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Russian lawmaker: Orlando attack could sway US presidential campaign

June 14, 2016, 16:36 UTC+3 MOSCOW

A Russian lawmaker says both US presidential candidates convey relatively different assessments of what happened

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MOSCOW, June 14. /TASS/. The terrorist attack at the Pulse gay club in Orlando, Florida, which left 49 people dead and 53 injured, will influence the US presidential campaign, with presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump gaining political points in the short run, chairman of the Russian Federation Council’s International Affairs Committee Konstantin Kosachev told TASS on Tuesday.

"This event (terrorist attack at Orlando club) will definitely have an effect on the presidential campaign, and both candidates (Republican and Democrat) understand this very well," Kosachev said.

Conflicting conclusions

Kosachev stressed that both US presidential candidates "convey relatively different assessments of what happened." "Trump is trying to play on Islamophobia, presenting the attack exclusively as an act of Islamic terrorism, while (Democratic candidate Hillary) Clinton and the current president (Barack Obama) are focusing on hate crimes rather than religious intolerence," the lawmaker explained.

"In the short-term, emotionally, this crime will give Trump points over Clinton," he continued. Kosachev emphasized that the Republican candidate is questioning the authorities’ failure to act in preventing the terrorist attack, which "poses a strong argument easily available for the opposition to exploit, but not open to those in the current administration." "That’s why this will now work in Trump’s favor," he said.

The Russian lawmaker noted that Trump "is playing a dangerous game now."

I think that his proposal to ban Muslims from entering the United States and to restrict the activities of certain organizations in the US is a very dangerous strategy which may further raise tensions and split American society," he stressed. "Of course, this should be carefully considered before any categorical statements are made," Kosachev concluded.

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