President Obama calls Orlando shooting an ‘act of terror,’ other politicians react

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ORLANDO — President Barack Obama called the mass shooting at an LGBT Orlando nightclub Sunday an “act of terror” in remarks to the nation from the White House briefing room.

“We know enough to say this was an act of terror and an act of hate,” he said. “The FBI is appropriately investigating this as an act of terror. We will go wherever the facts lead us … What is clear is he was a person filled with hatred.”

At least 50 people were killed and 53 more wounded in the what is now the deadliest mass shooting in American history.

Obama said while it could have been any one of our communities, “this is an especially heartbreaking day for our friends who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.”

White House reacts

The President was briefed Sunday morning by several officials, including FBI Director James Comey and Lisa Monaco, Obama’s homeland security and counterterrorism adviser, according to the White House. He also ordered American flags to be lowered to half staff to honor the victims.

Vice President Joe Biden has also been briefed on the shooting and canceled a planned trip to Miami, Florida, to attend a fundraiser for Democratic National Committee chairwoman, Rep. Debbie Wasserman-Schultz.

Biden “offered his prayers for all those killed and injured in the shooting and sends his condolences to all the families and loved ones of the victims,” according to a statement from his spokesman.

The political world began to react to the shooting at the LBGT nightclub in the early Sunday morning hours.

The LGBT congressional caucus issued a statement saying they were “horrified by the tragic shooting.”

“Though details are still emerging, an attack during Pride Month against Pulse, an iconic gathering place for LGBT Floridians, has a particularly insidious impact on our entire community. Our thoughts and prayers are with everyone affected by this tragedy,” said Roddy Flynn, executive director of the LGBT Equality Caucus.

2016ers react

Hillary Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, offered a tweet signed “-H” to indicate it was from her personally.

“Woke up to hear the devastating news from FL. As we wait for more information, my thoughts are with those affected by this horrific act,” Clinton wrote.

And Clinton and Obama postponed the President’s first campaign appearance with her due to the shootings, her campaign said.

Obama and Clinton were to appear together at a rally Wednesday in Green Bay, Wisconsin.

Clinton echoed Obama’s language in a statement issued later on Sunday, calling the shooting an “act of terror” and an “act of hate.”

“For now, we can say for certain that we need to redouble our efforts to defend our country from threats at home and abroad,” she said. “That means defeating international terror groups, working with allies and partners to go after them wherever they are, countering their attempts to recruit people here and everywhere, and hardening our defenses at home. It also means refusing to be intimidated and staying true to our values.”

Clinton also called herself an ally of the LGBT community.

“We will keep fighting for your right to live freely, openly and without fear. Hate has absolutely no place in America,” she said.

And she issued another call for gun control laws, saying that “we need to keep guns like the ones used last night out of the hands of terrorists or other violent criminals.”

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders called it “horrific” and “unthinkable” and said it underscores the need for gun control measures.

“Oh, it’s horrific, it’s unthinkable. And just hopes go out to all those who were shot that they can recover,” the Democratic presidential contender said Sunday on NBC’s “Meet the Press.”

Later, in a statement, Sanders added: “At this point we do not know whether this was an act of terrorism, a terrible hate crime against gay people or the act of a very sick person, but we extend our heartfelt condolences to the victims’ families and loved ones and our thoughts are with the injured and the entire Orlando LGBTQ community.”

Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, issued a series of tweets, beginning by referring to the shooting as “possible terrorism.”

In a tweet Sunday morning, Trump said: “Really bad shooting in Orlando. Police investigating possible terrorism. Many people dead and wounded.”

He later added: “Horrific incident in FL. Praying for all the victims & their families. When will this stop? When will we get tough, smart & vigilant?”

Trump also tweeted: “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!”

And just before the President spoke, Trump tweeted: “Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn’t he should immediately resign in disgrace!”

“Reporting that Orlando killer shouted “Allah hu Akbar!” as he slaughtered clubgoers. 2nd man arrested in LA with rifles near Gay parade,” he added.

Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson called the shooting a “despicable attack.”

“Regardless of what the motivation is ultimately found to be, this violence against innocent people simply going about their lives is both cowardly and infuriating,” he said. “We must allow the authorities to do their jobs, understand how this attack came about, and then respond accordingly. It is not a time to either politicize or jump to conclusions.”

Floridians weigh in

Florida Gov. Rick Scott pledged to devote “every resource available” to helping after the shooting.

“My prayers are with the victims’ families & all those affected by the shooting in Orlando. We will devote every resource available to assist,” Scott tweeted.

Florida Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted: “Our prayers are with those injured and killed early this morning in horrifying act of terror in Orlando.”

Other politicians

Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus tweeted: “Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of the tragic Orlando attack and their families.”

A top Senate Democrat, Chuck Schumer of New York, wrote on Twitter: “Horrified and saddened by the appalling attack at Orlando LGBT nightclub. Praying for the victims and their families.”

New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo said: “Saddened to hear of the senseless mass shooting in Orlando. My thoughts are with the victims, the injured and their loved ones,” he tweeted.


  • Reagan is still the best

    Has nothing to do with gun laws Mrs President,CRIMINALS DON’T OBEY LAWS!!! Is it ANOTHER Muslim terrorist attack I wonder??? Ovomit is Muslim,he should know all the violence and destruction his religion has been,yet he wants all those Syrian refugees here. My prayers to the victims,those injured,and their families!!!


    Selling automatic weapons, you can’t buy them Sanders, you ass. More gun control won’t stop towelheads, Trump is right, kick them all out of the USA.

  • Libsareliars

    Typical democrat response. We need more gun control. We have had more mass shootings under this POS president than any other president.

  • Salvatore

    We must bring the fight to the terrorists, the democratic leftist apologist liberals will call this gun violence and call for gun control. This is an act of terrorism against citizens of the United States Of America. This administration has failed over and over again to protect it’s citizens. I can’t wait until Trump gets in the white house and turns up the heat on these scumbags. Liberals are free to move to their safe space.

  • B

    U dummies!!No matter if the the President ban all guns ..ppl will still kill.drugs are against the law…and u can get any drug u wan off the streets or on online..

  • hu4mx

    Enough is enough with political correctness. Muslims have carried out the deadliest terrorist attacks in the past few decades. They have to be stopped. My gay son’s life is way more important than offending Muslims for being under the radar. Not a single innocent life again. Viva Señor Trump! Take this from a Mexican!

  • Kaitara

    I can already tell you what obama’s message will center around. Uhhh Lone Wolf, uhhh gun control, uhhhh Republicans and NRA to blame for blocking gun control legislation, and I would be very surprised if he used the “T” word (terrorism).

    At this point it doesn’t matter if the gun was legal or illegal. It won’t change anything. If he couldn’t get a legal gun he would get an illegal gun. He was on a mission. You can go in any major city, morning, noon or night and if you are in the wrong part of town, score a weapon. All you need is cash. No gun control legislation will ever stop that.

    • Clemenza

      This is a willful assault on 50 people by the islamic state terrorist that called 911 and said he pledged allegiance to isis and also yelled islamic quotes as he was slaughtering our gays. Now another terrorist was stopped in LA with weapons going to a pride parade per LAtimes.

      • Ted Decker

        I want to know why a person of any color or nation can walk into a store and ask for body armor and just get refused. I am thinking RED FLAG jerk. Why did he not call the POLICE. So my thought is if he did not call the POLICE to tell them a Sandy colored person walk in and asked for body armor he should be shut down

  • Andrew West

    This was not about Orlando. Or Florida. Or America – it was about homosexuality.

    Religion killed dozens of gay people today BECAUSE of religious beliefs, beliefs shared by most major religions. The big lie “homosexuality is wrong,” was invented by Religion. That’s what happened. Of course it’s terror and a hate crime, but why? Religion and religious beliefs.

    Christians have killed millions because of their beliefs, too. Religion is the problem. Religion is the home of ancient fairy-tales, including the idea that homosexuality is wrong (among other silliness) and is the modern day home of ignorance. Religious people don’t pick their beliefs, they inherit them (94% of people are the same faith as their parents).

    It’s not guns. It’s not even “radical” beliefs – Muslims believe homosexuals should be killed, Christians believe they should be treated as “defective.” Religion made that lie up and Religion killed dozens of innocent people today, perhaps many of them religious.

    Grow up. It’s time to end religion. Religion = Ignorance.

  • John

    Blaming terrorists and people with mental issues is far easier than facing our sick obsessive love for guns. But whether it be individuals mental problems or terrorists, there is one common denominator, and that is the gun. But god forbid anyone should challenge the second amendment: the right to bare arms. Next, the idiotic president for the NRA will stand up and come out with some acid nine statement such as: “We need more good guys with guns.” Not until people give up their insane love for guns with this stop, but I don’t see that happening anytime soon. And on and on it goes, and the body count will continue to grow. I guess the ultimate question now becomes: When is the next massacre. The United States is the most violent country in the world.
    And when we get rid of the Muslims, who or whom do we blame then?

  • Ted Decker

    SHUT DOWN THE STORE OWNER IF HE DID NOY REPORT A PERSON ASKING FOR BODY ARMOR TO THE POLICE. This BS of sorry I can’t take your money and have a nice day has to stop.

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