CNN's Jake Tapper on Monday called for GOP presumptive presidential nominee Donald Trump to clarify comments he made on morning TV shows that some have interpreted to mean he is saying President Barack Obama is in sympathy with radical Islamic terrorists.
Trump came under fire from various news sources after he gave interviews Monday
morning to the "Today" show and "Fox & Friends" in which slammed Obama for not taking a tougher stance against terrorists.
"He doesn't get it, or he gets it better than anybody understands. It's one or the other, and neither one is acceptable," Trump told "Fox & Friends."
Asked about the comments on "Today," Trump said, "Well, there are a lot of people that think maybe he doesn't want to get it. A lot of people think maybe he doesn't want to know about it. I happen to think that he just doesn't know what he's doing. But there are many people that think maybe he doesn't want to get it. He doesn't want to see what's really happening."
That led from speculation in the media ranging from Trump was calling Obama a closet Muslim to saying he was sympathetic to terrorists. A Washington Post headline
that originally read, "Donald Trump seems to connect President Obama to Orlando shooting" may have been what got the newspaper's press credentials to his campaign events revoked.
Tapper, on his CNN program "The Lead,
" implored Trump to clarify.
"Because an accusation by a major party presidential nominee that an American president sympathizes with these religious fanatics who bring nothing but hatred and death throughout the world and killed, in cold blood, 49 innocent people just a few hours ago in Orlando, well, that accusation would be ridiculous, and frankly, truly offensive," Tapper said.
Trump's campaign did not respond to a request to explain what he meant, Tapper said, but during an interview later on Fox News Channel's "The O'Reilly Factor,
" host Bill O'Reilly gave him a chance to further define his statements.
"I can't define it," Trump said. "I mean, nobody knows what's going on. Nobody knows why he doesn't have more anger, why he doesn't have more competitive zeal … to knock them out."
On Fox News Channel's "The Kelly File
," Trump spokesperson Katrina Pierson had a question of her own about Obama.
"This is also a president who has gone out in public speeches and said that civilization owes a debt to Islam," she said. "What does that mean?"
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