Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

United in Grief: President Barack Obama's Remarks on June 12, 2016, at 1:59 P.M. EDT, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, Following the Nation's Deadliest Mass Public Shooting, at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando Earlier That Morning

Magazine article The Advocate (The national gay & lesbian newsmagazine)

United in Grief: President Barack Obama's Remarks on June 12, 2016, at 1:59 P.M. EDT, in the James S. Brady Press Briefing Room, Following the Nation's Deadliest Mass Public Shooting, at the Pulse Nightclub in Orlando Earlier That Morning

Article excerpt

Today, as Americans, we grieve the brutal murder--a horrific massacre--of dozens of innocent people. We pray for their families, who are grasping for answers with broken hearts. We stand with the people of Orlando, who have endured a terrible attack on their city. Although it's still early in the investigation, we know enough to say that this was an act of terror and an act of hate. And as Americans, we are united in grief, in outrage, and in resolve to defend our people.

I just finished a meeting with FBI Director [James] Comey and my homeland security and national security advisors. The FBI is on the scene and leading the investigation, in partnership with local law enforcement. I've directed that the full resources of the federal government be made available for this investigation.

We are still learning all the facts. This is an open investigation. We've reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer. The FBI is appropriately investigating this as an act of terrorism. And I've directed that we must spare no effort to determine what--if any--inspiration or association this killer may have had with terrorist groups. What is clear is that he was a person filled with hatred. Over the coming days, we'll uncover why and how this happened, and we will go wherever the facts lead us.

This morning I spoke with my good friend, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, and I conveyed the condolences of the entire American people. This could have been any one of our communities. So I told Mayor Dyer that whatever help he and the people of Orlando need--they are going to get it. As a country, we will be there for the people of Orlando today, tomorrow and for all the days to come.

We also express our profound gratitude to all the police and first responders who rushed into harm's way. Their courage and professionalism saved lives, and kept the carnage from being even worse. It's the kind of sacrifice that our law enforcement professionals make every single day for all of us, and we can never thank them enough.

This is an especially heartbreaking day for all our friends--our fellow Americans--who are lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender. The shooter targeted a nightclub where people came together to be with friends, to dance and to sing, and to live. …

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