Elections

Former Ambassador: Orlando Terror Attack Helps Trump ‘Change The Race’

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Andrew Follett Energy and Science Reporter

A former ambassador believes Sunday’s terrorist attack in Orlando that left 50 dead and 53 injured could make presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump the next president.

“If I were Donald Trump now  I would have come out as soon as the FBI started to leak this morning that this is a terrorist operating from Islamic motivation with ties to — first of all the name itself, Omar Siddiqui Mateen, a Muslim name, son of immigrants from Afghanistan with whatever connection to Islamic extremist organizations, it already greatly influences the race for the presidency,” Michael Oren, Israel’s ambassador to America from 2009 to 2013, told a journalist Sunday.

Omar Mateen assaulted Pulse, a packed gay nightclub in Orlando, early Sunday before being killed by police. The attack is the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. Mateen was a Florida resident who a senior FBI official said might have had ties to Islamic State.

Oren states Trump could benefit politically by quietly pointing out Mateen’s possible ties to ISIS.

Trump’s initial response on Twitter to the Orlando attack didn’t mention the shooter’s name or Islam.

Media outlet’s have predicted that a major terrorist attack could boost the real estate mogul’s campaign.

“You can bet that if any significant national-security threat is posed between now and November, Trump’s poll numbers will soar in the same way that Bush’s did in 2001,” Nick Bilton, a political correspondent for Vanity Fair, wrote in May. “And if that happens, God forbid, I’m willing to bet that he may be the next president of the United States.”

A terrorist attack in Brussels in March likely caused support for Trump to spike at a critical time during the Republican primaries and analysis by Nate Silver’s political and statistics blog FiveThirtyEight indicates that terror attacks have helped Trump politically.

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