Clinton: Get back the spirit of 9/12

2016-06-13 21:25
Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally in Cleveland.  (Andrew Harnik, AP)

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton speaks at a rally in Cleveland. (Andrew Harnik, AP)

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Washington - Presumptive Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton is calling on Americans to "get back to the spirit of 9/12", the day after the worst attacks on US soil, when Americans came together with the world to condemn terrorism.

This follows the massacre at an Orlando nightclub, in which 49 people died before the shooter, Omar Manteen, was killed in a shoot-out with police.

Clinton noted that then-Republican President George W Bush travelled to a Muslim community centre six days after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks and told Americans then that any retribution against Muslim Americans would not stand.

Her likely Republican presidential rival, Donald Trump, was the clear subtext to her speech. He has called for banning Muslims for an indeterminate time and congratulated himself on predicting more mass shootings like the one in Orlando.

Clinton said the deadly shooting in Orlando was "a moment when all Americans need to stand together".

She said the US should attack home-grown terrorism with "clear eyes" and "steady hands".

Clinton said in Cleveland that the biggest mass shooting in the country's history broke the nation's collective heart, tore at the country's sense of security and infuriated Americans.

She said the country faced a "twisted ideology and a poisoned psychology" that inspired the so-called "lone wolf" and vowed to make identifying and prosecuting these types of attackers a top priority.

'Terrible intel gathering'

Republican Donald Trump said "terrible intelligence-gathering" was hampering efforts to protect the United States.

"This is a case of surveillance," he said on CNN. "You will find that many people that knew him [the Orlando shooter] felt that he was a whack job."

Trump also said in a phone-interview with NBC's Today show that he would not support a ban on the sale of assault-style rifles in the wake of the weekend massacre at the Orlando gay nightclub.

He told the network "there are millions" of such weapons already in circulation and said he didn't think instituting a ban would help.

"Absolutely, I wouldn't" support such a prohibition, the real estate mogul said, "because people need protection".

He said a ban essentially would mean "the bad guys would have assault rifles and the people needing protection will be standing there with BB guns."

Trump harshly criticised President Barack Obama for referring on Sunday to a "terror" attack without going further.

"He's not calling it what it is," Trump said. "This is radical Islamic terrorism. He doesn't want to properly describe it. And if you don't want to discuss it and describe it, you're not going to solve the problem."

Read more on:    hillary clinton  |  us  |  9/11 attacks  |  orlando shooting  |  us 2016 elections

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