As the hunt for the perpetrators of the attacks in Paris continues, Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump said that he is uniquely qualified to be commander-in-chief because he has an “instinct” for sensing threats.
“In my book I predicted terrorism. Because I can feel it,” said Trump, speaking to thousands of supporters packed into Tennessee’s Knoxville Convention Center. “I can feel it like I feel a good location.”
Trump, the billionaire businessman and former reality television star, was referring to a passage in one of his books, “The America We Deserve,” in which he warned of the threat posed by terrorism and referenced Osama Bin Laden as a “shadowy figure.”
The book was published in 2000, before the September 11 attacks, and Trump has taken to trumpeting the passage to prove that, despite his lack of foreign policy experience, he is qualified to be president.
Just like his nose for scouting a good location in real estate, Trump went on to say Monday, “I really believe I have an instinct for this kind of thing.”
“Nobody knew this kind of terrorism before. But I felt it. And you have to have somebody that has an instinct to lead this country,” he said.
Trump and his rivals have been working to articulate how they would respond to last week’s attacks in Paris, which killed at least 129 people and left hundreds wounded.
Trump has been increasingly aggressive in his rhetoric, saying last week that he would “bomb the s--- out of” Islamic State-controlled oil fields to choke their financing.
He repeated that phrase Monday, sparking chants of “Trump! Trump! Trump!” from the crowd.
“They’ve got to be stopped,” he said. “And they should have been stopped a long time ago. “
He also blamed President Barack Obama at least partially for the group’s rise. “When you’re weak and ineffective, bad stuff does happen,” said Trump, who opposes allowing any Syrian refugees into the country and vows to deport any Obama does admit.
Instead, he called for building “a big, beautiful safe zone” in Syria where refugees can wait out their brutal civil war. “Take a big swatch of land, which believe me, you get for the right price,” he said.
Earlier Monday, Trump reiterated that he would consider closing US mosques with radical leadership if he were elected president.