's March endorses Nina Turner in first-ever electoral endorsement MORE wants to “dramatically increase admissions from the Middle East, bringing in many hundreds of thousands during a first term – and we will have no way to screen them, pay for them, or prevent the second generation from radicalizing.”

“We need to protect all Americans, of all backgrounds and all beliefs, from Radical Islamic Terrorism — which has no place in an open and tolerant society,” he said. “Radical Islam advocates hate for women, gays, Jews, Christians and all Americans. I am going to be a President for all Americans, and I am going to protect and defend all Americans. We are going to make America safe again and great again for everyone.”

Trump’s speech on Monday was already seen as a pivotal moment for his presidential campaign, which has been shaken by criticism from Republicans over comments he made about the federal judge overseeing a lawsuit against Trump University.

Trump suggested the Indiana-born judge was biased against him because of his Mexican background — remarks House Speaker Paul RyanPaul Davis RyanRealClearPolitics reporter says Freedom Caucus shows how much GOP changed under Trump Juan Williams: Biden's child tax credit is a game-changer Trump clash ahead: Ron DeSantis positions himself as GOP's future in a direct-mail piece MORE (R-Wis.) said were a textbook example of racist comments.

The Orlando mass killing and Trump’s statement on Sunday afternoon seemed sure to raise the stakes for the presumptive GOP presidential nominee, who has made tough remarks about immigration the hallmark of his campaign.

Trump has promised to build a wall on the Mexican border that Mexico would pay for, and has suggested a temporary ban on Muslim immigration to the United States.

Trump will address an invitation-only crowd at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire on Monday afternoon.
The speech was originally planned as a comprehensive takedown of Hillary Clinton. 

“If we do not get tough and smart real fast, we are not going to have a country anymore,” Trump said on Sunday. “Because our leaders are weak, I said this was going to happen – and it is only going to get worse. I am trying to save lives and prevent the next terrorist attack. We can't afford to be politically correct anymore.”

But Trump is taking a risk by keeping the political heat on his opponents at a time when Obama and Clinton appear to be taking at least a partial time-out from presidential politics, cancelling a joint rally scheduled for Wednesday.

At the same time, Trump’s standing in the GOP primary improved when he took a strong stand against immigration policies after the terrorist attack last year in San Bernardino, Calif. His call for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration, which polls showed was popular, came after that attack.

The Democrats were supposed to campaign together in Wisconsin this week in what was expected to be a big moment for the party, but that event has been postponed. Clinton appears to be moving ahead with campaign events in Ohio, Virginia and North Carolina on Monday and Tuesday, however.

She did not mention Trump in a prepared statement released about the attacks.

Instead, she called on the U.S. to continue efforts to defeat international terror groups and to protect the homeland. She also noted that the attacks – which targeted a gay nightclub in Orlando - were an “act of hate” against the gay community, and said that “we need to keep guns like the ones used last night out of the hands of terrorists or other violent criminals.”

Trump’s initial response to the breaking news also infuriated his political opponents, who accused him of seeking to draw attention to himself instead of focusing it on the victims.

Over Twitter, Trump thanked his supporters for praising him about “being right” in immediately claiming that the attacks were the result of “radical Islamic terrorism.”
That tweet drew rebuke from some of Trump’s fiercest conservative critics, who said they were disgusted that the likely GOP nominee had made the attacks about himself.