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In this Dec. 13, 2016, photo, President-elect Donald Trump speaks during a rally at the Wisconsin State Fair Exposition Center in West Allis, Wis. Although pestered to a fare-thee-well to abandon Donald Trump, Republican electors appear to be in no mood for an insurrection in the presidential campaign’s last voting ritual. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

Trump's response to terrorist attacks has changed since becoming president-elect


President-elect Donald Trump still attacks his foes on Twitter, much like he did when he was still candidate Trump. 

But yesterday, after the attacks in Berlin, Germany and Ankara, Turkey, Trump demonstrated that not all his actions since becoming president-elect are the same as when he was a candidate. 

Hard-line stance helped him win

National security and terrorism were issues that helped Trump win the primaries, and ultimately the White House. 

In the days before the November 13, 2015 terrorist attacks in Paris, France, Dr. Ben Carson had overtaken Donald Trump in Real Clear Politics Republican Primary polling average

But after those attacks, Trump's hard-line response helped him to reclaim the lead in the polls. He never looked back on his way to becoming the GOP nominee. 

'Nobody had guns but the bad guys'

The day after the Paris attacks, Trump urged more civilians to own guns.

"When you look at Paris, toughest gun laws in the world, nobody had guns but the bad guys," Trump said at a rally. "Nobody had guns. And they were just shooting them one by one, and then they broke in and had a big shootout and ultimately killed the terrorists. If they had guns, if our people had guns, if they were allowed to carry, it would have been a much, much different situation."

Pivot to Syrian refugees

Trump also used the attacks as reason to lambast President Obama for wanting to accept Syrian refugees. "It was just reported, one [terrorist was] from Syria. Our president wants to take in 250,000 from Syria. I mean, think of it: 250,000 people," Trump said at the same rally in Texas. 

"And we all have heart. And we all want people taken care of and all of that. But with the problems our country has, to take in 250,000 people -- some of whom are going to have problems, big problems."

On Twitter, he bashed Obama for not defeating ISIS.

He continued to go after Obama for a weak response. 

Doubles down on immigration stace

It wasn't just after the Paris attacks that Trump stuck a combative tone -- after the Brussels attacks in March 2016, he doubled down on restricting immigration: 

"In my opinion, this is just the beginning," he told "Fox and Friends" after the attacks. "It will get worse and worse because we are lax and we are foolish -- we can't allow these people, at this point we cannot allow these people to come into our country. I'm sorry."

A change in tone after latest attacks

These aggressive statements and tweets from Trump helped separate him from the field of GOP candidates. But Trump's tone after the Paris attacks was dramatically different from his statements and tweets since the attacks in Europe yesterday. 

Last night, Trump's transition team sent out two statements, one for each attack. In both statements Trump did not call for more guns in the hands of civilians or lay the blame for the attacks on any group. 

The murder of an ambassador is a violation of all rules of civilized order and must be universally condemned.
Donald Trump

Instead, the statements took a much more diplomatic tone:

"Today we offer our condolences to the family and loved ones of Russian Ambassador to Turkey Andrei Karlov, who was assassinated by a radical Islamic terrorist," Trump said in a statement on the attack in Turkey. 

"Our hearts and prayers are with the loved ones of the victims of today's horrifying terror attack in Berlin. Innocent civilians were murdered in the streets as they prepared to celebrate the Christmas holiday," Trump said in a statement. 

"ISIS and other Islamist terrorists continually slaughter Christians in their communities and places of worship as part of their global jihad. These terrorists and their regional and worldwide networks must be eradicated from the face of the earth, a mission we will carry out with all freedom-loving partners."

His activity on Twitter has also been much less aggressive. 

The attacks yesterday were the first suspected terrorist attacks in the West since Trump became president-elect, and his response indicates a more cautious approach than the one Trump struck on the campaign trail. 

During the campaign, at an event in Wisconsin, Trump's daughter Ivanka Trump said: "With my father what you see is what you get, what you hear is what you get." 

So based on what Trump said in response to yesterday's attacks, we seem to be getting a more reserved president.

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