comscore Obama meets with national security team on Islamic State | Honolulu Star-Advertiser
Top News

Obama meets with national security team on Islamic State


    President Barack Obama paused while speaking at the Treasury Department in Washington, Tuesday, following a meeting with his National Security Council to get updates on the investigation into the attack in Orlando, Florida and review efforts to degrade and destroy ISIL.

WASHINGTON » President Barack Obama today delivered a scathing rebuke of Donald Trump’s anti-Muslim rhetoric, blasting the Republican presidential nominee’s immigration proposals as dangerous and “not the America we want.”

Speaking to reporters after a briefing on the Orlando shooting, Obama said Trump’s call for tougher talk on terrorism and a strict ban on Muslim immigration would undermine American values. Obama said the proposals would make Muslim Americans feel betrayed by their government.

The president’s remarks were his first reaction to Trump’s speech Monday after Sunday’s mass shooting — and perhaps his strongest yet on the threat he sees the businessman candidate poses to the U.S. politics and security.

Obama said Trump’s plan to bar foreign Muslims from entering the U.S. ignored America’s history of targeting ethnic and religious groups amid a period of anxiety.

“We’ve gone through moments in our history before when we acted out of fear and we came to regret it,” Obama told reporters. “We’ve seen our government mistreat our fellow citizens and it has been a shameful part of our history.”

“Where does this stop?” he said.

Obama directly addressed a specific critique lodged not only by Trump, but by other top Republicans, that his counterterrorism efforts have been hampered by his refusal to use the phrase “radical Islam” when describing the forces urging attacks like the one in Orlando.

Obama called that criticism a “political talking point.”

“There’s no magic to the phrase ‘radical Islam,’” he said. “If someone seriously thinks we don’t know who we’re fighting, if there’s anyone out there who thinks we’re confused about who our enemies are, that would come as a surprise to the thousands of terrorists we’ve taken off the battlefield.”

His rhetoric ignores America’s “shameful”

Obama is arguing that treating Muslim-Americans differently won’t make the U.S. safer. He says it will make the country less safe by fueling the notion among followers of the Islamic State group that the West hates Muslims.

Obama lashed out a day after presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump doubled down on his proposal to temporarily ban foreign Muslims from entering the U.S.

Obama says the U.S. was founded on freedom of religion and that there are no religious tests in America.

He says such talk makes Muslim-Americans feel like their government is betraying them.

Obama commented after meeting with his national security advisers on the threat posed by IS. He also was briefed on the investigation into the Orlando nightclub shooting.

pushing back against those challenging him to describe recent terrorist attacks in the United States as the work of radical Islam.

Obama is questioning what the label would accomplish and says that calling a threat by a different name doesn’t make it go away.

He says such labels won’t make Americans safer, but will make them less safe by fueling the notion that the West hates Muslims.

Obama is speaking after meeting with his National Security Council. The meeting was scheduled before the mass shooting at an Orlando nightclub.

He says the military campaign against the Islamic State group is “firing on all cylinders” with coalition forces taking out more than 120 of the group’s top leaders and commanders.

Comments (22)

By participating in online discussions you acknowledge that you have agreed to the Terms of Service. An insightful discussion of ideas and viewpoints is encouraged, but comments must be civil and in good taste, with no personal attacks. If your comments are inappropriate, you may be banned from posting. Report comments if you believe they do not follow our guidelines.

Having trouble with comments? Learn more here.

Leave a Reply

  • “Make America Great Again”. Obama blasting the Republican presidential nominee’s immigration proposals as dangerous and “not the America we want”. Who is we?

  • Be very careful what you ask for. Trump is heading down a very slippery slope. There are radical Islamic groups in other countries made up on other ethnicities. Who will Trump ban and deport next? Do we paint big red X’s on the front doors of those we suspect to be terrorists?

    • Although Obama would like to blame Bush, the ISIS fanatics are Obama Fault!!! Obama failed to contain ISIS and classified them as a junior varsity team! lol, Obama failed in containing these Radical Islamic groups in the MidEast and now we are seeing their wrath in the States. Obama is the WORSE President ever in the US history and he’s even willing to import thousands of Syrian Refugees into the US who have no background checks and if they do now, it’s all fixed jobs on the paperwork! Obama Failed!!!

    • Part of the weakness of the US handling of the threat is that the federal law enforcement forces are stretched too thin. It’s time to bring in the legions of local police to help the feds manage the threat. Mayor De Blasio killed a model program to integrate the federal threat protection with the NYPD, which was working to help keep NYC safe from Orlando style attacks.

    • Dat’s why TheDonald wants to put a freeze of allowing Muslims to enter the US until the US can figure out what and how to vet any person from war torn MidEast to travel here. It doesn’t matter of one’s ethnicity, it’s about the Muslim/Islam culture overseas and NOT Muslims already here legally in the US.

    • Another “Half Truther”. Everyone who actually does the work and is not running for or occupying a political office has told those who would listen repeatedly the actual situation. First Middle Eastern “Refugees” cannot be properly vetted. They don’t have record keeping systems as complete and accurate as is needed. We don’t know who they are or why they’re here. Second, neither I nor any Republican is afraid of old women or babies regardless of what President Obama says or thinks is funny. Again, look at the actual pictures of emigres to other countries. Over 80% are males between 18 and thirty. Either by themselves or in groups. This demographic is coincidentally similar to Middle Eastern Terrorists/Jihadist who scream “Allahu Akbar” prior to murdering “Infidels”. Why did you come to this country if you don’t want to share its communities and values? We have enough homegrown bigots, racists and garden variety criminals. We don’t need to import more. “Slippery Slope” is a catch phrase that can and is liberally applied to anything the user doesn’t agree with emotionally, rather than rationally. We don’t paint “X’s” on anyone’s door. We also don’t tolerate Sharia Law replacing the U.S Constitution. Ask someone who has actually lived under Sharia Law and legitimately fled that situation because it is so repressive and dangerous to human life before you decide we shouldn’t concern ourselves with who enters our country and why they are here. Like him or not, Ronald Reagan has been proven right again. Weakness only invites aggression. Ask the people of France, Germany and England what liberal refugee immigration has brought them.

      • I think you’re right on every point. Mostly young Sunni, and not a Christian in the bunch.
        Christian refugees, the few there are, are eager to assimilate.
        The muslims don’t. They settle in ethnic enclaves like the banlieus in France where French cops wont go. The same with Minnesota.
        The shariah is incompatible with individual freedom, and everything America stands for. All of the polls I have seen on these invaders clearly state they favor shariah law.

    • Markat, Trump will ban and deport anyone supporting or is a member of a Radical Islamic Terrorist gang, no matter what ethnicity. The FBI and ICE have most of their names and records, yet President Obama, through executive policy, refuses to deport them. Look at GITMO and the Radical Islamic Terrorists detained there. President Obama intends to release them back in the World to kill gays and Christians. Difficult to figure this current Administration.

    • Markat, you ask who trump will ban and deport next. For there to be someone deported next there needs to be someone already deported. Who did Trump deport?

  • Just as Pres O is misinformed about the role of Is lam in the Renaissance, so is he wrong about the American republic being founded on “Freedom of Religion”. He means freedom from a state religion. The O admin funds a religion by sponsoring immigrants who profess that particular religion. Pres O personally favors it as part of his own heritage. He should be hands off. He’s not, therefore Mr T has the same right although approaching it from a different viewpoint.

  • Did anyone notice the obvious similarities between Obama’s and Clinton’s speeches? Seems like the read of the same paper. The point is that if you vote for Clinton, you vote for Obama. Not saying if you should vote for Clinton or Trump, but he choice is “something different” or “more of the same”. That’s the choice in this presidential election.

  • Obama said Trump’s call for tougher talk on terrorism and a strict ban on Muslim immigration would undermine American values. He seems not to understand that it is a way of life for Muslims to discriminate against woman, gays, lesbians, trans genders and non-Muslims and that a strict ban on Muslim immigration would actually prevent American values from being undermined by Muslim immigrants.

    • You don’t understand that demonizing the very people who have been helping police across the country disrupt plots is not productive. Thankfully, people who can think – like police chiefs, for instance – know actual facts, and are pleading with Mr. Trump to shut his mouth.

      I wouldn’t expect you to know any better (why start today?) but the Republican nominee should have at least one advisor who can ask him to be quiet.

      • Kalastri, you are a bigger a$$ than the Democrat Party symbol. Yes, we have to work with Muslims who already are here, but it is insane to bring in more Muslims unless and until they can be properly screened and vetted to provide reasonable assurances that they will accept and abide by American values and be law-abiding Americans. It is true that not all Muslims are terrorists, but it also is true that most terrorists are Muslims. These are simple facts you seem to ignore.

    • I’m reading the latest polls that show Mr. Trump now trailing Mrs. Clinton by 12 points.

      Folks are now predicting historic landslide of more than 300 electoral votes!

  • Oh, Obama’s usual angry look. He’s always angry about anybody else’s opinions or suggestions. Only Obama knows what’s best for us and the rest of the world. He is Big Brother spying on everybody.

  • “His rhetoric ignores America’s “shameful”.” HUH??? What does this mean? Also Obama keeps suggesting that people/Trump are talking about treating Muslim-Americans differently. Who’s asking for that? I think what people are saying is, hold up bringing in Muslims refugees from the Mid-East until they can be properly vetted. It puzzles me that Obama seems so quick to side with blacks, as in black lives matter, who are killed by whites, yet he is totally opposed to siding with people/Americans who are being killed by radical Islamists.

Click here to see our full coverage of the coronavirus outbreak. Submit your coronavirus news tip.

Be the first to know
Get web push notifications from Star-Advertiser when the next breaking story happens — it's FREE! You just need a supported web browser.
Subscribe for this feature

Scroll Up