The President offered his condolences and support to Canada and Prime Minister Justin Trudeau in a phone call Monday after the terror attack at a mosque Sunday night that left six dead and multiple others wounded.
White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the event was a reminder of national security threats.
“It’s a terrible reminder of why we must remain vigilant and why the president is taking steps to be proactive and not reactive on issues of national security,” he said at a news conference Monday afternoon.
When asked about the travel ban, Spicer used almost the same wording as when he was talking about the Quebec terror attack.
That’s despite the fact that the the Quebec terror attack only targeted Muslims, and the travel ban affects seven Muslim-majority countries – as well as the fact that the alleged suspect was from Canada.
WATCH: Sean Spicer says Trump’s travel ban intended to be ‘proactive’ on tackling ‘possible’ threats
“We’re going to put the safety of Americans first, we’re not going to wait and react, as I said in the (previous) statement, the president is going to be very proactive in protecting this country,” Spicer said.
“We’re not going to wait until we get attacked and figure how we can make sure it doesn’t happen again.”
Alexandre Bissonnette is the lone suspect in the shooting, according to police. According to his Facebook page, which has been taken down, he is from Quebec City region and studied at Université Laval,
His “likes” on Facebook included the leader of France’s far right party Marine Le Pen, Richard Dawkins and Christopher Hitchens, the Israeli Defense Forces, and Donald J. Trump. However he also “likes” the NDP and former leader Jack Layton.
Security expert Dr. Bessma Momani at the University of Waterloo also said the travel ban has no benefit to national security, calling the countries which were targeted arbitrary.
“The reality here is that there is no rhyme or reason from the security lens to explain those seven countries,” she told Global News.
“We can’t use the security lens to explain what is frankly a very arbitrary, not very well thought out plan.”
*With files from Andrew Russell