President-elect Trump pledged Friday night to keep Islamic terrorists the "hell out of our country" in a speech to supporters in Orlando, Fla., where a U.S.-born gunman who pledged himself to the Islamic State killed 49 people and injured 53 others at an LGBT nightclub downtown in June.
"The attack on Pulse Nightclub in Orlando was the worst mass shooting in American history and the deadliest assault on the LGBTQ community in American history," Trump told the crowd at his "thank you" rally at the Orlando Amphitheater. "We've seen Islamic terror attacks from Paris to Belgium to San Bernardino. One after other, again and again. We're going to stop it. Let me state this as clearly as I can: I am going to keep radical Islamic terrorists the hell out of our country."
The immigration hawk touted his plan for the "extreme vetting" of refugee, asylum and visa applicants seeking to enter the U.S. from regions where terrorists have strongholds. He also reiterated his intentions of suspending immigration from some regions where applicants "cannot be safely processed or vetted" due to a lack of government records.
Trump did not mention Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., a Cuban-American lawmaker who recently won a second term after succumbing to Trump during the GOP presidential primaries. Rubio has emerged as one of Trump's toughest foreign policy critics in the Senate. This week he issued a harsh statement on Trump's pick to lead his State Department, Exxon Mobil CEO Rex Tillerson, and urged the president-elect to strengthen U.S. alliances, including NATO and the U.S.-Japan Mutual Security Treaty.
With no mention of Rubio, Trump focused his speech toward the Cuban population.
"America will also stand with the Cuban people in their long struggle for freedom. And I want to appreciate — I tell you what, their support has been unbelievable," Trump said. "The Cuban people — we know what we have to do and we'll do it so don't worry about it. The numbers — the numbers have been incredible. In fact, they gave me just prior to the election, the Bay of Pigs award and let me tell you, that was a great honor for me." Trump received an endorsement from Miami-based veterans who fought in the Bay of Pigs invasion in October, the first such endorsement from the group in its more than 50-year history.
Shawn Krauel, the CEO of the Orlando Amphitheater, said parking was at capacity for the venue, which holds 10,000 people. Trump will rally in Mobile, Ala., on Saturday at 3 p.m. local time.