Trump delivered his statement here in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, alongside Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas, following a meeting the two leaders had about the prospect of peace between Israelis and Palestinians, as well as in the Middle East broadly.
Standing stood stone-faced as he read from a prepared text, Trump assigned a sobriquet he has used for his political enemies and media critics — “losers” — to terrorists broadly. He has given the label to such rivals as Rosie O'Donnell, Mark Cuban and Cher.
He also extended his prayers to the people of Manchester, where the attack occurred Monday night among teenagers and others leaving the concert hall.
Calling this a “very horrible morning of death,” Trump urged other nations to join the United States in combating global terrorism. Later, Trump called British Prime Minister Theresa May.
“Our society can have no tolerance for this continuation of bloodshed,” Trump said. “We cannot stand a moment longer for the slaughter of innocent people. And in today’s attack, it was mostly innocent children. The terrorists and extremists, and those who give them aid and comfort, must be driven out of our society forever.”
The president continued: “This wicked ideology must be obliterated — and I mean completely obliterated. Life must be protected. All civilized nations must join to protect human life and the sacred right of our citizens.”
This is not the first time a terrorist attack has coincided with a foreign trip of a U.S. president.
In March 2016, President Barack Obama was making a historic visit to Cuba when coordinated attacks in Brussels left 35 dead and dozens more injured. Obama addressed the tragedy, but continued on with his trip, drawing criticism from some Republicans — including then-candidate Donald Trump.
Trump tweeted: “President Obama looks and sounds so ridiculous making his speech in Cuba, especially in the shadows of Brussels. He is being treated badly!”