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Trump takes hardline stance against 'radical Islamic terrorism'

President Donald Trump employed hardline rhetoric as he pledged to defeat "radical Islamic terrorism," a politically charged term past administrations and, reportedly, his own national security advisor did not want to use.

In his speech to a joint session of Congress on Tuesday night, he also sought to justify his divisive executive order restricting travel from seven Muslim-majority countries. Trump plans to sign a new version of that measure Wednesday after his previous order was suspended in federal court.

"It is not compassionate, but reckless, to allow uncontrolled entry from places where proper vetting cannot occur," Trump said.

"We cannot allow a beachhead of terrorism to form inside America. We cannot allow our nation to become a sanctuary for extremists. That is why my administration has been working on improved vetting procedures, and we will shortly take new steps to keep our nation safe — and to keep out those who would do us harm."

President Donald J. Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017.
Jim Lo Scalzo | Pool Image via AP
President Donald J. Trump delivers his first address to a joint session of Congress from the floor of the House of Representatives in Washington, DC, USA, 28 February 2017.

Trump's tactics to fight terrorism have faced some bipartisan criticism, though the White House and its allies have defended the "extreme" methods as necessary to prevent attacks. Some have said his campaign-trail rhetoric against Muslims could energize terrorists.

Even Trump's National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster advised him against using the term "radical Islamic terrorism" in his speech, but was overruled, according to CNN. McMaster said the term was not helpful because terrorists are "un-Islamic," according to The New York Times.