President Barack Obama condemned Donald Trump’s rhetoric on radical Islamic terrorism, arguing that the Republican presidential nominee is helping Islamic State terrorists.
“I think the kinds of rhetoric that we’ve heard too often, from Mr. Trump and others, is ultimately helping do ISIL’s work for us,” he said in an interview on CBS’s Face The Nation.
Obama argued that applying religious tests or screening Muslim Americans with more scrutiny would be “betraying that very thing that makes America exceptional.” He argued that the best way to stop terrorism was by not though division and fear, but by holding true to American values.
Nobody, he insisted, knew more about the threat of terrorism than he did, but encouraged Americans to be patient in the fight.
“It is going to be an ongoing threat for some time,” he said.
He admitted, however, that the American people were struggling to believe that the world was actually safer under Obama. He also suggested that the terrorist attack in Orlando was not inspired by ISIS.
“I think right now we’ve gone through a really tough month and that happens sometimes,” he said. “We’ve had a terrorist attack in Orlando, although it does not appear externally motivated, but a deranged man killing scores of people.”
He explained that he stopped using the phrase “radical Islam” because it was offensive to Muslims.
“[I]f we’re going to defeat those organizations, we need help from the billion-plus Muslims in this world so that they can help root out this perversion of Islam that’s taking place,” he said.