Obama blasts Trump's anti-Muslim rhetoric - "not the America we want"

US President Barack Obama on Tuesday blasted Republicans who have accused him of being reluctant to directly address the terrorist threat and criticized Donald Trump for his proposal to ban Muslim immigrants.

Republicans have criticized Obama for not using the phrase "radical Islam" when discussing terrorism. Obama called the discussion over his refusal to use the phrase a "political distraction" that would not change the US fight against terrorism.

"There's no magic to the phrase radical Islam. It's a political talking point, it's not a strategy," Obama said after meeting with his national security team to discuss the fight against Islamic State militants.

Obama insisted he had been clear that extremists had perverted Islam and that his goal was to be clear that the United States was not targeting all Muslims.

He said "loose talk and sloppiness" had led to proposals by Trump to ban all Muslims and implicating entire communities in violence.

"Do Republican officials actually agree with this? Because that's not the America we want," Obama said.

Giving into calls to single out Muslims would be an abandonment of US values and allow the terrorists to win, he said. "We would have betrayed the very things we are trying to protect."

A terrorist attack on a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, has prompted a round of finger pointing on US terrorism policy, with Trump renewing calls Monday for a ban on Muslim immigration in order to prevent potential terrorists from entering the country. The gunman in Sunday's attack was a US-born citizen whose parents had come to the country from Afghanistan.

Last update: Tue, 28/06/2016 - 17:25

More from World

Reports: Dozens killed in church collapse in Nigeria

Dozens of people were killed in Uyo in southern Nigeria Saturday when a church collapsed/ according to reports.

Report: Trump to nominate Exxon chief for secretary of state

US president-elect Donald Trump will nominate Exxon Mobil chief executive Rex Tillerson to be his secretary of state...

15 killed, 69 injured in Istanbul: ministry

Attacks in Istanbul near a football stadium Saturday killed 15 people and injured 69, a Turkish government official...

Turkish government imposes broadcast ban after explosions in Istanbul

The Turkish government has imposed a broadcast ban in the country on Saturday night, state-run news agency Anadolu...

Iran summons British ambassador over prime minister's remarks

The Iranian Foreign Ministry summoned the British ambassador concerning remarks made earlier this week by Prime...