In the wake of a mass shooting that left dozens dead in Orlando, Donald Trump said he "called it" — and implied in conspiratorial language that Obama "gets it better than anybody understands."
Obama just "doesn’t get it," Trump first said on Fox & Friends Monday morning. "Or he gets it better than anybody understands. It's one or the other."
It’s unclear what Trump meant by those remarks; some have interpreted the comment as an implication that Obama is in cahoots with terrorist groups.
These remarks are the latest in Trump’s most recent diatribe against the president: On Sunday, he also called for Obama to step down for not using the term "radical Islam" to characterize the Orlando mass shooting, which left 49 people at a gay nightclub dead and dozens more injured. Trump also condemned his government’s "terrible intelligence gathering."
What has happened in Orlando is just the beginning. Our leadership is weak and ineffective. I called it and asked for the ban. Must be tough— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn't he should immediately resign in disgrace!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
Trump used the tragic incident as an opportunity to reinforce his call for a temporary ban on Muslims on entering the country; that would make more sense than Obama’s proposed gun control legislation, he said on Fox & Friends:
And either one is unacceptable, No. 1, and No. 2, calling on another gun ban, I mean, this man has no clue. First of all, the shooter was licensed. So he went through all the procedures, he was fully licensed to have a gun. So he would have passed the test that the president would have thrown up there. It's so ridiculous. You know, this is a, this is a mentality, this is a state. And you have thousands of shooters like this with the same mentality out there in this country, and we're bringing thousands and thousands of them back into this country, and into the country every year.
Trump has a habit of questioning Obama’s identity
Trump’s position on gun control is expected; it fits in with the Republican Party’s platform. But the presumptive Republican nominee has a long history questioning Obama not just on policy but on his authenticity as an American.
In 2011, when Trump first considered running for president, he began more fervently championing the "birther" movement — made up of conspiracy theorists who asserted Obama's American birth certificate was a forgery, alleging Obama was actually born in Kenya. On talk shows, Trump began demanding the president release his birth certificate, then his longform birth certificate. He even touted sending investigators to Hawaii to document Obama’s history.
That year, all of the drama prompted a famously funny speech at the White House Correspondents' Association dinner, when Obama spoke directly to Donald Trump’s birth certificate fury; that week the state of Hawaii had just released his longform birth certificate in hopes to put the "birther" conspiracy to rest.
But Trump didn’t let it go — as of 2015 he was still publicly questioning whether Obama was actually born in the United States. The allegations are tied closely with religious conspiracies that Obama is actually a Muslim. His middle name is Hussain, after all.
Trump’s most recent vague but seemingly pointed comments about Obama getting it "better than anybody understands" seem to hint at these theories.
Trump has a special intuition when it comes to catastrophe, according to Trump
When the world woke to the terror of the Orlando shooting, Trump shared the news, and quickly thanked his supporters for congratulating him on being "right about radical Islamic terrorism."
He has long touted this special insight, having "called it" with the Orlando gunman’s potential ties to terrorism, similar to the EgyptAir crash, which he prematurely called an act of terror without any confirmation from officials or investigators on the ground.
He has "prescience" or the ability to see ahead, he has written in the past. In his 2011 book Time to Get Tough: Make America Great Again, he wrote how proud was of his 2000 book, The America We Deserve, for this very reason:
I was proud of "The America We Deserve" for a number of reasons. First, I strongly predicted terrorism in this country, something which happened, unfortunately, and which could have been avoided or minimized. I even included Osama bin Laden by name. Second, I predicted the crash of the economy. There were too many signs, too many signals, too many factors that I thought made the coming crash obvious. So while it was probably my least successful because it didn’t discuss business, I have been given great credit for the book’s powerful and accurate predictions. In this book, I’m not looking to make predictions, I’m looking to make a difference and warn about other potential threats.
It’s all to say that Trump wants the people to know he "gets it," because he innately knows what is happening.
On the Today show later Monday morning, Trump did not directly address how a proposed temporary ban on Muslim’s entering the United States applies in the case of the Orlando gunman: The suspected shooter, Omar Siddiqui Mateen, was born and raised in the United States.