In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in American history, Republicans have raised plenty of questions about President Obama's counter-terrorism strategy. Today, he answered those questions in rather dramatic fashion.
After a meeting of the president's National Security Council, Obama spoke at some length, not just about where things currently stand, but also about the misguided rhetoric coming from the far-right.
"For a while now, the main contribution of some of my friends on the other side of the aisle have made in the fight against ISIL is to criticize the administration and me for not using the phrase 'radical Islam.' 'That's the key,' they tell us. 'We cannot beat ISIL unless we call them radical Islamists.'
"What exactly would using this label would accomplish? What exactly would it change? Would it make ISIL less committed to try to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is none of the above. Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away.
"This is a political distraction.... There is no magic to the phrase 'radical Islam.' It is a political talking point. It is not a strategy."
The president went to explain that he's "careful" in his language, not because of political correctness, but because of a practical security strategy.
"Groups like ISIL and Al Qaida want to make this war a war between Islam and America, or between Islam and the West," Obama explaining, highlighting facts Republicans choose not to understand. "They want to claim that they are the true leaders of over a billion of Muslims around the world who reject their crazy notions.
"They want us to validate them by implying that they speak for those billion-plus people, that they speak for Islam. That's their propaganda, that's how they recruit. And if we fall into the trap of painting all Muslims as a broad brush, and imply that we are at war with the entire religion, then we are doing the terrorists' work for them."
The president then turned his attention to Donald Trump's ideas directly.