Obama urges respect amid Trump furore

2015-12-10 05:45
President Barack Obama speaks during an event to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the 13th amendment that abolished slavery. (Evan Vucci, AP)

President Barack Obama speaks during an event to celebrate the 150th anniversary of the 13th amendment that abolished slavery. (Evan Vucci, AP)

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Washington - President Barack Obama used an event commemorating the end of slavery to pointedly call for tolerance and respect on Wednesday, amid a political firestorm after Donald Trump proposed to bar Muslims from entering the country.

In a speech at the US Capitol marking the 150th anniversary of the 13th amendment - which banned slavery - Obama did not mention the Republican presidential candidate by name, but made the political context clear.

"Remember that our freedom is bound up with the freedom of others, regardless of what they look like... or what faith they practice," he said, to loud cheers from lawmakers.

He urged Americans to do what previous generations had done and "rise above cynicism and fear".

Obama's comments were much more subtle than those of his lieutenants, who have roundly condemned Trump's remarks.

The White House on Tuesday angrily challenged Republicans to denounce their party's presidential frontrunner. 

Painting Trump as a "carnival barker" with "fake hair" whose campaign belonged in the "dustbin of history", White House spokesperson Josh Earnest said Trump's plan should disqualify him from office.

Read more on:    donald trump  |  barack obama  |  us  |  religion

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