Hillary Clinton finally relented and said the words “radical Islam,” even as President Obama continued to resist and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump criticized both.
Following the Orlando, Florida, terrorist attack on Sunday that killed 49 people, Trump tweeted:
Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn’t he should immediately resign in disgrace!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
The presumptive GOP nominee called Clinton “unfit” to be president on Friday at the Faith and Freedom Summit, because she had refused to utter the words “radical Islam.”
“All of us need to confront together the threat of radical Islam,” Trump said to the Washington, D.C., audience. “Now, Hillary Clinton — or as I call her, ‘Crooked Hillary Clinton’ — refuses to even say the words ‘radical Islam.’ This alone makes her unfit to be president.”
On Monday, Clinton phoned into MSNBC’s Morning Joe and said, “We have to defeat radical jihadist terrorism, or radical Islamism, whatever you call it …”
On NBC’s Today show, the Democratic presidential candidate added: “From my perspective, it matters what we do, not what we say. … We have to defeat radical jihadist terrorism, and we will.”
In a speech on Monday afternoon, Clinton said, “We know already the barbarity that we face from radical jihadists is profound.”
— Fox News (@FoxNews) June 13, 2016
The Independent Journal noted just a few months ago that the former secretary of state refused to use the phrase “radical Islam,” claiming that it sounded “like we are declaring war against a religion.”
This is the tack her former boss continues to take. In his remarks on Sunday following the Orlando attack, President Obama did not mention the word Islam or Muslim. He called the attack “an act of terror and an act of hate,” adding that authorities “reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer.”
This pronouncement came despite the killer, Omar Mateen, having made a 911 call pledging allegiance to ISIS and his being investigated by the FBI multiple times, including for alleged ties to a radical Islamist.
In the face of this evidence, Obama was still hedging on Monday, telling reporters, “It does appear that at the last minute he announced allegiance to ISIL, but … there’s no direct evidence that he was part of a larger plot.”