The bodies were not yet cold in an Orlando nightclub, the scene of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history early Sunday morning, before presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, took advantage of the slaughter by demanding the resignation of President Barack Obama and boasting about his supposed “call” of the massacre. At least 50 people were killed 53 were wounded, some critically.
A gunman who reportedly declared his loyalty to the terror group ISIS immediately before the attacks, shot more than 100 people in a gay nightclub in the Florida city early in the morning before being killed by police at about 5 a.m. Reports began filtering early, but most vastly understated the scope of the horror.
By lunchtime, though, Trump was already out on social media claiming credit for his warnings about terrorism and immigration.
Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don't want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
About an hour later, he was back on Twitter, declaring that unless President Obama responded to the attacks in precisely the way Trump wanted him to, he ought to “resign in disgrace.”
Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn't he should immediately resign in disgrace!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
Later in the day, Trump would go back to Twitter to remind his followers, “I called it” and to reinforce his call for a ban on Muslims entering the U.S. This despite the fact that the shooter, Omar Mateen, was born in the United States.
His campaign also issued a statement from the man who is now the de facto leader of the Republican Party that said, in part, “If we do not get tough and smart real fast, we are not going to have a country anymore. Because our leaders are weak, I said this was going to happen – and it is only going to get worse. I am trying to save lives and prevent the next terrorist attack. We can't afford to be politically correct anymore.”
It’s not entirely clear what it was Trump was claiming that he had predicted that others didn’t. The likelihood -- even virtual inevitability -- of terrorist attacks on U.S. soil is a pretty widely accepted in the intelligence community.
How we react to them as a society -- whether by panicking and demanding blanket restrictions on members of a certain religion, or by taking measured steps to protect people in the U.S. without sacrificing the civil liberties that have made us who we are -- will speak volumes about the country we will be going forward.
Donald Trump has made his choice abundantly clear.