Presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump made possibly his most inflammatory foreign policy speech yet Monday in the wake of a mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando that left 49 dead and dozens more injured.
"The bottom line is that the only reason the killer was in America in the first place was because we allowed his family to come here," Trump said. "That is a fact and it's a fact we need to talk about. We have a dysfunctional immigration system which does not permit us to know who we let into our country and it does that permit us to protect our citizens properly."
It was a speech unequivocally reinforcing his proposal to temporary ban Muslims from entering the United States, highlighting the dangers of immigration from the Middle East and in turn – in a move unusual for the leader of the Republican Party – pledging support to the LGBTQ community in a way other GOP leaders have shied away from.
Below is a rush transcript, lightly edited for clarity.
Today, there is only one thing to discuss: the growing threat of terrorism inside of our borders. The attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida was the worst terror strike on our soil since September 11. And the worst mass shooting in our country's history.
So many people, just hard to believe, but just so many people dead. So many people gravely injured. So much carnage. Such a disgrace. The horror is beyond description. The families of these wonderful people are totally devastated and they will be forever. Likewise our whole nation and indeed the whole world is devastated.
We express our deepest sympathies to the victims, the wounded, and their families. We mourn as one people for our nation's loss and pledge our support to any and all who need it. I would like to ask now that we all observe a moment of silence for the victims of this attack.
Our nation stands in solidarity with Orlando's LGBT community. They have been through something that nobody could ever experience. This is a very dark moment in America's history. A radical Islamic terrorist targeted the nightclub because he wanted to kill Americans, to execute gay and lesbian citizens because of their sexual orientation.
It's a strike at the heart and soul of who we are as a nation. It's an assault on the ability of free people to live their lives, love who they want, and express their identity. It's an attack on the right of every single American to live in peace and safety in their own country. We need to respond to this attack on America as one united people, with force, purpose, and determination. But the current politically correct response cripples our ability to talk and to think and act clearly. We're not acting clearly. We're not talking clearly. We have problems.
If we don't get tough and if we don't get smart, and fast, we're not going to have our country anymore. There will be nothing, absolutely nothing left.
The killer, whose name I will not use or ever say, was born an Afghan, of Afghan parents, who immigrated to the United States. His father published support for the Afghan Taliban, a regime who murders those who don't share radical views. And they murder plenty. The father even said he was running for president of Afghanistan.
The bottom line is that the only reason the killer was in America in the first place was because we allowed his family to come here. That is a fact and it's a fact we need to talk about. We have a dysfunctional immigration system which does not permit us to know who we let into our country and it does that permit us to protect our citizens properly.
We have an incompetent administration and if I'm elected president, that will change, I will tell you, that will change over the next four years. We have an administration that will not change. But if I get in there, it will change and it will change quickly. We're going from totally incompetent to just the opposite. Believe me.
With 50 people dead and perhaps more ultimately, and dozens more wounded, we cannot afford to talk around issues anymore. We have to address these issues head on. I called for a ban after San Bernardino and was met with great scorn and anger. But now many years and I have to say many years but many are saying that I was right to do so and although the pause is temporary, we must find out what is going on.
We have to do it. It will be lifted, this ban, when and as a nation we're in a position to properly and perfectly screen these people coming into our country. They're pouring in, and we don't know what we're doing. The immigration laws of the United States give the president powers to suspend entry into the country of any class of persons.
Now, any class, it really is determined and to be determined by the president. For the interests of the United States. And it's as he or she deems appropriate — hopefully it's "he" in this case. I will use this power to protect the American people. When I'm elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world where there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe, or our allies. Until we fully understand how to end these threats.
And by the way, we have no choice. After full, impartial, and really long overdue security assessment, we will develop a responsible immigration policy that serves the interests and values of America. We cannot continue to allow thousands upon thousands of people to pour into our country, many of whom have the same thought process as this savage killer. Many of the principles of radical Islam are incompatible with western values and institutions.
Remember this, radical Islam is anti-woman, anti-gay, and anti-American. I refuse to allow America to become a place where gay people, Christian people, Jewish people are targets of persecution and intimidation by radical Islamic preachers of hate and violence.
This is not just a national security issue. It's a quality of life issue. It we want to protect the quality of life for all American, women, children, gays and straight, Jews and Christians, then we need to tell the truth about radical Islam, then we need to tell the truth about radical Jews and Christians. We need to tell the truth about radical Islam and we need to do it now. We need to tell the truth also when how radical Islam is coming to our shores.
With these people, folks, it's coming. We're importing radical terrorism into the West through a failed immigration system and an intelligence community held back by our president. Even our own FBI director has admitted that we cannot effectively check the backgrounds of people we're letting into America.
All of the September 11 hijackers were issued visas. Large numbers of Somali refugees have tried to join ISIS. The male shooter in San Bernardino, again whose name I will not mention, was the child of immigrants from Pakistan, and he brought his wife, the other terrorist, from Saudi Arabia through another one of our easily exploited visa programs.
Immigration from Afghanistan into the United States has increased nearly five-fold. Five-fold. In just one year. According to Pew Research, 99 percent of the people in Afghanistan support oppressive Sharia law. We admit many more, and that is just the way it is, we admit many more from other countries in the region and I'll tell you what, they share these oppressive views and values. We want to remain a free and open society. If we do, we have to control our borders. And we have to control them now, not later. Right now.
Yet Hillary Clinton to months and despite so many attacks repeatedly refused to even say the words radical Islam until I challenged her yesterday and guess what, she will probably say them, she sort of has said them, but let's see what happens. She really has no choice. However, she's really been forced – and she has been forced to say these words. She supports, and the reason is she supports so much of what is wrong and what is wrong with this country and what is going wrong with our country and our borders.
She has no clue, in my opinion, what radical Islam is and she won't speak honestly about it if she does in fact know. She's in total denial and her continuing reluctant to ever name the enemy broadcasts weakness across the entire world. True weakness.
I don't know if you know this, but just a few weeks before San Bernardino, the slaughter, that's all it was, a slaughter, Hillary Clinton explained her refusal to say the words radical Islam. Here is what she said exact quote.
"Muslims are peaceful and tolerant people and have nothing whatsoever to do with terrorism." That is Hillary Clinton. So she says the solution is to ban guns. They tried that in France, which has among the toughest gun laws anywhere in the world, and 130 people were brutally murdered by islamic terrorists in cold blood.
Her plan is to disarm law-abiding Americans, abolishing the Second Amendment and leaving only the bad guys and terrorists with guns. No good. Not going to happen, folks. Not going to happen. Not going to happen. Thank you.
She wants to take away Americans' guns and then admit the very people who want to slaughter us. Let them come into the country. We don't have guns. Let them come in, let them have all the fun they want. I will be meeting with the NRA which has given me their earliest endorsement in a presidential race to ensure Americans have the means to protect themselves in this age of terror. I will be always defending the Second Amendment.
The bottom line is that Hillary supports policies that bring the threat of radical Islam into America and allow to grow overseas. And it is growing. In fact Hillary Clinton's catastrophic immigration plan will bring vastly more radical islamic immigration into this country, threatening not only our society, but our entire way of life.
When it comes to radical Islamic terrorism, ignorance is not bliss. It's deadly. Totally deadly. The Obama administration, with the support of Hillary Clinton and others, has also damaged our security by restraining our intelligence gathering. And we have just no intelligence gathering information. We need this information so badly. And he stopped it.
We don't have the support, we don't have the support of the law enforcement system because Obama is not letting them do their job. At the are not being allowed to do their job. And they can do it well better than anybody. We need a new leader. We need a new leader fast.
They have put political correctness above your safety and before all else. I refuse to be politically correct. I want to do the right thing. I want to straighten things out. And I want to make America great again.
As president, I will give our intelligence community, law enforcement, and military the tools they need to prevent terrorist attacks because they don't have those tools now. We need an intelligence-gathering system second to none. Second to none. That includes better cooperation between state, local and federal officials and with our allies, very importantly, I will have an attorney general, director of national intelligence, and a secretary of defense who will know how to fight the war on radical islamic terrorism.
And they will have the support that they need to get the job done right, not like it is right now. It's not right. We also must ensure the American people are provided the information they need to understand the threat. The Senate Subcommittee on Immigration has already identified hundreds of immigrants charged with terrorist activities inside the United States since September 11.
Nearly a year ago, the Senate subcommittee asked President Obama's Department of Justice, State, and Homeland Security to provide the immigration history of all terrorists inside the United States. These departments refused to comply. Nobody even knows why.
They refused to comply. President Obama must release the full and complete immigration histories of all individuals implicated in terrorist activities of any kind since September 11. So important. The public has a right to know how these people got here, how they came on to this great land. Why are they here.
We have to screen applicants to know whether they are affiliated with or supporting radical groups and beliefs. Very simple. We have to control the amount of future immigration into this country and we have to prevent large pockets of radicalization from forming inside America. Complicated.
And just think of this. Every single event, even a single individual, can be devastating. And all you have to do is take a look at what happened this Orlando and what happened in other cases just a single event. And just one person. Can you imagine what they would do in large group which is we're allowing now come here. Truly our president doesn't know what he's doing. He's failed us badly.
Under his leadership, it will not get any better. It will only get worse. And I've been saying that for a long time. Each year the United States permanently admits 100,000 immigrants from the Middle East and many more from Muslim countries outside of the Middle East. Our government has been admitting ever growing numbers year after year without any effective plan for our own security.
In fact, Clinton's State Department was in charge of admissions and the admission process for people applying to enter from overseas. Having learned nothing from these attacks, she now plans to massively increase admissions without a screening plan, including a 500 percent increase in Syrian refugees coming into our country. Tell me, tell me, how stupid is that.
This could be a better, bigger, more horrible version than the legendary Trojan horse ever was. All together under the Clinton plan, you'd be admitting hundreds of thousands of refugees from the Middle East with no system to prevent radicalization of the children and their children. Not only their children by the way, they're trying to take over our children and convince them how wonderful ISIS is and how wonderful Islam is and we don't know what is happening.
The burden is on Hillary Clinton to tell us why she believes immigration from these dangerous countries should be increased without any effective system to really just screen. We're not screening people. So why don't we have an effective screening system? We don't. We're being laughed at all over the world. The burden is on Hillary Clinton to tell us why we should admit anyone into our country who supports violence of any kind against gay and lesbian Americans, the burden is on Hillary Clinton to tell us how she will pay for it.
Her plan will cost hundreds of billions of dollars long term. Wouldn't this be money better spent rebuilding America for our current population including the many poor people already living here? We have cities, we have inner cities, we have poverty all over. And this is how we're spending billions of dollars. We have to stop the tremendous flow of Syrian refugees into the United States.
We don't know who they are. They have no documentation. And we don't know what they're planning. And we won't. Unless we have proper supervision and proper leadership. In which case they're out of here. What I want is common sense. I want a mainstream immigration policy that promotes American values. That is a choice I put before the American people. A mainstream immigration policy designed to benefit America or Hillary Clinton there's radical immigration policy designed to benefit politically correct special interests. That's all it is. We have to get smart and tough and vigilant and we have to do it now. Because later is too late. Going to be too late for our country.
The media talks about homegrown terrorism. But Islamic radicalism, and that's a very, very important term, a term that the president refuses to use, and the networks that nurture it are imports from overseas. Whether you like it or whether you don't like it. Yes, there are many radicalized people already inside our country as a result of poor policies of the past. But the whole point is that it will be easier to deal with our current problem if we don't keep on bringing people who add to the problem.
And that's what they're doing. We're letting all of these people, hundreds of thousands of people come in. And all they're doing is adding to this incredible problem we have. For instance, the controversial mosque of the Boston bombers had as its founder an immigrant from overseas charged in an assassination plot.
This shooter and amazingly in Orlando was the child of an immigrant father who supported one of the most repressive regimes on Earth. Why would we admit people who support violent hatred? Hillary Clinton can never claim to be a friend of the gay community as long as she continues to support immigration policies that bring Islamic extremists to our country and who suppress women, gays and anyone else who doesn't share their views or values. She can't claim to be support difference by bringing in people who want to suppress these same communities.
How does this kind of immigration make our lives better? How does this kind of immigration make our country better? Why does Hillary Clinton want to bring people in in vast numbers who reject our values? Why? Explain. Ask yourself who is really the friend of women and the LGBT community? Donald Trump with actions or Hillary Clinton with her words. I will tell you who the better friend is. And some day I believe that will be proven out bigly.
And by the way the LGBT community is just — what has happened to them is just so sad and to be thinking about where their policies are currently with this administration is a disgrace to take community, I will tell you right now.
Clinton wants to allow radical Islamic terrorists to pour into our country. They enslave women and murder gays. I don't want them in our country. Immigration is a privilege. And we should not let anyone in this country who doesn't support our communities. All our communities. America has already immigrated four times more immigrants than any country in the world. Four times at least. And we continue to admit millions more with no real checks or scrutiny. Not surprisingly, wages for our workers haven't budged in almost 20 years. You wonder why we get this tremendous support, you wonder why I've gotten more votes than any Republican in any primary in the history of the Republican party? Take a look at that.
Take a look at your security, but take a look at the wages. For 18 years, they have been stagnant. They have even gone down. So whether it's a matter of national security or financial security, we can't afford to keep on going like this. We owe $19 trillion in debt. And no longer have any options. Our communities from all backgrounds are ready for some relief. This is not an act of offense against anyone. It's really an act of defense.
I want us all, all of us, to work together. We have to form a partnership with our Muslim communities. We have Muslim communities in this country that are great. And we have to form that partnership. Now, the Muslim communities so importantly, they have to work with us. They have to cooperate with law enforcement and turn in the people who they know are bad.
And they know it. And they have to do it and they have to do it forthwith. I want it on fix our schools, I want to fix our bridges and our jobs market, we will have it rocking again. We'll make great trade deals. But I want every American to succeed. Including Muslims. But they have to work with us. They know what is going on. They know that he was bad. They knew the people in San Bernardino were bad. But you know, what they didn't turn them in and we had death and destruct.
Hillary Clinton wants to empty out the Treasury to bring people into the country that include individuals who preach hate against our citizens. I want to protect our citizens, all of our citizens. The terrorist the attack on Pulse nature club demands a full and complete investigation into every single aspect of the assault. In San Bernardino as an example, people who know what was going on, they knew exactly, but they used the excuse of racial profiling for not reporting it.
They said we thought so, but we didn't want to use racial profiling. Which was probably an excuse given to them by their lawyer so they don't get in trouble. We need to know what the killer discussed with his relatives, parents, friends and associates. We need to know if he was affiliated with any radical mosques or radical activists and what if any is their immigration status. We have to know and we have to know fast. We need to know if he traveled anywhere and who he traveled with.
We need to know and we need to make sure every single last person involved in this plan, including anyone who knew something but didn't tell us is brought to justice. So when people know what is going on and they don't tell us and we have an attack and people die, these people have to have consequences.
Big consequences. America must do more, much more, to protect its citizens. Especially people who are potential victims of crimes based on their backgrounds or sexual orientation as you just saw in Orlando. It also means we must change our foreign policy. The decision to overthrow the regime in Libya, then pushing Syria, among other things without plans for the day after have created space for ISIS to expand and grow like nobody has ever seen before.
These actions along with our disastrous Iran daily have also reduced our ability to work in partnership with our Muslim allies in the region. That is why our new goal must be to defeat Islamic terrorism, not nation building. No more nation building. It's never going to work. And by the way, we've spent almost $5 trillion over the years on trying to nation build in the Middle East. And it has been a complete and total disaster. We're further away now than we were 15 years ago. For instance, the last major NATO mission was Hillary Clinton's war at Libya.
That mission helped unleash ISIS on a new continent. I've said NATO needs to change its focus and stop terrorism. We have to focus on terrorism. And we have to stop terrorism. Since I've raised that criticism and it's okay, I've gotten no credit for it, but it's okay, NATO has announced a new initiative front page four days ago focused on just that. Against Islamic terrorism. Pretty much like we did with communism during the Cold War.
We've tried it President Obama's way. Doesn't work. He gave the world his apology tour. We got ISIS. And many other problems in return. That's what we got. Remember the famous apology tour. We're sorry for everything. I'd like to conclude my remarks today by again expressing our solidarity with the people of Orlando who have come under this horrific attack.
When I'm president, I pledge to protect and defend all Americans who live inside our borders. Wherever they come from, wherever they were born, I don't care. All Americans living here and following our laws, not other laws, will be protected.
We'll be tough, and we're going to be smart, and we're going to do it right. America will be a tolerant and open society. America will also be a safe society. We will protect our borders at home. We will defeat ISIS overseas. We have no choice. We will ensure every parent can raise their children in peace and safety. We will make America rich again. We will make America safe again. We will make America great again. Thank you. Thank you very much. Thank you very much.