© 2022 WOSU Public Media
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
News Partners

Trump Responds To Manchester Attack In Meeting With Palestinian Leader


President Trump weighed in on the attack today. He's in the Middle East on his first overseas trip. NPR's Tamara Keith is traveling with the president.

TAMARA KEITH, BYLINE: President Trump motorcaded to Bethlehem to meet with Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas. It's there where Trump offered his condolences to the people of Manchester.


PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP: So many young, beautiful, innocent people living and enjoying their lives, murdered by evil losers.

KEITH: Trump said he would call people who commit these kinds of acts monsters, but they might like that, so...


TRUMP: I will call them, from now on, losers, because that's what they are. They're losers, and we'll have more of them. But they're losers. Just remember that.

KEITH: He was really there to talk about peace.


TRUMP: And it's so interesting that our meeting took place on this very horrible morning of death to innocent, young people.

KEITH: Responding to terrorism and trying to prevent it has been a theme for Trump's whole trip so far.


TRUMP: We must be resolute in condemning such acts in a single, unified voice.

KEITH: Trump and his aides believe that single, unified voice could be the key to peace in the Middle East and beyond. With his trip, Trump is trying to build an alliance with Israel and the Sunni Muslim countries he met with in Saudi Arabia, all unified against ISIS and other terrorist groups and also against Iran. Later in the day, Trump delivered a speech at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.


TRUMP: There are those who present a false choice. They say that we must choose between supporting Israel and supporting Arab and Muslim nations in the region. That is completely wrong.

KEITH: Trump was sharing the stage with Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and reported back about his earlier meeting with the Palestinian leader, Abbas.


TRUMP: The Palestinians are ready to reach for peace. I know you've heard it before. I am telling you. That's what I do. They are ready to reach for peace.

KEITH: And, he said, Netanyahu had assured him he wants peace, too.


TRUMP: Making peace, however, will not be easy. We all know that. Both sides will face tough decisions, but with determination, compromise and the belief that peace is possible, Israelis and Palestinians can make a deal.

KEITH: In their public remarks, both Abbas and Netanyahu got into specifics about barriers to peace and what they would need out of any accord. But President Trump didn't. It's not clear what the Trump administration sees as the next steps, but it is in the specifics where peace in the Middle East has hit a snag many times before.

Tamara Keith, NPR News, traveling with the president. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.