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Obama Calls 'Radical Islam' Term A "Political Distraction"

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MIAMI (CBSMiami) -- President Barack Obama, in a harsh tone, addressed criticism over not using the term "Radical Islam."

"What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIL less committed to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is none of the above," said Obama. "Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction."

Donald Trump is blasting the president over not using the term in connection to the Orlando massacre and calling on him to resign for not using the words.

Obama addressed the nation, Tuesday around noon, following a meeting on national security that had been scheduled before Sunday's attack in Orlando.

The president gave a brief update on the federal investigation into the Orlando massacre gunman Omar Mateen saying there is still no evidence that the attack was linked to outside sources.

"He appears to be a an angry, disturbed, unstable young man who became radicalized," said Obama.

The president said homegrown "lone actors" like Mateen and other "small cells of terrorists" are hard to detect and prevent.

"We are all sobered that despite the extraordinary hard work incidents like Orlando can occur," said Obama.

One way the president proposed preventing homegrown attacks is something that is causing controversy - gun control.

"Stop making it easiest as possible for terrorists to buy assault weapons," said Obama. "Despite all the sacrifices that folks make, these kind of events are going to keep happening and the weapons are only going to get more powerful."

On an international level, the president said anti-muslim rhetoric  is not the way to get the "America we want."

"Groups like ISIL and Al-Qaeda want to make this war between Islam and America or between Islam and the West," said Obama. "They want us to validate them."

He went on with a warning, "If we fall into the trap of painting all Muslims with a broad brush and imply that we are at war with an entire religion, then we are doing the terrorists work for them."

It's something Obama calls "dangerous" and where it could lead us as a nation.

Despite his harsh tone, the president shared a more positive note, saying ISIL ranks have shrunk to the lowest levels in more than two and a half years. The president said they have added more special forces in Syria and have taken out more than 120 top ISIL leaders.


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