President Barack Obama arrives in Orlando

President Barack Obama looks at a T-shirt that was presented to him by Orlando, Fla. Mayor Buddy Dyer upon the president's his arrival at Orlando International Airport, Thursday, June 16, 2016, in Orlando, Fla. Obama is in Orlando today to pay respects to the victims of the Pulse nightclub shooting and meet with families of victims of the attack. (Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP)

President Barack Obama is greeted by Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer on Thursday. Joe Burbank/Orlando Sentinel via AP

ORLANDO – President Barack Obama arrived here midday Thursday for private meetings with those affected the Pulse nightclub shootings. Vice President Joe Biden is here as well.

The presidential delegation was greeted by Orange County Mayor Teresa Jacobs and Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer, who presented the president with an “Orlando United” T-shirt. MORE PHOTOS HERE 

Florida Gov. Rick Scott and U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio greeted the president as well. After a brief exchange of greetings the presidential motorcade was off.

Image: WFTV

Image: WFTV

As the AJC’s Ernie Suggs reported earlier, Scott has been in a tense standoff with Obama. The governor says he wants to rid his state of “radical Islam,” and toughen immigration standards in the wake of Sunday’s terror attack that left 49 people dead.


President Barack Obama shakes hands with Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) after they arrive at the Orlando International Airport to visit with family and community members after the attack at the Pulse gay nightclub where Omar Mateen killed 49 people on June 16, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. The mass shooting on June 12th killed 49 people and injured 53 others in what is the deadliest mass shooting in the country's history. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)

President Barack Obama shakes hands with U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL) at Orlando International Airport Thursday. Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images

“It’s evil,” Scott told the Atlanta Journal-Constitution. “I’m responsible for 20 million people in my state and 100 million tourists. I don’t want radical Islam in my state.”

The president has instead called for a debate on gun control.

“This massacre is therefore a further reminder of how easy it is for someone that lets them shoot people in a school, or in a house of worship, or in a movie theater or a night club,” he said shortly after the massacre. “And we have to decide if that’s the kind of country that we want to be. To actively do nothing is a decision as well.”

Obama decried as “yapping” the use of the term “radical Islam” and said it wasn’t productive.

“What exactly would using this label accomplish? What exactly would it change?” he said in a speech. “Would it make ISIS less committed to trying to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there a military strategy that is served by this? The answer is none of the above. Calling a threat by a different name does not make it go away. This is a political distraction.”

Please return for updates.

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