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Trump on Obama: ‘Something going on with him that we don’t know about’

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    In this file photo taken on Nov. 24, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks during a campaign event at the Myrtle Beach Convention Center in Myrtle Beach, S.C.

WASHINGTON » President Barack Obama’s refusal to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism” indicates that “there is something going on with him that we don’t know about,” Republican front-runner Donald Trump said today, an ominous comment that echoed Trump’s history of questioning Obama’s birthplace and airing of false claims that he practices Islam.

The comment, delivered at a forum of Republican Jewish fundraisers and activists in Washington, was made in response to the rampage in San Bernardino, Calif. It was one of several remarks and themes in Trump’s improvised speech on Thursday that showed his ability to make provocative statements that would likely land other presidential candidates in trouble, but seem routine in the context of Trump’s campaign.

The speech by Trump, the real estate magnate, was also notable for touching on Jewish stereotypes — with references to money and negotiating skills — that drew rebukes from some Jewish conservatives on Twitter but were received with some laughter from the audience.

Trump spoke at a forum of the Republican Jewish Coalition, a group of powerful GOP fundraisers led by casino magnate Sheldon Adelson. Leaders of the forum noted that they were the only group able to attract all of the Republican presidential candidates to a single event, other than official debates. The coalition puts a premium on conservative policy in the Middle East, with particular focus on Israel.

Wednesday’s massacre in San Bernardino put an added focus on the issue of domestic terrorism. While authorities have not determined whether it was inspired by or connected to jihadist terrorism, many candidates spoke about that threat while discussing the attack.

Trump said Wednesday’s attack “probably was related” to Islamic terrorism, while leaving some room for doubt.

“It always happens,” was how he characterized his first reaction to the attacks, suggesting he viewed the massacre as a random act of violence and not a planned terrorist attack.

“When I heard about it, I figured probably not,” he said. “But it turns out, probably related.”

“Radical Islamic terrorism,” he added. “We have a president who refuses to use the term. Refuses to say it. There is something going on with him that we don’t know about.”

The White House avoids using the phrase to keep from alienating the world’s billion or so Muslims, including Americans, as well as the leaders of crucial allies in the Middle East.

Trump’s remarks were light on policy, with several comments that appeared to be efforts to connect with the audience, some of which raised eyebrows.

Trump noted that one of his daughters, Ivanka, is Jewish. She converted to the faith when she married. Other comments of his touched on long-standing Jewish stereotypes.

“I’m a negotiator, like you folks,” he said at one point.

“You’re not going to support me because I don’t want your money,” he said at another.

Trump drew mostly laughs. But several people raised questions on social media. “What the hell does that mean?” tweeted Ari Fleischer, the former spokesman for George W. Bush.

There were boos when Trump declined to commit to recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital. Successive administrations of both parties have stopped short of that step, fearing it would be provocative in the Arab world. But many Jewish conservatives, who were heavily represented in the audience, see it as a priority.

Trump was also vague when asked which Arab leaders he could work with, mentioning the king of Jordan without using his name and then veering into other topics including his relationships with Democrats and others he has met during his career in real estate.

His biggest policy message was a critique of Obama — “the worst thing that’s ever happened to Israel” — and the deal his administration and leaders of five other countries struck with Iran designed to limit its nuclear capabilities. Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has said the pact is an existential threat to Israel.

Several activists who headed for lunch after Trump’s talk said they did not think much of his speech but were not offended, with one man noting that Trump was introduced as mishpucha, the Yiddish word for family.

“It was in jest,” said Andrew Friedman, a Los Angeles attorney who is president of his synagogue. “He shoots from the hip.”

“Irreverence is good,” said Eric Levine, a New York attorney who is raising money for Florida Sen. Marco Rubio’s campaign. “What offends me is his complete lack of knowledge.”

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  • Trump is a tool, and a dangerous one at that. This country is in trouble, and not just because of radical Muslim extremists. I’ve never seen such irrational thoughts and behavior from the masses condemning a whole group of people like people are doing with Muslims. The terrorists are winning because they are accomplishing what they set out to do – they will cause ignorant Americans to persecute Muslims, which will in turn cause more Muslims to become extremists in defense. I wish people could see that.

    • Prejudiced people don’t like to think, it makes them insecure. And, when things are going badly, they look for scapegoats- people who aren’t like them. That’s your fox news viewership and red-state voters. And plenty of them vote. Sad, and scary for the future.

      • How does stereotyping those living in certain areas and others watching a channel on television differ from the very prejudice you exhibit by doing so?

      • IRT kolohepalu: I may be wrong but it appears you just pre-judged and stereo-typed Fox News viewers. I think the mental health community refers to that as projection. Fox News is the only news organization that doesn’t slavishly carry King Barry’s water. That could be why the smarter than everyone else progressives despise it and their “scary” viewers.

      • As he’s demonstrated nearly every time he posts, kolohepalu is the worst kind of bigot – one that doesn’t accept that he is a bigot. He’s just intelligent enough to be dangerous.

      • Deuteronomy 13:6-10 If thy brother, the son of thy mother, or thy son, or thy daughter, or the wife of thy bosom, or thy friend, which is as thine own soul, entice thee secretly, saying, Let us go and serve other gods, which thou hast not known, thou, nor thy fathers;

        Namely, of the gods of the people which are round about you, nigh unto thee, or far off from thee, from the one end of the earth even unto the other end of the earth;

        Thou shalt not consent unto him, nor hearken unto him; neither shall thine eye pity him, neither shalt thou spare, neither shalt thou conceal him:

        But thou shalt surely kill him; thine hand shall be first upon him to put him to death, and afterwards the hand of all the people.

        And thou shalt stone him with stones, that he die;

        • There are penalties for sin including death in the Old Testament. However, your citation of Deuteronomy fails to consider overall context and background. The reason for the severity of punishment of death in this passage is that it is directed to the Israelites whom God made a covenant with. A covenant is a binding contract consisting of certain obligations on both parties. A primary stipulation in the Mosaic Covenant was that the Israelites would not follow after other gods as to do so would result in a breaking of the covenant; the consequence resulting in death.
          You are remiss by failing to cite the positive aspects of abiding by the terms of the covenant as abiding by the Law would result in God’s blessing and provision for the Israelites. The Old Testament is replete with examples of God’s faithfulness in keeping to the terms of the covenant while unfortunately Israel failed time and time again.

        • If you’d like to live under the first dispensation, please, continue. However, when the time comes, and it will, that you realize the futilely of chasing justification under your own steam, then Christ has a standing offer that will provide you eternal justification through faith.

    • The evidence grows by the day: we need Muslim control a whole heck of a lot more than we need gun control. The so called ‘nice’ Muslims who believe Islam is a religion of peace and that Muslim, Christian and Jew are all “people of the book” have failed to make a dent in those brutal thugs they claim are high jacking their faith – – and the suspicion of many is that they are afraid even to try. That leaves it up to the rest of us to bring these feral killers to heel. Every day the current occupant of the White House bends over backward to avoid saying “Muslim terrorist” is a day of increasing threat – – and frankly, said occupant could not care less. After all the REAL threat according to him is man made global warming.

    • The Donald reminds me a lot of the late Jesse Helms: you may not like what he says, but you can count on the fact that he will not cut or trim his opinion to fit a specific listener or interest group. Both tell/told the truth as they see it. One is of course able to disagree, but the opinions held are honest ones. Frankly I’d rather have an honest person in high office than one who lies or dissembles to s u c k up to this or that particular audience. For that reason – – though I would never vote for him – – I much prefer Bernie Sanders to Queen-in-waiting Hillary (who got booted off the Watergate committee staff for being caught in far to many lies). Like The Donald and Jessie, Bernie tells the truth as he honestly sees it.

      • I think the one thing that ALL VOTERS should realize is that TRUMP is not owned by any special interest group. He has not be bought by anyone by way of donations to his campaign like the rest of the candidates. YES, he is kinda off at times but I think that he’s saying things out of the box to generate opposition and by doing so he does not have to pay a cent for advertisements….SMART BUGGA…

        • Nailed it! Trump doesn’t PC in his mind set nor “POLITICS comes first before TRUTH”!

      • Honest? “Politifact fact checked a total of 70 statements made by Donald Trump and found something interesting. Turns out, 3 out 4 times Trump speaks he is lying or incorrect. Trump has earned a “Pants on Fire” rating from the non-partisan fact checkers. Of those 70, not a single one was rated “True.” Trump is the post-factual candidate. All lies, all the time, and his low-information fans love it.

        • You neglect to mention that low information fans also love Obama who lies almost every time he opens his mouth.

        • Here’s a suggestion for you. Don’t vote for him. Maybe it’s time for a different group of “low information” voters to have a chance. We got Barry from the other group, and we’ve seen how that’s worked out.

  • Add Jews to folks he has managed to offend. Whose left? Only the poor white downtrodden who have to find scapegoats for their misery. Trump is playing to this minority.

  • I was watching television with my 14 year old daughter and she said while watching the San Bernadino shootings. “Whats wrong with America Daddy? “I am scared”.
    The problem is leadership. Obama has destroyed America and put us back 50 years. At no time in my life including under Jimmy Carter do I recall America being in such bad shape. Riots in the streets, open borders, anarchy in schools, failed foreign policy and a President that refuses to protect America and lead the World.

  • Unfortunately, the Obama/Hillary Administration has not kept America safe, and the voters are looking for someone, anyone who will strengthen us and not bow to political correctness. Right now, Trump is the man, but he is the creation of the Hillary/Obama policies.

    • When Bush II was warned, “Bin Ladin Determined To Strike in US,” he replied, “All right. Now you’ve covered your a__.” and went fishing. How did that work out?

      • Bubba Clinton threw a couple of fire crackers at UBL and stopped because he got distracted with Monica, this before GW got into office…and now Obama said ISIS is a JV team….look who’s quiet and can’t even say “Radical Islamic Terrorist”

  • In the New York Review of Books, Umberto Eco, in an essay titled “Ur-Fascism,” lists the characteristics of fascism and seven of them seem to describe Trumpism: They are: A cult of “action for action’s sake,” where “thinking is a form of emasculation”; an intolerance of “analytical criticism,” where disagreement is condemned; a profound “fear of difference,” where leaders appeal against “intruders”; appeals to individual and social frustration and specifically a “frustrated middle class” suffering from “feelings of political humiliation and frightened by the pressure of lower social groups”; a nationalist identity set against internal and external enemies (an “obsession with a plot”); a feeling of humiliation by the “ostentatious wealth and force of their enemies”; a “popular elitism” where “every citizen belongs to the best people of the world” and underscored by contempt for the weak; and a celebration of aggressive (and often violent) masculinity.

  • The Mayo Clinic’s description of Narcissistic Personality Disorder is a pretty good description of Trump: “Narcissistic personality disorder is one of several types of personality disorders. Personality disorders are conditions in which people have traits that cause them to feel and behave in socially distressing ways, limiting their ability to function in relationships and other areas of their life, such as work or school.

    If you have narcissistic personality disorder, you may come across as conceited, boastful or pretentious. You often monopolize conversations. You may belittle or look down on people you perceive as inferior. You may feel a sense of entitlement — and when you don’t receive special treatment, you may become impatient or angry. You may insist on having “the best” of everything — for instance, the best car, athletic club or medical care.

    At the same time, you have trouble handling anything that may be perceived as criticism. You may have secret feelings of insecurity, shame, vulnerability and humiliation. To feel better, you may react with rage or contempt and try to belittle the other person to make yourself appear superior. Or you may feel depressed and moody because you fall short of perfection.”

  • Trump re-tweeted totally false and completely racist crime statistics. When he was questioned about it, he said, “It came from sources that are very credible.” In fact, the fake statistics came from a neo-nazi source whose online avatar is a swastika.

  • Hours before the San Bernadino shooting, Trump appeared on the Alex Jones radio show and, praised the host, saying, “Your reputation is amazing. I will not let you down.” Jones is a conspiracy theorist who claims that the government staged 9/11, that the Sandy Hook shooting was a “false flag” plot, and later suggested that the San Bernadino shooting was also faked. You know Trump by the company he keeps.

  • You can tell when you hit a nerve when the Obamabots come out and start frothing at the mouth about what a fascist Trump and the GOP candidates are. They have no problem spouting BS, and if they keep repeating it, they hope the American public will believe it, but the actions of the inept Hillary/Obama Administration speaks for itself, so look to the Obamabots to increase the bloviating.

  • Anyone who defends this lousy administration we have now is a complete fool or on the take… whether it be welfare or union membership or government employment

  • He’s right. This was not an “incident”, or “workplace violence”. This is a full blown case of Domestic Islamic Terrorism….everybody knows it, but Odummy just will not dis his brothers in arms like that.

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