Donald Trump responded to sharp criticism from President Barack Obama on Tuesday, telling The Associated Press that while Obama says he “claims to know our enemy” he “continues to prioritise our enemy over our allies, and for that matter, the American people.”
Trump added to the AP that “when I am president, it will always be America first.”
In a blistering statement delivered at the Treasury Department on Tuesday, Obama skewered the presumptive Republican nominee for his rhetoric on Muslims, seeming to particularly address a national-security speech Trump delivered Monday in the wake of the Orlando terror attack.
“Where does this stop?” Obama rhetorically asked.
The president added: “Are we going to start treating all Muslim Americans differently? Are we going to start subjecting them to special surveillance?”
Obama also fought back against criticism from Trump for his refusal to use the phrase “radical Islam.”
“What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change? “Would it make ISIL less committed to try and kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is none of the above,” Obama said.
Obama’s remarks on Tuesday served as his strongest rebuttal yet against Trump. The New York businessman relentlessly criticises the president, who typically opts not to directly respond.
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