The mass killing at a gay nightclub in Florida by Omar Mateen, 30, a US citizen born to Afghan parents, will benefit GOP candidate Donald Trump in the run-up to the presidential elections, a former Israeli ambassador to the United States said.
“If the motive for this mass killing had been hatred for the LGBT community, this would have played to Hillary Clinton’s benefit,” said Michael Oren, who is now a member of Knesset from the center-right Kulanu party.
“Given that it is becoming clear that the motive is Islamist-jihadist, it will benefit Donald Trump,” Oren told Israel’s Channel 10 news Sunday. “This will greatly strengthen him.”
In December, Trump demanded a “total and complete shutdown of Muslims entering the United States.”
Oren said the attack, in which more than 50 people were killed in what is being investigated as an act of terrorism, would also deeply impact the US economy. “Orlando is a famous city, because Disney World is there. There will be tens of thousands of cancellations by Americans,” who will come to associate Orlando with danger, Oren said.
Trump issued a series of tweets after the attack. In one, he said he was “Praying for all the victims & their families. When will this stop? When will we get tough, smart & vigilant?”
Later, he tweeted, “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don’t want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!”
Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don't want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
For her part, Hillary Clinton tweeted, “Woke up to hear the devastating news from FL. As we wait for more information, my thoughts are with those affected by this horrific act. -H.”