Peter Beaumont, The Guardian, May 23, 2017
The US president has condemned the “evil losers” behind Monday night’s attack on a pop concert in Manchester that claimed the lives of at least 22 people and injured scores more.
In remarks delivered alongside the Palestinian president, Mahmoud Abbas, in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, Donald Trump lambasted the “wicked ideology” behind the attack, going beyond what British police and politicians have thus far said in attributing responsibility for the bombing.
Trump used the Manchester attack to echo a message he has delivered in Saudi Arabia and Israel on his first overseas tour as US president, calling on countries to root out terrorism.
“I extend my deepest condolences to those so terribly injured in this terrorist attack and to the many killed and the families – so many families of the victims,” he said, describing his emotions on this “horrible morning of death”.
The White House said earlier that Trump was being updated on the attack by his national security team. Islamic State has claimed responsibility.
“We stand in absolute solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom,” Trump said. “So many young beautiful, innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil losers in life.
“I won’t call them monsters because they would like that term. They would think that’s a great name. I will call them, from now on, losers, because that’s what they are. They are losers. And we will have more of them. But they are losers, just remember that.
“Our society can have no tolerance for this continuation of bloodshed, 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 from our society for ever.
“This wicked ideology must be obliterated – and I mean completely obliterated – and the innocent life must be protected. All civilised nations must join together to protect human life and the sacred right our citizens to live in safety and in peace.”
Trump and Abbas, who also offered his condolences, had been expected to talk about the US president’s plans to advance the moribund Middle East peace process. He hoped to kickstart what he has called his “ultimate deal”, but instead the day has been dominated by the events in Manchester.