Trump promises to vet immigrants, announces tough-talking defense head

At a rally in Ohio, Trump vowed to make America safe again, in large part by vetting Muslim immigrants, and announced Gen. James Mattis as his choice for head of defense, while saying he will work to protect all Americans of diverse backgrounds.

Speaking to thousands of supporters Thursday in Cincinnati, Ohio, beginning what his staff describes as a “thank you” tour of the American Midwest, U.S. President-elect Donald Trump reiterated his famous campaign promise to “make America safe” by vetting immigrants from the Middle East and Africa.

‘The job of the president is to keep America safe’

“The job of the president is to keep America safe, and that will always be my highest priority. We will do everything in our power to keep the scourge of terrorism out of our country. People are pouring in from regions of the Middle East. We have no idea who they are, where they come from, what they’re thinking. And we’re going to stop that dead, cold, flat,” Trump stated.

The event took place just three days after an 18-year-old Muslim immigrant from Somali went on a car-ramming and stabbing spree at Ohio State University in Columbus, wounding 11 – one critically.

ISIS is taking credit for the terrible stabbing attack at Ohio State University by a Somali refugee who should not have been in our country,” Trump stated.

The attacker was not known to FBI counterterrorism authorities before Monday’s rampage. He had rallied against what he saw as America’s “interfering with other countries, especially the Muslim Ummah [nation],” and warned of further violence.

In September, a 22-year-old Somali immigrant stabbed and wounded nine people in an Islamic terror attack at the Crossroads Center shopping mall in St. Cloud, Minnesota. An ISIS recruit, he made several “references to Allah” during the attack and asked at least one person whether she was Muslim before attacking her.

‘People coming into the country have to have the potential to love us, not to hate us’

“We will do everything in our power to keep the scourge of terrorism out of our country. People are pouring in from regions of the Middle East. We have no idea who they are, where they come from, what they’re thinking. And we’re going to stop that dead, cold, flat,” Trump told his supporters.

“People coming into the country have to have the potential to love us, not to hate us,” he declared.

“We will stop looking to topple regimes,” he added, referring to what he sees as the Obama administration’s failed U.S. foreign policy. “Our goal is stability, not chaos, because we want to rebuild our country.”

The president-elect also referred to his team’s success this week in saving 1,100 jobs in the U.S. with the Carrier air-conditioning company, vowing to continue to “crack down on all foreign trade abuses,” which he said, undermine Americans’ ability to compete.

Trump also announced, to huge applause, his choice of retired Marine Gen. James Mattis, known to have a tough position on Iran, as head of the Department of Defense, a move that seems to verify a significant change in strategy towards the Islamic Republic and ISIS as well as acts of aggression by other nations.

“We are going to appoint Mad Dog Mattis as our secretary of defense,” Trump stated.

‘We condemn bigotry and prejudice in all of its forms’

The president-elect referred to his election promise to work in the best interests of all Americans, regardless of ethnicity.

“We condemn bigotry and prejudice in all of its forms. We denounce all of the hatred, and we forcefully reject the language of exclusion and separation. We have no choice. We have to, and it’s better,” Trump asserted.

By: Atara Beck, World Israel News Staff