THE BIG IDEA: The wee hours of Sunday morning brought the biggest terrorist attack on U.S. soil since Sept. 11 and the deadliest mass shooting in this nation’s history.
What happened? A gunman who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State opened fire inside a crowded gay bar and dance club in Orlando, leaving 50 people dead (including the shooter) and 53 injured. “The gunman fired bullets seemingly at random inside the popular Pulse nightclub,” Hayley Tsukayama, Mark Berman and Jerry Markon report. “He then held others hostage in a three-hour siege that ended when police stormed the building and killed him. … Police said the toll could have been even greater had a SWAT team not rescued 30 people and shepherded them to safety."
Who did it? The gunman was identified as Omar Mateen, a 29-year-old security guard who was born in New York to Afghan parents. After his initial assault on the dance club, he called 911 and pledged allegiance to the leader of ISIS. During the call, Mateen made reference to the 2013 bombing of the Boston Marathon. FBI Special Agent Ron Hopper, who runs the Orlando office, told reporters that Mateen had twice been investigated by the bureau and was cleared both times.
The father of the gunman said in a video posted to Facebook shortly after midnight that his son shouldn’t have carried out the massacre because “God himself will punish those involved in homosexuality.” Seddique Mateen, who lives in Florida, called the shooting “tragic” but said his son, Omar Mateen, was “a good son and an educated son.” (Tim Craig and Max Bearak on the latest video; read more about the father here.)
The gunman’s ex-wife, Sitora Yusifiy, said that he beat her repeatedly during their brief marriage and that, though Muslim, he was not very religious and gave no indication that he was devoted to radical Islam. “He was not a stable person,” she told The Post. “He would just come home and start beating me up because the laundry wasn’t finished or something like that.” (Adam Goldman, Joby Warrick and Max Bearak have more on the shooter.)
One friend told The Post that Mateen became steadily more religious after his 2011 divorce and went on a religious pilgrimage to Saudi Arabia. For several years, Mateen regularly attended the Islamic Center of Fort Pierce and was there as recently as two days ago, said Imam Shafiq Rahman.
-- The story will dominate the news all week. Hillary Clinton canceled her joint appearance with President Barack Obama that was scheduled for Wednesday in Wisconsin. Joe Biden canceled his trip to Miami for a fundraiser to help DNC Chair Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Donald Trump canceled a rally in Portsmouth that was scheduled for tonight. He was scheduled to give a speech questioning Clinton’s ethics, but he will now speak at 2:30 at Saint Anselm College about “this terrorist attack, immigration and national security,” according to a statement from the campaign.
-- Trump’s temperament will again be in the spotlight today. The presumptive Republican nominee pulled no punches in a lengthy statement yesterday, going so far as to call for Barack Obama to resign and reiterating his call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States (despite the fact that the shooter was born in New York).
“In his remarks today, President Obama disgracefully refused to even say the words 'Radical Islam'. For that reason alone, he should step down,” Trump said in his press release. “If Hillary Clinton, after this attack, still cannot say the two words 'Radical Islam' she should get out of this race for the Presidency. If we do not get tough and smart real fast, we are not going to have a country anymore. Because our leaders are weak, I said this was going to happen – and it is only going to get worse. I am trying to save lives and prevent the next terrorist attack. We can't afford to be politically correct anymore.”
“We admit more than 100,000 lifetime migrants from the Middle East each year. Since 9/11, hundreds of migrants and their children have been implicated in terrorism in the United States,” Trump added. “Hillary Clinton wants to dramatically increase admissions from the Middle East, bringing in many hundreds of thousands during a first term – and we will have no way to screen them, pay for them, or prevent the second generation from radicalizing.” (To be fair, this mischaracterizes Clinton’s position.)
The statement followed a stream of self-congratulatory tweets.
Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don't want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
What has happened in Orlando is just the beginning. Our leadership is weak and ineffective. I called it and asked for the ban. Must be tough— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
He posted this, with no sourcing or attribution. (It closely echoed a Fox News analyst’s tweet.)
Reporting that Orlando killer shouted "Allah hu Akbar!" as he slaughtered clubgoers. 2nd man arrested in LA with rifles near Gay parade.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
-- Needless to say, Clinton’s response was more measured, conventional and, in a word, presidential. The former Secretary of State did not make reference to a specific religion. Her initial response was characteristically cautious:
Woke up to hear the devastating news from FL. As we wait for more information, my thoughts are with those affected by this horrific act. -H— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 12, 2016
Then, in the late afternoon, she released a nuanced statement:
"This was an act of terror. ... This was also an act of hate." —Hillary on the attack in Orlando https://t.co/MmaGjrSufr— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 12, 2016
And, for good measure, she released a Spanish-language version as well. (The Pulse nightclub was celebrating “Latin Night,” so many of the victims were Latino.)
Declaraciones de Hillary Clinton sobre el ataque en Orlando. https://t.co/onc4230GUH— Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) June 12, 2016
-- “The disparity between the two encapsulates the choice facing voters this fall,” write Juliet Eilperin, Robert Costa and Anne Gearan. “Do they see Trump’s bombast as the solution to a dangerous world, or do they find comfort in Clinton’s more familiar manner? Trump’s way served him well in the Republican primaries. … But it is unclear whether the much larger general-election audience will react as favorably to a candidate who has called for ‘a hell of a lot worse’ than waterboarding, has said of terrorists that ‘you have to take out their families’ and who is willing to circulate unconfirmed reports on social media amid a federal investigation.”
Stuart Stevens, Mitt Romney’s chief strategist in 2012, called Trump’s statements “childish.” “Every day he finds a different way to show he’s unqualified to be president,” Stevens told The Post. “Today he’s accepting congratulations at a time when 50 people are slaughtered.”
-- “Trump’s tweet speaks to the single largest problem facing his presidential campaign,” writes Chris Cillizza. “While he’s mastered the role of tough and unapologetic leader, he simply cannot seem to understand that at times a president needs to be an empathetic consoler-in-chief, too. The job of president is a deeply complex one. You must be able to play both roles.”
- “Some of Obama’s most powerful moments as president have come amid tragedy,” Chris notes. “His eulogy following the shooting deaths of nine churchgoers in Charleston, S.C., was one of the best speeches of his presidency. His address in the wake of the 2011 shooting of then-Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D), in which 13 people were injured and six killed, ranks as one of his most poignant.”
- “There’s ample evidence — long before today’s tragedy — that Trump struggles mightily on questions of empathy. Asked which candidate ‘better understands the problems of people like you,’ 47 percent of registered voters in a late May Washington Post-ABC News poll chose Clinton, while 36 percent named Trump. On the question of who better represents ‘your personal values,’ 48 percent chose Clinton, and 37 percent went with Trump.”
The reaction among elites ran overwhelmingly negative:
A victory lap in blood https://t.co/5CgA6OmRaX— Ron Fournier (@ron_fournier) June 12, 2016
It must be possible for a leader to say something more wrong than this at a time like this, but it would not be easy https://t.co/FilTMdyIZQ— David Frum (@davidfrum) June 12, 2016
-- Obama rose above the fray: “In the face of hate and violence, we will love one another,” he said in remarks at the White House. “We will not give in to fear or turn against each other. Instead, we will stand united, as Americans, to protect our people, and defend our nation, and to take action against those who threaten us.” (Read the full text of his remarks.)
-- Just hours before the nightclub attack, the Clinton campaign debuted its first commercial of the general election. Coincidentally, it focuses on this very theme: that Trump is too callous and insensitive to lead the country. The 60-second spot includes clips of Trump at campaign events talking about beating up people and mocking a reporter's disability. "Today, we face a choice about who we are as a nation," the former Secretary of State narrates. “Do we help each other? Do we respect each other? I know what I believe. It’s wrong to pit people against each other. What kind of America do we want to be? Dangerously divided, or strong and united? I believe we are always stronger together." Watch:
-- Beware of a Beltway disconnect: After the San Bernardino and Paris attacks, Jeb Bush’s campaign thought he would benefit. He and his strategists thought it would be a gut check moment that forced voters to get serious. For a moment, this was conventional wisdom. Instead, Trump spiked in the polls. It turned out that conservative base voters wanted a candidate who they thought would ruthlessly go after the terrorists and they had little appetite for nuance.
Now we find ourselves in the general election, and conservative base voters are not who will decide this election. Chances are that the chattering and governing classes in D.C. will be unnerved, and probably outraged, by Trump’s speech this afternoon. Trump’s core base of support will love whatever he says because, in their eyes, he can do no wrong. The key question is how independents and center-right Republicans who continue to feel apprehensive about Trump respond. Do they like his tough talk because they want to get the bastards? Or does his brashness give them additional pause about giving this guy control of the nuclear arsenal?
There is risk for Clinton. Two political scientists have done extensive research on how the public reacts to terror attacks. In their 2009 book, “Democracy at Risk,” Jennifer Merolla and Elizabeth Zechmeister argued that public attitudes shift in three politically relevant ways:
- "When terrorist threat is pronounced, individuals become less trusting of others, even their own neighbors. They express less favorable attitudes toward immigrants. In particular, they become less supportive of the rights of Arab and Muslim Americans.”
- “The public’s tendency to rally around a sitting executive when confronted with an external threat is well documented. But we find the public does more than that … On average, leaders who are Republican, male, and have relevant national security experience tend to be viewed as more competent. ... Leaders who are both female and Democratic may therefore experience the most negative political consequences of terrorist attacks.”
- There is more support for hawkish policies in foreign affairs and homeland security, even at the expense of civil liberties. “This hawkishness occurs among partisans of all stripes.”
-- The attack will generate a fresh debate about gun control.
The gunman legally purchased the two guns that he used (a .223-caliber AR-15-type assault rifle and a 9mm semiautomatic pistol) within “the last few days,” according to the ATF. The AR-15 is the same weapon used in Aurora, Newtown and San Bernardino.
There have already been 227 pieces of legislation introduced during this Congress related to firearms. “Most or even all of those proposals are going nowhere, but it’s not for lack of attention on the issue,” writes Amber Phillips. (She has a rundown of the key bills related to nine issues.)
A stream of new legislation will be introduced today. Sen. Bob Casey (D-Pa.) plans a 10:45 a.m. press conference in Pittsburgh, for example, to unveil a bill that would ban anyone convicted of a misdemeanor hate crime from being able to buy or possess a gun.
Trump touts an endorsement from the National Rifle Association, and Clinton supports reinstating the assault weapons ban, a California proposal regulating ammunition and legislation to end the immunity gun manufacturers have from some lawsuits.
Many news outlets and politicians are focusing on the gun control side of the incident:
Congress's heartless, intentional silence has become a quiet message of endorsement to would be shooters contemplating mass murder.— Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) June 12, 2016
Here's the vote breakdown for the failed amendment which would stop those on terror watch list from buying guns: pic.twitter.com/6NsrTQaxfr— Frank Thorp V (@frankthorp) December 3, 2015
-- The attack on a gay nightclub could permanently alter the tone of the debate over gay rights.
We’re two weeks away from the one-year anniversary of the Supreme Court’s landmark decision recognizing a Constitutional right to gay marriage. Much of the conversation yesterday was about how ISIS routinely executes gay people.
While the gunman’s father suggested anti-gay animus may have motivated him, only a handful of Republicans mentioned that aspect of the shooting; nearly every Democrat did. “The differences were stark in the reactions from the two parties' respective leaders in Congress,” David Weigel notes. Speaker Paul Ryan referred generally to "the victims.” In a statement released around the same time, Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi repeatedly mentioned the LGBT community. Similarly, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell did not mention the LGBT community in his reaction. Senate Minority Leader Harry M. Reid did. “In Florida, for much of the day, Republicans avoided the topic while Democrats jumped in,” Weigel flags. “Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.), who represents much of Orlando, reacted with a token of LGBT solidarity. Rep. Daniel Webster (R-Fla.), whose 10th District covers some of Orlando's suburbs, made no such connection.”
Adding to the tension: Los Angeles authorities detained a “heavily armed man” in advance of the West Hollywood pride parade. Investigators recovered assault rifles, ammunition and a bucket with chemicals (which could be used to make an IED) from the vehicle of James Howell. Santa Monica's police chief initially tweeted that Howell said he wanted to “harm” the event, but a police department spokesman said last night that this was inaccurate: “The correct thing that he did say was that he was here for the pride event, but beyond that, he did not say anything more.”
The attack could draw more attention to cultural battles in the ongoing debate over the defense reauthorization bill. “Democrats and LGBT rights advocates will be keeping a close eye on Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCain (R-Ariz.) during upcoming negotiations on the defense measure, as House and Senate leaders could clash over language concerning whether religious organizations with federal contracts should be exempt from nondiscrimination orders covering gender identity and sexual orientation,” Karoun Demirjian reports. “McCain, unlike House Republicans, wrote a defense bill that seeks no special nondiscrimination exemptions for religious groups, a move that has the support of Democrats and LGBT advocacy groups. McCain has also steered the Senate debate clear, so far, of the tensions in the House, where Republican leaders maneuvered to prioritize exemptions for religious groups over LGBT nondiscrimination protections.”
-- Big picture: “The confluence of (gay rights, gun control and terrorism) in a single incident is more likely to muddy our already-sodden politics than to bring any clarity or sense of purpose,” Karen Tumulty writes in a poignant essay. “It has always been true that the toughest issues are those that pit our values against our fears. … Not since 9/11 has a moment like this brought the nation together, and that evaporated quickly. … Across the ideological and partisan divide, it no longer seems possible to even explore — much less agree upon — causes and solutions. So the response has been muddled, even while the next tragedy looms.”
Here are 10 more stories from The Post's team coverage—
- "What we know and what we still don’t know about the Orlando shooting rampage" (Mark Berman)
- "Shooter worked at one of the world’s largest security firms." (Christian Davenport)
- "An agonizing wait as shooting victims’ names are slowly released.” (Hayley Tsukayama, Katie Zezima and Ariana Eunjung Cha, plus a list of the confirmed fatalities, which we’ll update through the day.)
- “It was just complete chaos”: Survivors speak about the desperate struggle to stay alive. (Joel Achenbach and Peter Holley)
- “I told her it was okay to cry”: Shattered families gather at an Orlando Hampton Inn for news. (Kevin Sullivan and Katie Zezima)
- “You have to be strong to be gay … that dude picked on the wrong group.” (Hayley Tsukayama covers a late-night vigil at the Joy Metropolitan Community Church in Orlando — which known for welcoming lesbians and gay men.)
- “The target was a gay nightclub. The target was also all of us.” (Monica Hesse essay in Style)
- “Capital Pride Festival takes a more somber tone following Orlando.” (Terrence McCoy, Faiz Siddiqui and Fenit Nirappil)
- “Fellow gay people, don’t forget: We are a battle-hardened movement.” (Op-ed by Charles Kaiser)
- “Will Orlando drive us from our corners?” Column by E.J. Dionne, Jr.: “The only appropriate response to Orlando is solidarity harnessed to intelligent determination. So far, no body count, however repulsive, has forced us to abandon our ideological cul-de-sacs. The dead on the floor of a nightclub cry out to us.”
|Welcome to the Daily 202, PowerPost's morning newsletter. |
With contributions from Breanne Deppisch (@breanne_dep) and Elise Viebeck (@eliseviebeck) Sign up to receive the newsletter.
WHILE YOU WERE SLEEPING:
-- Hamilton won 11 Tony Awards last night, including best musical. From Peter Marks: The results reflected the widespread audience and critical acclaim for Lin-Manuel Miranda’s hip-hop biography of Alexander Hamilton. Miranda scooped up two statuettes himself – for best book, and best score of a musical. Among the show’s other wins were in the categories of direction, choreography, orchestrations, supporting actress (Renée Elise Goldsberry) and supporting actor (Daveed Diggs). And Leslie Odom Jr. won the title of best actor in a musical. In the end, “Hamilton” was able to win in all but two of the 13 categories in which it earned 16 nominations, almost half of the evening’s 24-category take.” Other winners: Stephen Karam, who won the award of best new play for his “tragicomic” family drama “The Humans.” Ivo van Hove was voted best director of a play for his revival of Arthur Miller’s “A View From the Bridge.” (See a full list of winners here.)
-- The Pittsburgh Penguins won the Stanley Cup, defeating the San Jose Sharks 3-1.
GET SMART FAST:
- A man detonated a homemade explosive device in Shanghai’s airport, injuring five, including himself. He took a beer bottle full of homemade explosive materials from his backpack, which he threw at the airport’s check-in counter. After the bottle exploded, the man took out a knife and slashed his neck, inflicting serious injuries. (Simon Denyer)
- Suicide bombers struck a Damascus suburb, killing at least 12 and injuring dozens more. ISIS claimed responsibility. (Reuters)
- The Taliban skinned alive a 21-year-old Afghan man after his distant relative was accused of killing a militant commander. The barbarity underscores the increasingly grisly tactics used throughout Afghanistan over the past six months. (Tim Craig)
- Stanford students protested the university’s sexual assault policies during commencement. Graduates held signs reading “Stanford Protects Rapists” and “125 Years of Rape Culture,” after swimmer Brock Turner was convicted of raping an unconscious 23-year-old. (Nick Romeo)
- Prosecutors pushed for Turner to receive a six-year sentence, new court documents show. The judge gave him six months. (Nick Anderson and Susan Svrluga)
- The House Benghazi Committee subpoenaed Pentagon official Stephen Hedger, suggesting he tried to prevent an Air Force sergeant from providing testimony about what happened on the night of the 2012 attacks. Hedger has previously been critical of the GOP-led committee, requesting a meeting last month to discuss the use of Pentagon resources in the investigation. (Elise Viebeck)
- Lance Armstrong is traveling to Kalamazoo, Mich., to participate in a “Finish the Ride” event honoring the nine people that were killed or injured by a man who drove his pickup truck into a group of cyclists last week. (Detroit Free Press)
- Greenland recorded its warmest temperature EVER, with the Arctic country’s capital of Nuuk soaring to 75 degrees. (For comparison, it was 71 degrees in New York that day.) Thursday’s temperature marks the second exceptionally warm temperature recorded in southwest Greenland since April, when the ice melt season began a month prematurely. (Jason Samenow and Angela Fritz)
THE DEMOCRATIC DENOUEMENT:
-- Bernie Sanders will meet with Clinton on Tuesday night after polls close in D.C. “I simply want to get a sense of what kind of platform she will be supporting,” he said on NBC’s “Meet the Press,” “whether she will be vigorous in standing up for working families and the middle class, moving aggressively in climate change, health care for all, making public colleges and universities tuition-free. And after we have that kind of discussion … I will be able to make other decisions.”
- When Chuck Todd asked if he's still an "active candidate," the Vermont senator dodged. "Well, let me just say this: I am doing everything that I can and will continue to do everything that I can to make sure that Donald Trump does not become president of the United States," he said.
- Sanders also noted (correctly) that he is highly unlikely to be Clinton's running-mate. On ABC's "This Week," he called himself a “great admirer” of Elizabeth Warren. (John Wagner)
-- Bernie met with nearly two dozen advisers in Vermont over the weekend. Among those he spoke with: Benjamin T. Jealous, a former president of the N.A.A.C.P.; Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva of Arizona; Nina Turner, a former Ohio state senator; and Bill McKibben, the environmentalist. (New York Times)
-- Jesse Jackson endorsed HRC, calling for Democratic “reconciliation." "The campaign is technically over, but the crusade is not," he said. "I support Hillary’s campaign and Bernie’s crusade, and they are reconcilable." Sanders was a strong supporter of Jackson's 1988 presidential bid. (Max Ehrenfreund)
-- Clinton is likely to be endorsed by the AFL-CIO on Thursday. (Anne Gearan)
-- Hawaii Rep. Tulsi Gabbard launched a petition to end the Democratic Party’s use of superdelegates: “[W]e should all agree that unelected party officials and lobbyists should not have a say in who the presidential nominee of our party is,” the former DNC vice chairwoman wrote in a Facebook post. She stepped down from her DNC post in February to support Sanders.
-- Mitt Romney warned that a Trump presidency could lead to “trickle-down" racism, misogyny and bigotry in the national conscience. Meg Whitman compared Trump to Adolf Hitler. Paul Ryan was asked by Campbell Brown how he could explain his endorsement of Trump to a young child. And in a stroke of defiance, RNC Chairman Reince Priebus told major donors that Trump will win in November “with or without you.” “So went the three-day Romney-hosted E2 summit that concluded Saturday, Philip Rucker reports from Park City. “The confab put on stark display the Republican Party’s moral and philosophical divisions over its new standard-bearer and underscored the difficulty that Trump and allies such as Priebus will have to consolidate forces at the start of a general election.”
-- The audience was largely anti-Trump yet sympathetic to Ryan's predicament: "The Speaker explained the difficult political situation he was in as the leader of House Republicans, adding that many of his members had increased pressure on him to back Trump. Many of them represent districts where Republican voters are strongly supportive of Trump, Ryan explained." (Philip Rucker and Dan Balz)
-- So much for unity: Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort called Romney a “coward” for not getting into the race. (ABC's "This Week")
-- Trump could lose Utah. He and Clinton are tied at 35 percent in the Beehive State, according to a Salt Lake Tribune poll, with Libertarian Party nominee Gary Johnson at 13 percent. (Johnson, for reference, pulled just 1.2 percent in the state during his 2012 bid.) The last Democrat to carry Utah was Lyndon Johnson in 1964.
-- “In the fight to fend off Trump’s conquest of the Republican Party, there has been no fiercer faction this year than the Mormons," McKay Coppins writes in today’s New York Times. "Trump was pummeled in the “Book of Mormon Belt” during the primaries, finishing dead last with only 14 percent of the vote. And outside Utah, he often underperformed in counties where Mormons were more heavily concentrated. “With the primaries over,” Coppins writes, “most anti-Trump conservatives have abandoned any righteous resistance and begun their dutiful trudge toward supporting the party’s nominee. But there are signs that Mormons — who represent the most reliably Republican religious group in the country — may not fall in line so easily."
- Trump’s hardline immigration stance is a turnoff: The church tends to hold more merciful views towards immigration, many of whose members served proselytizing missions in Latin America. Mormon voters are also TWICE as likely as evangelical voters to say they welcome immigration into the United States, according to a recent study.
- As a whole, voters hold above-average education levels, relatively stable families and comfortable middle-class incomes: “The urgency to ‘Make America Great Again’ may not be quite so deeply felt.”
- Trump’s call for a ban on Muslims has prompted an official response from the Latter Day Saints: “The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is neutral in regard to party politics and election campaigns,” the church said in a 2015 statement. “However, it is not neutral in relation to religious freedom.”
-- Republican lawmakers were forced to distance themselves from Trump for referring to Elizabeth Warren as “Pocahontas.” Rep. Tom Cole (R-Okla.), a member of the Chickasaw tribe, called the comments “pejorative": “This is not something that should, in my opinion, ever enter the conversation." (Matea Gold, Karoun Demirjian and Mike DeBonis)
A PATTERN: TRUMP PROFITS, HIS INVESTORS LOSE
-- “As its stock collapsed, Trump’s firm gave him huge bonuses and paid for his jet,” by Drew Harwell: “It was promoted as the chance of a lifetime: Mom-and-pop investors could buy shares in [the celebrity businessman's] first public company, Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts. [But] their investments were quickly depleted. The company known by Trump’s initials, DJT, crumbled into a penny stock and filed for bankruptcy after less than a decade, costing shareholders millions of dollars, even as other casino companies soared. In its short life, Trump the company greatly enriched Trump the businessman. … Despite losing money every year under Trump’s leadership, the company paid Trump handsomely, including a $5 million bonus in the year the company’s stock plummeted 70 percent.” Interviews and records reveal a striking characteristic of his business record: Even when his endeavors failed and others lost money, Trump found a way to make money for himself, to market his products and fund his expensive lifestyle. "He had been pillaging the company all along,” said retired investor Sebastian Pignatello. “He has no qualms about screwing anybody. That’s what he does.”
-- “How Trump Bankrupted His Atlantic City Casinos, but Still Earned Millions,” by the New York Times's Russ Buettner and Charles V. Bagli: “On the campaign trail, Trump often boasts of his success here, of how he outwitted Wall Street firms and rode the value of his name to riches. A central argument of his candidacy is that he would bring the same business prowess to the Oval Office. But a close examination records leaves little doubt that Trump’s casino business was a protracted failure. Though he now says his casinos were overtaken by the same tidal wave that eventually slammed this seaside city’s gambling industry, in reality he was failing in Atlantic City long before Atlantic City itself was failing. ... Mr. Trump assembled his casino empire by borrowing money at such high interest rates — after telling regulators he would not — that the businesses had almost no chance to succeed.”
-- “Trump’s Qadhafi boast raises questions about charity claim,” by Politico's Ben Schreckinger: “When Trump boasted in an interview that he ‘made a lot of money’ in a 2009 deal to rent a New York-area estate to Libya's then-dictator, Muammar Qadhafi, he did not specify what he did with that money.” Back in 2011, Trump assured (CNN) that the money had all gone to charity. Now, reporters are unable to verify that claim, nor is his campaign willing to confirm it. Tax records from the Trump Foundation show he made no contributions to it in 2009 or any of the next five years. “The families who lost relatives on Pan Am flight 103 deserve to know where the money went to,” said New York City realtor Jason Haber. “If you’re going to take blood money you better put it to good use, and at the very least, at the very, very least, that money should be given to a charity.”
SUNDAY SHOW HIGHLIGHTS:
-- Ryan defended his endorsement of Trump, saying he displays a “better temperament” in private. “I can’t speak for his stage presence, but in private I find his temperament to be much better than what you see on stage,” the Speaker said on ABC’s “This Week.” When reminded by host George Stephanopoulos that Ryan has had to distance himself from Trump’s racially charged comments more than once, the speaker said: “He's certainly better than Hillary Clinton.” (Vanessa Williams)
-- The Speaker also rejected the notion that he supports all of Trump’s proposals, voicing disagreement with Trump’s Muslim ban and pledge to deport millions of undocumented immigrants. “Look, I’ve spoken to him about the Muslim ban and how I disagree with it,” Ryan said on CBS’s “Face the Nation. “About the deportation, I don’t support that as well. That’s not part of our agenda.”
-- Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Ariz.) slammed Trump for refusing to apologize for his racially-loaded attacks on Judge Gonzalo Curiel, urging fellow Republicans to withhold their endorsements. "I hope that a number of us at least will withhold endorsement," Flake said on "Face the Nation." "It's not a comfortable position to not support your nominee … But there are certain things that you can't do as a candidate. And some of the things he's done I think are beyond the pale."
-- The Indianapolis Star’s Editorial Board pleaded with GOP leaders to block Trump from receiving the party’s nomination at the convention, saying he is “unfit” to lead: “It may well be too late ... but if there is still any chance of stopping this disaster from hitting, they should seize it at the party’s national convention next month. A Trump nomination would be damning for the party and damaging for the nation.”
-- “Brits look to Norway for post-Brexit model. Norwegians urge Brits to look again,” by Griff Witte: “To advocates of a British exit from the E.U., the prosperous and fjord-flecked lands of Norway prove that the doomsayers have it all wrong. Life within Europe but outside the clutches of the E.U. isn’t apocalyptic. It’s the best of all worlds: Norway gets access to Earth’s largest single market without sacrificing its sovereignty. But to this country’s political and business leaders, Britain’s flirtation with the Norwegian model is nothing short of baffling. If Britain votes to leave the E.U. … officials here say, the British should be prepared for less control over their own affairs, not more.” The drawbacks to the Norwegian model — and to every other existing model for trading with Europe from outside the E.U. — represent one of the greatest obstacles for those advocating a “Brexit.” “The U.K. is a big member of the E.U., and they have crucial influence,” said Kristin Lund of the Confederation of Norwegian Enterprise. “Why would they give that up?”
-- “Iraqi troops face booby traps, tunnels packed with explosives as they advance on Fallujah,” by Loveday Morris: “Iraqi forces radioed the U.S.-led coalition for air cover as they evacuated their casualties: One member of a police bomb-disposal team had been killed and two others had been wounded as they dismantled part of the complex network of booby traps on the edge of Islamic State-held Fallujah. The Islamic State has had more than two years to barricade itself into Falluja ... After launching an offensive for the city last month, Iraqi special forces are now within two miles of the city’s center, but extensive tunnel networks used by the militants and deadly roadside bombs are slowing their progress. ‘The tunnels go right through the city,’ said Brig. Gen. Ali Jamil of Iraq’s counterterrorism forces. ‘They use them for transportation, away from the airstrikes, but also to ambush our forces,’ he said.”
SOCIAL MEDIA SPEED READ:
Here is the cover of today's Orlando Sentinel:
A sad statistic, from CBS's Mark Knoller:
By my count, this will be at least the 20th time Pres Obama has make a statement about a shooting incident.— Mark Knoller (@markknoller) June 12, 2016
Texas Lt. Gov. Dan Patrick posted this tweet Sunday morning, then deleted it:
Leaders of the D.C. gay community, such as the head of Hillary's Super PAC, often expressed sentiments like this:
It is difficult to hear some politicians & religious leaders pray for people in death that they ridiculed, demeaned & alienated in life.— Guy Cecil (@guycecil) June 12, 2016
I literally never want to hear again that LGBT people in the bathroom are a threat to public safety.— Jeremy Moss (@JeremyAllenMoss) June 12, 2016
We must overturn the morally bankrupt/dangerous ban on gay people giving blood. Absurd someone can't even donate blood to their own husband?— (((Jared Polis))) (@jaredpolis) June 12, 2016
If gay blood is good enough today, why not every day?https://t.co/HXrXndEWsF— (((Jared Polis))) (@jaredpolis) June 12, 2016
Police were ready to protect patrons at the Stonewall Inn:
NYPD taking no chances and making us feel more secure at Stonewall today. How different from 1969. pic.twitter.com/kzRihNWYjH— Tim Naftali (@TimNaftali) June 12, 2016
Solidarity at Stonewall. 624 pm. pic.twitter.com/fncik95gFR— Michael Barbaro (@mikiebarb) June 12, 2016
Clinton is on the cover of this week's New Yorker:
A great observation on the Clinton-Trump Twitter war:
The genius of the Trump Clinton Twitter war of 2016 is that it consumes Trump's every waking minute & Clinton doesn't know it's happening.— Mark Hammer (@markhammer1987) June 11, 2016
A presidential candidate and a snarky intern in a battle of wits on the world stage.— Mark Hammer (@markhammer1987) June 11, 2016
Here's a thought from Obama's 2008 campaign manager:
@realDonaldTrump is not playing the role of candidate in his campaign. He serves as the racist, not very smart rapid response director.— David Plouffe (@davidplouffe) June 11, 2016
Remember the shoe thrown at President George W. Bush by an Iraqi journalist? It now has its own statue in Tikrit, Iraq:
In Tikrit, Iraq, residents erected a statue in honour of the shoe thrown at George W. Bush by Muntadhar al-Zaidi. pic.twitter.com/ur5JPI7C0z— Vijay Prashad (@vijayprashad) June 9, 2016
53 years ago today, Medgar Evers was shot and killed in the driveway of his home in Jackson, MS. pic.twitter.com/upUes1sh6H— John Lewis (@repjohnlewis) June 12, 2016
Chuck Schumer celebrated his parents' birthdays:
Pete Olson wished President George H.W. Bush a happy birthday:
HOT ON THE LEFT:
“Orange County DA’s Office Finally Acknowledges Jailhouse Informant Program Exists,” from HuffPost: “After almost three years of denials, the Orange County District Attorney’s office finally acknowledged that the county has a jailhouse informant program. Assistant Public Defender Scott Sanders has been arguing since 2013 that a tainted snitch network in county jails has existed in secret for decades. In a series of blockbuster motions, the defense attorney unearthed damning evidence that clearly pointed to the program’s existence, alleging that county prosecutors and police have violated multiple defendants’ rights by illegally obtaining and sometimes withholding evidence gleaned from jail informants.”
HOT ON THE RIGHT:
“ACLU Lawyers Blame Christians For Orlando Terror Attack,” from the Daily Caller: “Chase Strangio, a staff attorney with the ACLU’s LGBT and AIDS Project, claimed the social and political environment cultivated by Christian conservatives in recent months was to blame for the shooting at Pulse … Another ACLU attorney … impugned the motives of Republican lawmakers who expressed sympathy for the victims, by pointing out many were sponsors of the First Amendment Defense Act … She further characterized expressions of solidarity as ‘useless,’ as many of the victims could be people of color, who she contends are regularly stigmatized by Republican legislators.”
On the campaign trail:
- Clinton: Cleveland and Cincinnati (The campaign says her speech will focus more on national security than planned.)
- Trump: Manchester, N.H.
At the White House: President Obama receives a briefing from the FBI Director, DHS Secretary, NCTC Director and Deputy Attorney General.
On Capitol Hill: The House meets at 2 p.m. for legislative business, with seven suspension votes scheduled for around 6:30 p.m. The Senate meets at 4 p.m. to resume work on the NDAA.
NEWS YOU CAN USE IF YOU LIVE IN D.C.:
-- June doesn’t get much better than this -- The Capital Weather Gang rate’s today’s forecast as ANOTHER perfect 10: “Humidity is very low … while the light breeze from the northwest provides refreshment even as the strong June sun is toasty. Highs climb to right around 80 degrees after a crisp start in the 50s.”
-- The Nationals beat the Phillies 5-4.
-- “The Watergate Hotel reopens its doors after nine years,” by Abha Bhattarai: Jacques and Rakel Cohen say they were looking for a challenge for their first development project — and they found it in the beleaguered Watergate Hotel. “They paid $45 million in cash for the foreclosed property, hailed as a trophy hotel when it opened in 1967 … Now, the Cohens, a married couple from New York, are reopening the hotel after a six-year, $125 million renovation. Much of the furniture throughout the property has been custom-made to look like it’s from the 1960s, and employee uniforms were created by ‘Mad Men’ costume designer Janie Bryant. Guest key cards say ‘No need to break in,’ in a nod to the Watergate burglary scandal at the nearby office building that led to the resignation of President Richard M. Nixon … ‘We knew this had to be a luxury, 1960s retro hotel from the get-go,’ Cohen said. ‘It had so much potential that nobody else saw.’”
VIDEOS OF THE DAY:
Here's Lin-Manuel Miranda performing part of what would become Hamilton at the White House in 2009:
On Sunday night, Miranda accepted a Tony award with a powerful tribute to the Orlando victims (click to watch):
Watch James Corden's tribute during the show:
Ken Burns went after Trump in his commencement address at Stanford:
Trump says he will apologize to Pocahontas, not Elizabeth Warren:
Watch Orrin Hatch's remarks at Muhammad Ali's funeral:
The Queen of England celebrated her "official" 90th birthday:
Tips on surviving traffic during WMATA's SafeTrack repairs: