“For now, we can say for certain that we need to redouble our efforts to defend our country from threats at home and abroad,” Clinton said in a statement released by her campaign. “That means defeating international terror groups, working with allies and partners to go after them wherever they are, countering their attempts to recruit people here and everywhere, and hardening our defenses at home. It also means refusing to be intimidated and staying true to our values.”
She also said that it was an “act of hate” and noted that it took place during Pride month.”To the LGBT community: please know that you have millions of allies across our country. I am one of them. We will keep fighting for your right to live freely, openly and without fear,” she said. “Hate has absolutely no place in America.” She added that “we need to keep guns like the ones used last night out of the hands of terrorists or other violent criminals.”
On Twitter, Trump wrote, “Horrific incident in FL. Praying for all the victims & their families. When will this stop? When will we get tough, smart & vigilant?”
He later tweeted, “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism. I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!” Bernie Sanders also released a statement. “All Americans are horrified, disgusted and saddened by the horrific atrocity in Orlando,” he said.
“At this point we do not know whether this was an act of terrorism, a terrible hate crime against gay people or the act of a very sick person, but we extend our heartfelt condolences to the victims’ families and loved ones and our thoughts are with the injured and the entire Orlando LGBTQ community.”
Update: Trump’s campaign released a lengthier statement Sunday afternoon, calling on President Obama to resign.
“In his remarks today, President Obama disgracefully refused to even say the words ‘Radical Islam’. For that reason alone, he should step down. If Hillary Clinton, after this attack, still cannot say the two words ‘Radical Islam’ she should get out of this race for the Presidency.
“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.”
The gunman, identified as Omar Mateen, was a U.S. citizen born in New York.