Presidential hopefuls Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump on Monday offered vastly different views on what this weekend’s mass shooting in Orlando means for national security and combating terrorist groups overseas.

Both candidates linked the tragedy — in which -- where at least 49 were killed at a gay-themed nightclub in Florida — to terror networks overseas, after reports indicated that the gunman man shouted Islamic phrases and pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group a in 911 calls.

Clinton, the presumed Democratic nominee, used her remarks in Ohio to argue that preventing future attacks will require a mix of military and diplomatic action, and closer coordination with Muslim communities worldwide.

"We have to stem the flow of jihadists from Europe and Iraq, Syria, Afghanistan and then back again," she said. "The only way to do this is by working closely with our partners, strengthening our alliances, not weakening them or walking away from them."

Trump, the presumed Republican nominee, said in a New Hampshire speech just two hours later that the killings show a need to overhaul America's immigration policies, and prove that "political correctness" has overtaken Democrats' desire to protect the public.

"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," he said. "Many of the principles of radical Islam are incompatible with Western values and institutions."

Both candidates attacked each other in their respective remarks, Trump by name and Clinton by implication. Clinton called Trump's proposed ban on Muslim immigrants, first suggested by the business mogul months ago, little more than "inflammatory anti-Muslim rhetoric" that endangers the country and compromises its values.

But Trump went further in his speech Monday, suggesting not only barring Muslims from entering the country but adding "when I am elected, I will suspend immigration from areas of the world wheren there is a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe or our allies, until we understand how to end these threats."

The Republican frontrunner framed the move as critical to preserving both national security and "quality of life" for the country. He noted the suspected killer in Orlando was "born to Afghan parents who immigrated to the United States" and said U.S. leaders need a plan to "prevent the radicalization of [immigrants'] children."

A 2013 Pew Research Center study estimated that about 20 million American citizens have immigrant parents.

Both Trump and Clinton spoke of the need to improve U.S. intelligence capabilities, with Clinton promising to "make identifying and stopping lone wolves a top priority" of her administration.

She also said the Orlando shooting underscores the need for new gun control efforts: "I believe weapons of war have no place on our streets."

Trump attacked that position, saying the latest mass shooting emphasizes the need for Americans to be able to defend themselves through personal firearms. He touted an upcoming meeting with the National Rifle Association "to discuss how to ensure Americans have the means to protect themselves in this age of terror."

Earlier this month, Clinton blasted Trump as too unstable and impulsive to act as a responsible commander in chief. Trump’s speech Monday was originally scheduled to be a rebuttal of those attacks, but he shifted many of the remarks to immigration topics in light of the Orlando weekend attack.

But he promised to hold another event soon focused on how Clinton "lacks the temperament and integrity to be president," he said in coming days.


Leo Shane III covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He can be reached at lshane@militarytimes.com.

Leo covers Congress, Veterans Affairs and the White House for Military Times. He has covered Washington, D.C. since 2004, focusing on military personnel and veterans policies. His work has earned numerous honors, including a 2009 Polk award, a 2010 National Headliner Award, the IAVA Leadership in Journalism award and the VFW News Media award.

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