Clinton: We Can’t Alienate ‘Law-Abiding, Peaceful’ Muslims After Attacks

AP

Hillary Clinton on Monday warned Americans not to get “distracted” by Donald Trump’s “irresponsible, reckless rhetoric” about refugees and the threat of terrorist attacks after a weekend that saw explosives set in three U.S. cities and a stabbing attack at a Minnesota mall.

“There are millions and millions of naturalized citizens in America from all over the world,” Clinton told reporters at a press conference held on the tarmac of Westchester County Airport. “There are millions of law-abiding peaceful Muslim Americans. This is the kind of challenge that law enforcement can be and is prepared to address, namely, going after anyone who would threaten the United States.”

Referring to her past experience at the State Department, the former secretary of state said the country was “well-equipped” to address these sort of threats in a manner that is “in concert with our values.”

Trump on Monday called for profiling refugees and immigrants from the Middle East to thwart attacks like the ones seen this weekend in New Jersey, New York and Minnesota.

Clinton pointed out that U.S. citizens and foreigners who have spent no time in the country have carried out terrorist attacks against Americans, too. She called for “tough vetting” of refugees to be accompanied by a “better visa system.”

“Let’s remember 9/11,” she said. “These were not refugees who got into airplanes who attacked our city and our country. Let’s not get diverted and distracted by the kind of campaign rhetoric we hear coming from the other side.”

Clinton later faulted Trump for his “irresponsible, reckless rhetoric.”

In brief remarks before she took questions from the press, Clinton acknowledged the legitimate threat posed by these random acts of violence but cautioned against giving into paranoia or fear-mongering.

“This threat is real but so is our resolve,” she said. “Americans will not cower. We will prevail.”

Clinton said she would devote more resources into combatting online radicalization of lone wolf attackers as president, and said Trump “has no plan” for addressing terrorism.

Trump said Monday morning that his plan involved profiling, limiting immigration to the United States and foreign military intervention that would “knock the hell out of” terrorist groups abroad.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Allegra Kirkland is a New York-based reporter for Talking Points Memo. She previously worked on The Nation’s web team and as the associate managing editor for AlterNet. Follow her on Twitter @allegrakirkland.

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