In the wake of the Orlando attack, more Americans would trust Hillary Clinton over Donald Trump when it comes to handling terrorism threats as president, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll released Tuesday.
Fifty percent said they trust Clinton on terror, compared to 39 percent for Trump. Those numbers are comparable to the split in a March poll, before the gap narrowed to just 3 points last month, when Trump’s poll numbers rose in general.
But after the mass killing at a gay nightclub in Orlando, that gap has widened once again. Far more respondents thought Clinton had a better overall response to the attacks, by 46 percent to Trump’s 28. And an even wider margin said they thought she showed better temperament in the wake of the shooting — 59 percent to 25.
Trump’s initial response to the mass killing was a self-congratulatory tweet, thanking supporters for their praise of him “for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.”
Forty-nine clubgoers were killed and another 53 injured at Pulse nightclub on June 12, making it the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. The gunman, Omar Mateen, a U.S. citizen, had pledged allegiance to the Islamic State in a 911 call during the rampage. Mateen committed the attack with an AR-15-type semi-automatic rifle and a 9 mm semi-automatic handgun, reigniting the country’s debate over gun control.
In the ABC-Post poll, Americans were split on whether assault weapons should be banned. Fifty-one percent said the sale of such guns should be prohibited, while 48 percent said it should not. But a vast majority of respondents — 86 percent — said buyers should be blocked from purchasing guns if they are on the FBI’s list of people with potential ties to terrorism.
The GOP-controlled Congress has declined to take up gun control measures following the Orlando shooting, prompting a daylong sit-in by Democrats on the House floor.
Editor’s note: Donald Trump regularly incites political violence and is a serial liar, rampant xenophobe, racist, misogynist and birther who has repeatedly pledged to ban all Muslims — 1.6 billion members of an entire religion — from entering the U.S.
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