Trump blames ter­ror­ists for EU at­tacks

‘Is­lamist ter­ror­ists slaugh­ter Chris­tians in their com­mu­ni­ties’

Kuwait Times - - INTERNATIONAL -

Jump­ing ahead of in­ves­ti­ga­tors, Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump is blam­ing Is­lamic ter­ror­ists for deadly vi­o­lence in Turkey and Ger­many and vow­ing anew to erad­i­cate their re­gional and global net­works. Author­i­ties in both coun­tries were still in­ves­ti­gat­ing Mon­day when Trump is­sued a pair of state­ments con­demn­ing the at­tacks, the same day the Elec­toral Col­lege for­mally awarded him the pres­i­dency.

By yes­ter­day morn­ing, Trump was back on Twit­ter strik­ing out at an in­sult from Bill Clin­ton. The ex-pres­i­dent told a sub­ur­ban New York City news­pa­per this month that Trump “doesn’t know much. One thing he does know is how to get an­gry, white men to vote for him.” The Bed­ford-Pound Ridge Record Re­view also re­ported that Bill Clin­ton claimed that Trump called him af­ter his elec­tion vic­tory over Hil­lary Clin­ton. “Wrong, he called me (with a very nice con­grat­u­la­tions),” Trump said in a two-part tweet. The pres­i­dent-elect added that Bill Clin­ton is the one who “‘doesn’t know much’... es­pe­cially how to get peo­ple, even with an un­lim­ited bud­get, out to vote in the vi­tal swing states (and more).” The Clin­ton cam­paign, he said, “fo­cused on the wrong states.”

That was Trump’s re­minder that he de­feated Hil­lary Clin­ton in such bat­tle­grounds as Penn­syl­va­nia and scored sur­prise vic­to­ries else­where - such as Wis­con­sin. The tweets came af­ter a rat­tling day of vi­o­lence around the world. Trump called the brazen shoot­ing of Rus­sia’s am­bas­sador to Turkey “a vi­o­la­tion of all rules of civ­i­lized or­der.” He added that a “rad­i­cal Is­lamic ter­ror­ist” had as­sas­si­nated the diplo­mat, An­drei Karlov.

Turk­ish author­i­ties iden­ti­fied the gun­man as Mev­lut Mert Alt­in­tas, a mem­ber of Ankara’s riot po­lice squad, and said he was later killed in a shootout with po­lice. Alt­in­tas shouted in Turk­ish about the Syr­ian city of Aleppo and also yelled “Al­lahu ak­bar,” Ara­bic for “God is great.” In Ber­lin, where at least 12 peo­ple were killed, Trump said the Is­lamic State group “and other Is­lamist ter­ror­ists con­tin­u­ally slaugh­ter Chris­tians in their com­mu­ni­ties and places of wor­ship as part of their global ji­had.”

He added that th­ese ter­ror­ists and their re­gional and world­wide net­works “must be erad­i­cated from the face of the Earth” and pledged to carry out that mis­sion with “all free­dom-lov­ing part­ners.” He later tweeted: “Today there were ter­ror at­tacks in Turkey, Switzer­land and Ger­many - and it is only get­ting worse. The civ­i­lized world must change think­ing!”

In­au­gu­ra­tion looms

In Zurich, po­lice said three peo­ple were wounded when a gun­man opened fire in the prayer hall of a mosque fre­quented by So­mali im­mi­grants. Trump vowed dur­ing the pres­i­den­tial cam­paign to go af­ter the Is­lamic State group, but re­peat­edly de­clined to fill in the pub­lic on his plan. His state­ments came at the end of a day in which he was for­mally elected pres­i­dent by the Elec­toral Col­lege, clear­ing the way for his Jan 20 in­au­gu­ra­tion. Trump also an­nounced his can­di­date for sec­re­tary of the Army on Mon­day and held a round of tran­si­tion meet­ings.

He was ex­pected to hold ad­di­tional tran­si­tion meet­ings at his Palm Beach, Florida, es­tate yes­ter­day and Wed­nes­day. His choice of Army vet­eran and fel­low New Yorker Vin­cent Vi­ola to be Army sec­re­tary will put an­other bil­lion­aire in a lead­ing po­si­tion in the new ad­min­is­tra­tion.

Vi­ola is a West Point grad­u­ate who joins a list of peo­ple with mil­i­tary back­grounds al­ready bound for the Cabi­net.

Trump’s picks for de­fense sec­re­tary, home­land se­cu­rity sec­re­tary, na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser and deputy na­tional se­cu­rity ad­viser are re­tired mil­i­tary.

Vi­ola was the first mem­ber of his fam­ily to at­tend col­lege. He was trained as an Air­borne Ranger in­fantry of­fi­cer and served in the 101st Air­borne Di­vi­sion. A lawyer, he started mul­ti­ple busi­nesses, be­came a bil­lion­aire and bought the Florida Pan­thers hockey team for $250 mil­lion in 2013.

Trump has al­ready tapped sev­eral wealthy busi­ness­men for jobs, in­clud­ing fast-food ex­ec­u­tive Andy Puzder to be sec­re­tary for the La­bor Depart­ment, bil­lion­aire in­vestor Wil­bur Ross for Com­merce, fi­nancier Steven Mnuchin for Trea­sury and Gold­man Sachs Pres­i­dent Gary Cohn as his top eco­nomic ad­viser. Trump still has nu­mer­ous other posts to fill, such as US trade rep­re­sen­ta­tive. Among those he met with on Mon­day at his Mar-a-Lago es­tate was Robert Lighthizer, a deputy US trade rep­re­sen­ta­tive in the Rea­gan ad­min­is­tra­tion, Trump’s aides said. Trump is spend­ing the run-up to Christmas with his fam­ily. — AP

MO­BILE: In this Dec 17, 2016, photo, Pres­i­dent-elect Don­ald Trump speaks dur­ing a rally at the Ladd-Peebles Sta­dium. —AP

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