WASHINGTON — President Barack Obama says anti-Muslim rhetoric from presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump is “not the America we want.”
Obama is arguing that treating Muslim-Americans differently won’t make the U.S. safer. He says it will make the country less safe by fueling the notion among followers of the Islamic State group that the West hates Muslims.
Obama lashed out a day after presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump doubled down on his proposal to temporarily ban foreign Muslims from entering the U.S.
Obama says the U.S. was founded on freedom of religion and that there are no religious tests in America.
He says such talk makes Muslim-Americans feel like their government is betraying them.
Obama commented after meeting with his national security advisers on the threat posed by the Islamic State. He also was briefed on the investigation into the Orlando nightclub shooting.
The president was expected to get an update on the investigation into the Orlando massacre and whether shooter Omar Mateen’s was inspired by the group or other international networks.
Obama will also be briefed on the effort to prevent what the White House describes as “lone wolf” attacks. He says thwarting those attacks is as difficult as fighting the Islamic State in the battlefield in Iraq and Syria.
The gathering of top officials at the Treasury Department was scheduled before Sunday’s mass shooting.
Obama had planned to tout progress in seizing territory from the Islamic State, restricting the group’s access to foreign fighters and cutting off its revenue sources.