Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump delivered a speech in Manchester this afternoon, during which he discussed Sunday’s shooting in Orlando and criticized Hillary Clinton for her immigration policy.
This was one of Trump’s rare addresses delivered from a teleprompter, despite the fact that he routinely criticizes his opponents for reading prepared remarks. Trump doubled down on his proposal to ban all Muslims from entering the United States in response to shootings like the one that occurred in Orlando. He suggested this ban would last until a system can be developed to accurately screen these people entering the country, though he provided no specifics about his potential system.
In the speech, Trump also claimed the Orlando shooter was born in Afghanistan, using this as evidence to support his immigration proposal. In fact, the killer was born in New York; this line about the man’s birthplace does not appear in the transcript, so it seems as if Trump may have either misspoken or improvised that line.
Here is the full transcript of Donald Trump’s terrorism address:
Thank you for joining me today.
This was going to be a speech on Hillary Clinton and how bad a President, especially in these times of Radical Islamic Terrorism, she would be.
Even her former Secret Service Agent, who has seen her under pressure and in times of stress, has stated that she lacks the temperament and integrity to be president.
There will be plenty of opportunity to discuss these important issues at a later time, and I will deliver that speech soon.
But today there is only one thing to discuss: the growing threat of terrorism inside of our borders.
The attack on the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando, Florida, was the worst terrorist strike on our soil since September 11th, and the worst mass shooting in our country’s history.
So many people dead, so many people gravely injured, so much carnage, such a disgrace.
The horror is beyond description.
The families of these wonderful people are totally devastated. Likewise, our whole nation, and indeed the whole world, is devastated.
We express our deepest sympathies to the victims, the wounded, and their families.
We mourn, as one people, for our nation’s loss – and pledge our support to any and all who need it.
I would like to ask now that we all observe a moment of silence for the victims of the attack.
Our nation stands together in solidarity with the members of Orlando’s LGBT Community.
This is a very dark moment in America’s history.
A radical Islamic terrorist targeted the nightclub not only because he wanted to kill Americans, but in order to execute gay and lesbian citizens because of their sexual orientation.
It is a strike at the heart and soul of who we are as a nation.
It is an assault on the ability of free people to live their lives, love who they want and express their identity.
It is an attack on the right of every single American to live in peace and safety in their own country.
We need to respond to this attack on America as one united people – with force, purpose and determination.
But the current politically correct response cripples our ability to talk and think and act clearly.
If we don’t get tough, and we don’t get smart – and fast – we’re not going to have a country anymore — there will be nothing left.
The killer, whose name I will not use, or ever say, was born to Afghan parents who immigrated to the United States. His father published support for the Afghan Taliban, a regime which murders those who don’t share its radical views. The father even said he was running for President of that country.
The bottom line is that the only reason the killer was in America in the first place was because we allowed his family to come here.
That is a fact, and it’s a fact we need to talk about.
We have a dysfunctional immigration system which does not permit us to know who we let into our country, and it does not permit us to protect our citizens.
We have an incompetent administration, and if I am not elected President, that will not change over the next four years — but it must change, and it must change now.
With fifty people dead, and dozens more wounded, we cannot afford to talk around the issue anymore — we have to address it head on.
I called for a ban after San Bernardino, and was met with great scorn and anger but now, many are saying I was right to do so — and although the pause is temporary, we must find out what is going on. The ban will be lifted when we as a nation are in a position to properly and perfectly screen those people coming into our country.
The immigration laws of the United States give the President the power to suspend entry into the country of any class of persons that the President deems detrimental to the interests or security of the United States, as he deems appropriate.
I will use this power to protect the American people. When I am elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world when there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies, until we understand how to end these threats.
After a full, impartial and long overdue security assessment, we will develop a responsible immigration policy that serves the interests and values of America.
We cannot continue to allow thousands upon thousands of people to pour into our country, many of whom have the same thought process as this savage killer.
Many of the principles of Radical Islam are incompatible with Western values and institutions.
Radical Islam is anti-woman, anti-gay and anti-American.
I refuse to allow America to become a place where gay people, Christian people, and Jewish people, are the targets of persecution and intimidation by Radical Islamic preachers of hate and violence.
It’s not just a national security issue. It is a quality of life issue.
If we want to protect the quality of life for all Americans – women and children, gay and straight, Jews and Christians and all people – then we need to tell the truth about Radical Islam.
We need to tell the truth, also, about how Radical Islam is coming to our shores.
We are importing Radical Islamic Terrorism into the West through a failed immigration system — and through an intelligence community held back by our president.
Even our own FBI Director has admitted that we cannot effectively check the backgrounds of the people we are letting into America.
All of the September 11th hijackers were issued visas.
Large numbers of Somali refugees in Minnesota have tried to join ISIS.
The Boston Bombers came here through political asylum.
The male shooter in San Bernardino – again, whose name I won’t mention — was the child of immigrants from Pakistan, and he brought his wife – the other terrorist – from Saudi Arabia, through another one of our easily exploited visa programs.
Immigration from Afghanistan into the United States has increased nearly five-fold in just one year. According to Pew Research, 99% of people in Afghanistan support oppressive Sharia Law.
We admit many more from other countries in the region who share these same oppressive views.
If we want to remain a free and open society, then we have to control our borders.
Yet, Hillary Clinton – for months and despite so many attacks – repeatedly refused to even say the words “radical Islam,” until I challenged her yesterday to say the words or leave the race.
However, Hillary Clinton – who has been forced to say the words today after policies she supports have caused us so much damage – still has no clue what Radical Islam is, and won’t speak honestly about what it is.
She is in total denial, and her continuing reluctance to ever name the enemy broadcasts weakness across the world.
In fact, just a few weeks before the San Bernardino slaughter, Hillary Clinton explained her refusal to say the words Radical Islam. Here is what she said: “Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people, and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism.”
Hillary Clinton says the solution is to ban guns. They tried that in France, which has among the toughest gun laws in the world, and 130 were brutally murdered by Islamic terrorists in cold blood. Her plan is to disarm law-abiding Americans, abolishing the 2nd amendment, and leaving only the bad guys and terrorists with guns. She wants to take away Americans’ guns, then admit the very people who want to slaughter us.
I will be meeting with the NRA, which has given me their earliest endorsement in a Presidential race, to discuss how to ensure Americans have the means to protect themselves in this age of terror.
The bottom line is that Hillary supports the policies that bring the threat of Radical Islam into America, and allow it to grow overseas.
In fact, Hillary Clinton’s catastrophic immigration plan will bring vastly more Radical Islamic immigration into this country, threatening not only our security but our way of life.
When it comes to Radical Islamic terrorism, ignorance is not bliss – it’s deadly.
The Obama Administration, with the support of Hillary Clinton and others, has also damaged our security by restraining our intelligence-gathering and failing to support law enforcement. They have put political correctness above common sense, above your safety, and above all else.
I refuse to be politically correct.
I will do the right thing–I want to straighten things out and to Make America Great Again.
The days of deadly ignorance will end, and they will end soon.
As President I will give our intelligence community, law enforcement and military the tools they need to prevent terrorist attacks.
We need an intelligence-gathering system second to none. That includes better cooperation between state, local and federal officials – and with our allies.
I will have an Attorney General, a Director of National Intelligence, and a Secretary of Defense who will know how to fight the war on Radical Islamic Terrorism – and who will have the support they require to get the job done.
We also must ensure the American people are provided the information they need to understand the threat.
The Senate Subcommittee on Immigration has already identified hundreds of immigrants charged with terrorist activities inside the United States since September 11th.
Nearly a year ago, the Senate Subcommittee asked President Obama’s Departments of Justice, State and Homeland Security to provide the immigration history of all terrorists inside the United States.
These Departments refused to comply.
President Obama must release the full and complete immigration histories of all individuals implicated in terrorist activity of any kind since 9/11.
The public has a right to know how these people got here.
We have to screen applicants to know whether they are affiliated with, or support, radical groups and beliefs.
We have to control the amount of future immigration into this country to prevent large pockets of radicalization from forming inside America.
Even a single individual can be devastating, just look at what happened in Orlando. Can you imagine large groups?
Truly, our President doesn’t know what he is doing. He has failed us, and failed us badly, and under his leadership, this situation will not get any better — it will only get worse.
Each year, the United States permanently admits more than 100,000 immigrants from the Middle East, and many more from Muslim countries outside the Middle East. Our government has been admitting ever-growing numbers, year after year, without any effective plan for our security.
In fact, Clinton’s State Department was in charge of the admissions process for people applying to enter from overseas.
Having learned nothing from these attacks, she now plans to massively increase admissions without a screening plan, including a 500% increase in Syrian refugees.
This could be a better, bigger version of the legendary Trojan Horse.
We can’t let this happen.
Altogether, under the Clinton plan, you’d be admitting hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East with no system to vet them, or to prevent the radicalization of their children.
The burden is on Hillary Clinton to tell us why she believes immigration from these dangerous countries should be increased without any effective system to screen who we are bringing in.
The burden is on Hillary Clinton to tell us why we should admit anyone into our country who supports violence of any kind against gay and lesbian Americans.
The burden is also on Hillary Clinton to tell us how she will pay for it. Her plan will cost Americans hundreds of billions of dollars long-term.
Wouldn’t this money be better spent on rebuilding America for our current population, including the many poor people already living here?
We have to stop the tremendous flow of Syrian refugees into the United States – we don’t know who they are, they have no documentation, and we don’t know what they’re planning.
What I want is common sense. I want a mainstream immigration policy that promotes American values.
That is the choice I put before the American people: a mainstream immigration policy designed to benefit America, or Hillary Clinton’s radical immigration policy designed to benefit politically-correct special interests.
We’ve got to get smart, and tough, and vigilant, and we’ve got to do it now, because later is too late.
Ask yourself, who is really the friend of women and the LGBT community, Donald Trump with his actions, or Hillary Clinton with her words? Clinton wants to allow Radical Islamic terrorists to pour into our country—they enslave women, and murder gays.
I don’t want them in our country.
The terrorist attack on the Pulse Night Club demands a full and complete investigation into every aspect of the assault.
In San Bernardino, as an example, people knew what was going on, but they used the excuse of racial profiling for not reporting it.
We need to know what the killer discussed with his relatives, parents, friends and associates.
We need to know if he was affiliated with any radical Mosques or radical activists and what, if any, is their immigration status.
We need to know if he travelled anywhere, and who he travelled with.
We need to make sure every single last person involved in this plan – including anyone who knew something but didn’t tell us – is brought to justice.
If it can be proven that somebody had information about any attack, and did not give this information to authorities, they must serve prison time .
America must do more – much more – to protect its citizens, especially people who are potential victims of crimes based on their backgrounds or sexual orientations.
It also means we must change our foreign policy.
The decision to overthrow the regime in Libya, then pushing for the overthrow of the regime in Syria, among other things, without plans for the day after, have created space for ISIS to expand and grow.
These actions, along with our disastrous Iran deal, have also reduced our ability to work in partnership with our Muslim allies in the region.
That is why our new goal must be to defeat Islamic terrorism, not nation-building.
For instance, the last major NATO mission was Hillary Clinton’s war in Libya. That mission helped unleash ISIS on a new continent.
I’ve said NATO needs to change its focus to stopping terrorism. Since I’ve raised that criticism, NATO has since announced a new initiative focused on just that.
America must unite the whole civilized world in the fight against Islamic terrorism, just like we did against communism in the Cold War.
We’ve tried it President Obama’s way. He gave the world his apology tour, we got ISIS, and many other problems, in return.
I’d like to conclude my remarks today by again expressing our solidarity with the people of Orlando who have come under attack.
When I am President, I pledge to protect and defend all Americans who live inside of our borders. Wherever they come from, wherever they were born, all Americans living here and following our laws will be protected.
America will be a tolerant and open society.
America will also be a safe society.
We will protect our borders at home.
We will defeat ISIS overseas.
We will ensure every parent can raise their children in peace and safety.
We will make America rich again.
We will make America safe again.
We will make American Great Again.
The media talks about “homegrown,” terrorism, but Islamic radicalism, and the networks that nurture it, are imports from overseas.
Yes, there are many radicalized people already inside our country as a result of the poor policies of the past. But the whole point is that it will be much, much easier to deal with our current problem if we don’t keep on bringing in people who add to the problem.
For instance, the controversial Mosque attended by the Boston Bombers had as its founder an immigrant from overseas charged in an assassination plot.
This shooter in Orlando was the child of an immigrant father who supported one of the most repressive regimes on Earth. Why would we admit people who support violent hatred?
Hillary Clinton can never claim to be a friend of the gay community as long as she continues to support immigration policies that bring Islamic extremists to our country who suppress women, gays and anyone who doesn’t share their views.
She can’t have it both ways. She can’t claim to be supportive of these communities while trying to increase the number of people coming in who want to oppress them.
How does this kind of immigration make our life better? How does this kind of immigration make our country better?
Why does Hillary Clinton want to bring people here—in vast numbers—who reject our values?
Immigration is a privilege, and we should not let anyone into this country who doesn’t support our communities – all of our communities.
America has already admitted four times more immigrants than any country on earth, and we continue to admit millions more with no real checks or scrutiny.
Not surprisingly, wages for our workers haven’t budged in many years.
So whether it’s matter of national security, or financial security, we can’t afford to keep on going like this. We owe $19 trillion in debt, and no longer have options.
All our communities, from all backgrounds, are ready for some relief. This is not an act of offense against anyone; it is an act of defense.
I want us all to work together, including in partnership with our Muslim communities. But Muslim communities must cooperate with law enforcement and turn in the people who they know are bad – and they do know where they are.
I want to fix our schools, roads, bridges and job market. I want every American to succeed. Hillary Clinton wants to empty out the Treasury to bring people into the country that include individuals who preach hate against our own citizens.
I want to protect our citizens – all of our citizens.