President Obama’s Statement & More Reactions To The Deadly Orlando Nightclub Shooting

Photo: AP/Manuel Balce Ceneta.
This is a breaking news story. This post continues to be updated.

Following Sunday's deadly shooting at an Orlando, FL, nightclub, stars, politicians, and LGBT activists expressed their shock and sorrow, and called for gun control in the wake of the deadliest shooting in U.S. history, which left at least 50 people dead. President Obama, visibly shaken, made a brief statement following Sunday's deadly shooting as the White House lowered flags to half-staff. The president sent prayers to the victims' families and the people of Orlando after an "act of terror and an act of hate."
While the president mentioned that the motivations for the shooter are still unknown, he was clear that the shooter "was a person filled with hate." He also added that "this is a sobering reminder that attacks on any an attack on all of us.”
The president then pivoted to a call for action on gun violence. He said the shooting was "a further reminder of how easy it is for someone to get their hands on a weapon." And once again said that the country would have to make a choice on whether to take action — through stronger gun control measures.
Meanwhile, other politicians used their social media platforms to express sympathy. Florida Gov. Rick Scott took to Twitter on Sunday morning, saying that his prayers with the victims' families.
The presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, said that her "thoughts are with those affected by this horrific act" in a tweet.
Clinton issued another statement hours later on Facebook, declaring the murders "an act of terror" and "also an act of hate." Clinton also shared a message specifically to the LGBT community, saying, "Please know that you have millions of allies across our country. I am one of them. We will keep fighting for your right to live freely, openly, and without fear. Hate has absolutely no place in America." During an interview on Meet The Press on Sunday morning, Bernie Sanders called for automatic weapons not to be sold in the United States. Sanders said, "It's unthinkable, and hopes go out to those who were shot that they can recover, and I've got to tell you for 25 years now, I've believed that we should not be selling automatic weapons which are designed to kill people, and we've got to do everything we can on top of that to make sure that guns do not fall into the hands of people who should not have them."
Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee, was one of the first politicians to react amid claims that the attacks were terrorism. He wrote a series of tweets asking when America will get "tough, smart & vigilant."
Florida Sen. Marco Rubio tweeted about the need for blood donations for survivors.
A Vatican spokesperson told The Associated Press that Pope Francis expressed "deepest feelings of horror and condemnation" over what he called "homicidal folly and senseless hatred." The pope also asked for "prayer and compassion" for the victims and their families.
A statement from the Tony Awards expressed sympathy to the victims' families and noted that tonight's performances will be dedicated to the lives lost.
LGBT activist Stuart Milk, nephew of Harvey Milk, shared a statement on social media, sending "a world of love and prayers to all those who are grieving today."
Ellen Degeneres was one of many celebrities who shared their sorrow on social media.
Other celebrities called for change, specifically tougher gun restrictions.
There were also strong reactions on Instagram.

If we can't get rid of guns can we please end homophobia?

A photo posted by Andy Cohen (@bravoandy) on

????? On behalf of my sister Barry, her wife Julie and I - a donation has been placed to support the victims & their families in the Orlando massacre. Link in Bio. Please support the victims of this community that have been senselessly slaughtered. We are broken in their passing. We are shamed by the acts that are taking place in this country. I'm so tired of loving so much that my heart breaks over and over and over yet that is the only solution. Love and accountability. Donate and help the families now. Speak the fuck up and GET GUN CONTROL HANDLED IN THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA. End the bigotry. End the hatred. End the terrorism. End the denial that we are living in a radically dangerous world that needs a firm hand, firm laws and countless hugs, kisses and endless healing. There are no words. We love each and every one of you,. I love you my sissy, I love you Julie, I love each and every person in our LGBT community. I would be nowhere without being raised by this community since I was a child. You taught me how to be love, how to love myself, how to accept myself, and there is no amount of money to account for that. But I will continue to do what my mother taught and my sister exemplifies on a daily basis- bravery, action, and creating a safe space for everyone no matter their preferences. Today I honor the gift of loving. Today I am fueled and burning bright with anger, remorse and sorrow for all of the beautiful Souls are gone. That have lost a brother, father, son, friend, husband, partner, sister, daughter, mother, companion. Today is the beginning of inevitable change.

A photo posted by Jaime King (@jaime_king) on

A photo posted by Miley Cyrus (@mileycyrus) on

More from US News

R29 Original Series