White House: Obama's record on terrorism includes 'a lot of dead terrorists'

Obama: Appears Shooter Inspired by Extremist Information
Obama: Appears Shooter Inspired by Extremist Information

The White House responded to Donald Trump's insinuation that President Barack Obama sympathizes with terrorists by suggesting Trump check the body count in the war on terror.

Obama's record combating terrorism "speaks for itself," press secretary Josh Earnest told reporters Monday.

"And that record includes a lot of dead terrorists," he said.

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On Monday, Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, implied Obama was secretly supporting terrorists, as evidenced by his refusal to call attacks like Sunday's massacre at an Orlando, Florida, gay nightclub "radical Islamic" terrorism.

Terrorist Attacks and Threats in United States FindTheData

"People cannot believe that President Obama is acting the way he acts and can't even mention the words radical Islamic terrorism," Trump said on Fox News. "There's something going on. It's inconceivable. There's something going on."

"He doesn't get it or he gets it better than anybody understands," Trump said later in the interview. "It's one or the other, and either one is unacceptable."

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And on NBC, Trump said "many people" think Obama is turning a blind eye and allowing terrorism to fester.

"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," he said. "But there are many people that think maybe he doesn't want to get it."

Drone strikes undertaken on Obama's orders have killed more than 3,400 militants, according to a January analysis by the Council on Foreign Relations.

In his final State of the Union address in January, Obama made a similar quip defending his record.

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"ISIL will learn the same lessons as terrorists before them," Obama said, using an alternate name for the Islamic State group. "If you doubt America's commitment – or mine – to see that justice is done, ask Osama bin Laden."

"Ask the leader of al Qaeda in Yemen, who was taken out last year, or the perpetrator of the Benghazi attacks, who sits in a prison cell," he continued. "When you come after Americans, we go after you. It may take time, but we have long memories, and our reach has no limit."

On Monday, Earnest told reporters that the president was hardly worried about Trump's thinly veiled insults. Obama, he said, was too busy being president to pay attention to Trump.

"When you are focused on something as big as helping the country respond to the worst mass shooting in our nation's history," Earnest said, "when you are focused on something as big as safeguarding the country and combating violent extremism, it's important not to get distracted by things that are so small."

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