Senator hits Trump for seeking 'simple answer' to attacks

Sen. Angus KingAngus Stanley KingBipartisan panel to issue recommendations for defending US against cyberattacks early next year New intel chief inherits host of challenges Senators ask for committee vote on 'red flag' bills after shootings MORE (I-Maine) on Tuesday criticized President-elect Donald TrumpDonald John Trump Former US ambassador: 'Denmark is not a big fan of Donald Trump and his politics' Senate Democrats push for arms control language in defense policy bill Detroit county sheriff endorses Booker for president MORE for pinning recent attacks in Turkey and Germany on radical Islamic terrorism.

"Simple answers to complicated questions are usually wrong," King said on CNN's "New Day."

"In this case, it appears that, No. 1, we don't really know the facts, so it's premature to come to a conclusion, but No. 2, it appears that the attack in Turkey on the Russian ambassador wasn't a religious attack but was a political one, revenge for what's going on in Aleppo."

ADVERTISEMENT

Trump in a statement Monday offered his condolences to the family of Russia's ambassador to Turkey, who Trump said was "assassinated by a radical Islamic terrorist."

The ambassador was killed Monday by a Turkish gunman who shouted "God is great" and "don't forget Aleppo, don't forget Syria."

The president-elect also issued a statement following the truck attack in Berlin, expressing condolences to the loved ones of those who died.

"ISIS and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad," he said in the statement.

"These terrorists and their regional and worldwide networks must be eradicated from the face of the earth, a mission we will carry out with all freedom-loving partners."

King said Trump should not have prematurely classified each of these incidents as acts of radical Islamic terrorism.

"Just to say it's all Islamic terrorism I think is, A, not the correct answer," he said.

"And B, will only inflame tensions and could conceivably make them worse."

King said the larger question is: "Do we really want to have a war of half the world against the other half the world?"

"Most of the tips and the help that we get in dealing with these problems and thwarting these problems here in the U.S. come from people within the Muslim community," he said.

"Do we really want to radicalize all of those people? ... I just don't think it's in our best interest."

This story was updated at 9:42 a.m.