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Hillary Clinton: 'I Refuse to Demagogue an Entire Religion'

Declaring, "Today is not a day for politics," Democratic presidential nominee-in-waiting Hillary Clinton did exactly that Monday during a speech at Team Wendy's in Cleveland.

In between calls for unity, outreach to Muslims and the passage of gun-control measures in the wake of Sunday's terror attack in Orlando, she slammed her Republican counterpart, Donald Trump. Her campaign said it was meant to demonstrate how she would respond to a similar circumstance if she were president of the United States.

"This is a moment when all Americans need to stand together. No matter how many times we endure attacks like this, the horror never fades," she said. "Now we have to steel our resolve to respond."

Clinton blamed the Orlando attack on a "lone wolf" terrorist, and questioned whether or not he was really connected to ISIS. But much of her speech was dedicated to railing against the availability of "assault weapons," such as the AR-15 semiautomatic rifle used in Orlando, which was also used in the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown Connecticut in 2012.

"We need to stop terrorists from getting the weapons they need to carry out attacks," she said. "Weapons of war have no place on our streets.

"If the FBI is watching you for suspected terrorist links, you shouldn't be able to just go buy a gun with no questions asked."

Clinton said that while background checks and "assault weapons" bans won't prevent all forms of violence, they will save a some lives, which she said were worth fighting for. She then turned her attention to the target of the Orlando attack: a nightclub that catered to LGBT customers.

"The terrorist in Orlando targeted LGBT Americans out of hatred and bigotry," she said. "An attack on any American is an attack on all Americans. To all the LGBT people grieving today: You have millions of allies who will always have your back. I am one of them.

"We've seen too many examples of the struggle to live freely, openly and without fear being marked by violence. We have to stand together."

That means not attacking Muslims in general, she added in her most pointed attack on Trump—without actually calling him out by name.

"We should be intensifying contacts in those communities, not scapegoating or isolating them," she added. "Inflammatory, anti-Muslim rhetoric and threatening to ban the families and friends of Muslim Americans ... from entering our country hurts the vast majority of Muslims, who love freedom and hate terror.

"It's wrong, and it's dangerous."

See her full speech below.


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