Hillary Clinton has avoided using the phrase "radical Islam" when describing terror attacks, but that reluctance appears to be over. "To me, radical jihadism, radical Islamism, I think they mean the same thing," she said on the Today show at NBC. "I'm happy to say either, but that's not the point." And on MSNBC, she said, per Talking Points Memo: "I have clearly said many, many times we face terrorist enemies who use Islam to justify slaughtering innocent people. We have to defeat radical jihadist terrorism or radical Islamism, whatever you call it. It's the same." Donald Trump, who has been hammering her and President Obama for not using the phrase, immediately claimed credit. "I have been hitting Obama and Crooked Hillary hard on not using the term Radical Islamic Terror," he tweeted. "Hillary just broke-said she would now use!"
In a December interview on ABC, Clinton explained that she didn't use "radical Islam" because it "sounds like we are declaring war against a religion." Plus, she added, "it helps to create this clash of civilizations that is actually a recruiting tool for ISIS and other radical jihadists." On NBC Monday morning, Clinton criticized Trump's focus on the term and downplayed the issue. "All this talk and demagoguery and … rhetoric is not going to solve the problem," she said. "I'm not going to demonize and demagogue and declare war on an entire religion."