Donald Trump urged the United States to “get tough” against terrorists. | M. Scott Mahaskey/POLITICO
Donald Trump took credit for “being right on radical Islamic terrorism” in the wake of the worst mass shooting in American history Sunday.
The suspect in the attack, reportedly a U.S. citizen of Afghan descent named Omar Saddiqui Mateen, killed 50 people and injured another 53 during a rampage through a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. He died in a gunfight with SWAT officers after initially firing shots into the club and later taking hostages.
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“Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!” the presumptive Republican presidential nominee tweeted, though officials have yet to publicly confirm any ties to terrorism.
Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
Trump was the first remaining presidential candidate to speak about the massacre, tweeting Sunday morning about the “really bad shooting in Orlando.”
“Police investigating possible terrorism. Many people dead and wounded,” he wrote.
After the death toll had risen from an estimated to 20 to a confirmed 50 with dozens more injured, Trump tweeted again, offering his condolences and urging the U.S. to “get tough.”
“Horrific incident in FL. Praying for all the victims & their families,” he said. “When will this stop? When will we get tough, smart & vigilant?”
During the Republican primary, Trump repeatedly credited his statements linking terrorism to Islam for his high poll numbers.
“This is what I’ve been saying for a long time, and I guess it’s at least a small part of the reason why I’m the No. 1 front-runner,” he said in March after the terrorist attacks in Brussels. “I mean, people are very concerned about this, and they’re very concerned about the security of this country.”