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Obama hits out at Trump’s campaign rhetoric


Washington: Terrorism is a “real threat” but one of the best ways of preventing it is by making sure that Americans do not succumb to fear and sacrifice values that make US “exceptional”, President Barack Obama has said while criticising the campaign rhetoric of Donald Trump.

“Terrorism is a real threat. And nobody knows that better than me,” Obama told CBS News.

Asked if the Munich attack suggests Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is correct in his dark outlook, Obama said, “No, it doesn’t”.

“One of the best ways of preventing it is making sure that we don’t divide our own country, that we don’t succumb to fear, that we don’t sacrifice our values, and that we send a very strong signal to the world and to every American citizen that we’re in this together,” the US President said.

“If we start engaging in the kinds of proposals that we’ve heard from (Republican presidential nominee) Mr Trump, or some of his surrogates like Mr Gingrich, where we start suggesting that we would apply religious tests to who could come in here, that we are screening Muslim Americans differently than we would others, then we are betraying that very thing that makes America exceptional,” Obama explained.

Earlier in the day, Obama refuted the statistical claims by Trump on the rise in crime in the country, illegal immigration and others.

“We’re not going to make good decisions based on fears that don’t have a basis in fact,” Obama told reporters at a joint news conference with his Mexican counterpart.

“America is much less violent than it was 20, 30 years ago. Immigration is much less a problem than it was not just 20 or 30 years ago, but when I came in as president. That doesn’t mean we haven’t solved those problem, but those are facts,” Obama said in response to a question.

“Although it is true that we’ve seen an uptick in murders and violent crime in some cities this year, the fact of the matter is that the murder rate today, the violence rate today is far lower than it was when Ronald Reagan was president and lower than when I took office,” he said.

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