President Donald Trump on Tuesday slammed those behind the Manchester attack as “evil losers” and reiterated his call to drive out terrorists.
“I extend my deepest condolences to those so terribly injured in this terrorist attack and to the many killed and the families, so many families, of the victims. We stand in absolute solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom,” Trump said, in his first comment on the Monday night attack at a concert Manchester, England.
Monday’s attack outside an Ariana Grande concert at Manchester Arena killed at least 22 people, including children, and was carried out by a lone suspect carrying a bomb, Manchester Police said.
While police believe the suspect was acting alone, investigations are ongoing to establish if he was part of a network.
Trump said: “So many young beautiful innocent people living and enjoying their lives murdered by evil losers in life. I won’t call them monsters because they would like that term. They would think that’s a great name. 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,” he added.
The phrase “evil losers” was Trump’s own idea, a senior White House official said, adding he went over it with his team Tuesday morning at the King David Hotel in Jerusalem before delivering the speech.
Trump delivered his remarks alongside Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas in the West Bank city of Bethlehem, where the two men met to advance peace talks on the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Abbas also expressed his “warm condolences” to the victims of the attack and to the British people.
Trump called on all countries to unite in the fight against terrorism and proclaimed: “This wicked ideology must be obliterated.”
“Our society can have no tolerance for this continuation of bloodshed. We cannot stand a moment longer for the slaughter of innocent people. And in today’s attack it was mostly innocent children. The terrorists and extremists and those who give them aid and comfort must be driven out from our society forever,” Trump said.
Trump spoke to British Prime Minister Theresa May about the attack, the White House said, expressing condolences and assistance on behalf of the US.
As many as 400 police were deployed overnight, Chief Constable Ian Hopkins said early Tuesday. He added that residents should expect to see more armed officers on the streets.
“The attacker, I can confirm, died at the arena. We believe the attacker was carrying an improvised explosive device, which he detonated, causing this atrocity,” he said.
If confirmed as a terror incident, it would be the deadliest attack on British soil since the 2005 London bombings, which killed 52 people.
Later Tuesday, Trump tweeted: “We stand in absolute solidarity with the people of the United Kingdom.”