President Obama described the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando last night as "an act of terror and hate," but did not mention the killer's self-proclaimed ties to ISIS or presumed radical Islamic ideology.
"This was an act of terror and an act of hate," he said during his early afternoon press conference. "As Americans, we are united in grief and outrage and in resolve to defend our people."
The president urged the public not to leap to conclusions yet about the motivations of the gunman, Omar Mateen. Mateen had been previously investigated by the FBI.
"We are still learning all the facts," said Obama. "We've reached no definitive judgment on the precise motivations of the killer. What is clear is that he was a person filled with hatred."
While Obama did not speculate about Mateen's motivations, news outlets are reporting that Mateen pledged allegiance to ISIS shortly before his attack on Pulse. His family has thus far maintained that he simply hated gay people, and this hatred was not connected to his Islamic faith.
After declining to blame the attack on radical Islam, the president impugned the U.S. lack of effective gun control.
"This massacre is a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon," he said. "We have to decide if that's the kind of country we want to be, and to actively do nothing is a decision as well."
For more coverage of the Orlando Pulse Shooting, go here.