White House hopeful Donald Trump vowed on Tuesday to “suspend immigration” from nations with a “proven history” of terrorism against the US or other allies, one day after the deadly attack on a Florida nightclub.
“When I’m elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies, until we fully understand how to end these threats,” Trump said in New Hampshire.
“We cannot continue to allow thousands upon thousands of people to pour into our country, many of whom have the same thought process as this savage killer.”
He said radical Muslim immigrants were “trying to take over our children and convince them how wonderful ISIS (Islamic State) is.”
After the worst mass murder in modern US history on Sunday left 50 dead, Trump’s speech was hastily refashioned from a broad critique of Democratic rival Hillary Clinton to a dire warning of the threat from Islamist militants.
Although Islamic State has claimed responsibility for the attack, US officials have maintained that Omar Mateen’s motives were unclear and that he had no known direct links with the Syria-based group. Mateen, they said, was likely radicalized over the Internet.
A week ago, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee’s bid was taking on water. He was being battered by fellow Republicans for his comments about the Hispanic heritage of a federal judge, and Clinton was pulling away in the polls.
A renewed focus on national security could provide Trump with the chance to expand his appeal both to undecided voters and to the Republican foreign-policy establishment.
While Trump at times seems to relish being at odds with the establishment, the unhappiness among the party’s hawks isn’t just a matter of hand-wringing. It means if Trump does reach the White House, he could have a difficult time recruiting talented, experienced advisers.