Hillary Clinton speaks in Cleveland yesterday. (Photo by Michael S. Williamson/The Washington Post

THE BIG IDEA: Donald Trump is trying to paint Hillary Clinton as soft on national security. That will be a hard sell.

-- Seizing on the Orlando attack, the presumptive Republican nominee gave a speech yesterday that mentioned Clinton 19 times. He uttered the words “terror,” “terrorism” or “terrorist” just five times. “Ask yourself,” Trump said, “who is really the friend of women and the LGBT community, Donald Trump with his actions, or Hillary Clinton with her words? Clinton wants to allow radical Islamic terrorists to pour into our country — they enslave women and murder gays.” He even said “the burden is on Hillary” to explain why his proposed ban on Muslims is a bad idea.

-- These rhetorical attacks are much less likely to stick because Clinton has spent more than a decade defining herself as tough and strong on national security. It is one of the biggest advantages that comes from being such a known commodity and scrutinized public figure.

-- At the State Department, Hillary was consistently more willing to use military force than Barack Obama. She wanted to send more troops into Afghanistan than the president did, supported leaving a residual force behind in Iraq before the rise of the Islamic State, pushed for more aggressive intervention in Libya and backed proposals to arm the Syrian rebels.

Obama, who opposed going into Iraq in 2003, has been reluctant to embrace his role as a wartime commander-in-chief; Clinton allies insist she would be less reticent. “Unexpectedly, in the bombastic, testosterone-fueled presidential election of 2016, Clinton is the last true hawk left in the race,” Mark Landler wrote in a New York Times Magazine cover story in April.

And, of course, she was in the Situation Room during the Osama bin Laden raid. When it looked like Joe Biden might challenge her in the primaries, Clinton took to telling audience that she supported the risky operation and the vice president opposed it.

While she was embracing the president during the primaries to lock up the African American vote, one of the few issues she broke with Obama on was deploying more special operations forces to Iraq than Obama had committed. She also advocated a partial no-fly zone in Syria, which he has resisted.

President Barack Obama, Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and members of the national security team receive an update on the mission against Osama bin Laden in the Situation Room on May 1, 2011. (Photo by Pete Souza/The White House via Getty Images)

-- Hillary’s hawkishness goes back much farther than Foggy Bottom. Clinton made a strategic decision when she arrived in the Senate after her husband’s administration ended to get a seat on the Armed Services Committee. She voted for the Iraq war and sat on an emerging threats subcommittee, all with her sights set on seeking the presidency in 2008.

The chief strategist on that campaign, Mark Penn, outlined his theory of the case for how she could win in a 2006 memo. “Regardless of the sex of the candidates, most voters in essence see the president as the ‘father’ of the country,” Penn explained to Clinton. “They do not want someone who would be the first mama, especially in this kind of world. But there is yearning for a kind of tough single parent – someone who can combine the toughness they are used to with the negotiating adeptness they believe a woman would bring to the office. They are open to the first father being a woman.”

“And the best role model proves the case,” Penn continued. “Margaret Thatcher was the longest serving Prime Minister in British history, serving longer than Winston Churchill. She represents the most successful elected woman leader in this century – and the adjectives that were used about her (Iron Lady) were not of good humor or warmth. They were of smart, tough leadership. As we move forward, it is important to understand who we are and who we are not. We are more Thatcher than anyone else.

Clinton took that advice to heart throughout the campaign that followed.

Former British Conservative Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher in 1999. (Reuters/Files)

-- Democrats historically have a disadvantage on national security, but Clinton holds her own against Trump in public polling. Our Washington Post/ABC News poll last month found that voters narrowly saw the former Secretary of State as more equipped to fight terrorism than Trump (47 percent to 44 percent), and she blew him out of the water on who people were more comfortable with to tackle “an international crisis” (55 percent to 36 percent nationally). In the same poll, Trump and Clinton tied when voters were asked to pick “the stronger leader.” And Clinton had a statistically-insignificant 3-point edge on the question of “who would do more to make the country safer and more secure?”

-- Through the end of the intense 2008 nominating fight, Democratic voters always saw Clinton as tougher on terrorism than Obama.

The then-Illinois senator derisively said at one point, “She’s talking like she’s Annie Oakley.”

Clinton, for her part, hit Obama just as hard. Her famous commercial that framed the election as a choice about who you want in the White House to field the proverbial 3 a.m. phone call holds up amazingly well. Her campaign could run this exact spot, unedited, against Trump:

Clinton’s 2016 campaign has done much more to humanize her than the 2008 iteration. The candidate has been far more willing to talk about the potential of being the first woman president. Recall her speech last Tuesday night. She also mentions being a grandmother in her stump speech and routinely notes that she has a second grandchild on the way.

Though she’s softened her edges, that 2008 race laid a crucial predicate. Without running and losing eight years ago, Clinton would probably not be her party’s nominee today. Not only did the defeat teach her lessons about how to run a national campaign, but serving as Obama’s Secretary of State gave her unrivaled experience. As the president said last week when he endorsed his onetime rival, “I don’t think there’s ever been someone so qualified to hold this office.”

Hillary and Bernie at the Brooklyn debate on April 14. (Photo by Melina Mara/The Washington Post)

-- Clinton made a savvy strategic decision last year not to tack left on national security during the primaries. She lurched leftward on everything from trade to Wall Street to head off Bernie Sanders’s unexpectedly strong insurgency, but she more or less stuck to her guns on national security – even in the face of intense attacks over her Iraq vote. She vigorously defended her hawkish posture in Libya and Syria during the debates, while expressing more regret for her vote on Iraq than she did last time. She also defended her relationship with Henry Kissinger, who many on the left loathe. The campaign was playing a long game, and they knew that there would be long-term costs for articulating more dovish positions.

-- Now that the nomination is wrapped up, if anything, she can take a harder line. Yesterday, for example, Clinton shifted her position on a semantic point. Last December, she said that she avoids referencing "Islam" whenever discussing terrorism because it implies a "clash of civilizations." But, now that she is the presumptive Democratic nominee, she said she is "happy" to use the term "radical Islamism" to describe the ideology. "To me, radical jihadism, radical Islamism, I think they mean the same thing," Clinton said on NBC News's Today Show. "I’m happy to say either.”

“But that’s not the point,” she added. “All this talk and demagoguery and rhetoric is not going to solve the problem.”

-- Hillary’s resolute speech in Ohio yesterday afternoon was Thatcher-esque. "The attack in Orlando makes it even more clear: We cannot contain this threat; we must defeat it," Clinton said in Cleveland, channeling the Iron Lady. In an effort to come across as presidential, she was low key. But her rhetoric was tough as nails.

Clinton, who supported the Patriot Act as a senator (which Sanders opposed), spoke about expanding surveillance and “an intelligence surge.” She said stopping “lone wolves” would be a top priority and chastised U.S. allies like Saudi Arabia and Qatar for funding terrorism.

She made clear that she subscribes to the Theodore Roosevelt philosophy that the U.S. ought to speak softly and carry a big stick. “An attack on any American is an attack on all Americans,” Clinton said.

The former First Lady never mentioned Trump by name, even as she clearly criticized him. While Trump mostly spoke about what he “would” do “if” he was president, Clinton spoke about what she “will” do “as president.” (Read the full transcripts of Clinton’s speech and Trump’s speech. Glenn Kessler and Michelle Ye Hee Lee fact checked both.)

-- In many ways, neoconservatives are more comfortable with the prospect of a Clinton presidency than a Trump presidency. They do not like her, but they see her as a reasonable realist who they can work with. They see Trump as a loose cannon who has no core beliefs and does not understand how the world works.

Leaders from other wings of the Republican foreign policy establishment have also offered high praise, including former Defense Secretary Robert Gates. And retired Army Col. Peter Mansoor, a former top aide to David Petraeus, recently said he plans to vote for Clinton. It is the first time he’s backed a Democrat for president in his adult life.

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-- French President François Hollande called an emergency meeting after an allegedly ISIS-inspired attacker fatally stabbed a couple with ties to the police at their home in the outskirts of Paris. From James McAuley: “Hollande described the killings of the couple — police captain Jean-Baptiste Salvaing, 42, and an unidentified official at the Interior Ministry — as ‘undeniably a terrorist attack’ and said that ‘France is confronted by an extremely high terrorist threat.’ The suspect was identified by officials as Larossi Abballa, 25. He had a previous terrorism conviction and ties to Pakistani jihad networks. Within hours of the killings, the Amaq Agency, which has ties to the Islamic State, [claimed] that an operative with the group had carried out the stabbings. The Islamic State has not officially claimed responsibility.”

This blocked Steph Curry shot by LeBron James serves as an apt symbol of how firmly he controlled the Cavs’ Game 5 win in Oakland. (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)

-- Cleveland beat Golden State 112-97 in Game Five of the NBA Finals. LeBron James scored 41 points, grabbed 16 rebounds and dished seven assists. He even made four three-pointers. (Jerry Brewer)

Trump walks out after speaking in Manchester, New Hampshire, yesterday. (Photo by Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

-- Trump announced that he will no longer credential The Washington Post to cover his events because he is upset with the newspaper’s coverage of his campaign, reports Paul Farhi. “The move puts the newspaper on a long list of media outlets that the presumptive Republican nominee has banned for reporting that displeased him.”

  • Trump Facebook post: “Based on the incredibly inaccurate coverage and reporting of the record setting Trump campaign, we are hereby revoking the press credentials of the phony and dishonest Washington Post.”
  • Post Executive Editor Martin Baron statement: “Donald Trump’s decision to revoke The Washington Post’s press credentials is nothing less than a repudiation of the role of a free and independent press. When coverage doesn’t correspond to what the candidate wants it to be, then a news organization is banished. The Post will continue to cover Donald Trump as it has all along — honorably, honestly, accurately, energetically and unflinchingly. We’re proud of our coverage, and we’re going to keep at it.”
  • Among the news organizations whose reporters have been blacklisted: Gawker, BuzzFeed, Foreign Policy, Politico, Fusion, Univision, Mother Jones, the New Hampshire Union Leader, the Des Moines Register, the Daily Beast and Huffington Post.”

The Post's Editorial Board (independent from the newsroom): "Mr. Trump capped a day of assaulting fundamental liberal democratic values by announcing he would ban Post reporters from covering his campaign events. If this is his inclination now, imagine how he might wield the powers of the presidency. Before the Orlando shooting, Beltway analysts speculated about how a terrorist attack might affect the presidential election. Now we know at least part of the answer: Mr. Trump would reveal himself more clearly than ever as a man unfit to lead."

From The Post's Africa bureau chief, who was formerly in Kabul:

-- Clinton slightly widened her lead over Trump (49-42), according to the weekly NBC/SurveyMonkey tracking poll. She now leads Trump among moderate voters 58-33, up seven points from last week. Trump lost support from his core constituencies this week, shrinking to a single-digit lead among both men and white voters. He now leads Clinton 51 percent to 42 percent among men, and 50 percent to 41 percent among whites. 

-- A remarkable moment: Warren Davidson, the tea partier who won the special election to replace former John Boehner in Ohio, officially joined the Freedom Caucus last night, which played a key role in pushing the former Speaker to step down prematurely last year. Here he is with Rep. Dave Brat, the freshman who toppled then-House Majority Leader Eric Cantor two years ago in a GOP primary.


  1. Microsoft agreed to purchase LinkedIn for $26.2 billion, one of the biggest tech mergers of all time. (CNN Money)
  2. The Supreme Court declined to hear a challenge to the Obama administration’s mercury air pollution rule, leaving in place a lower-court decision upholding EPA regulations on coal burning. (Brady Dennis)
  3. The Supreme Court reinstated the conviction of a member of Montana’s Northern Cheyenne Tribe, unanimously ruling that a repeat domestic abuser – with more than 100 convictions by an Indian tribal court – could be tried as a “habitual offender” in state and federal courts. (Robert Barnes)
  4. The justices also struck down Puerto Rico’s debt restructuring law, excluding the island from filing for municipal bankruptcy to restructure debts. The move increases pressure on Congress to pass legislation ahead of a $2 billion default deadline on July 1. (Wall Street Journal)
  5. A U.S. appeals court threw out a $1.8 million judgment against the estate of Chris Kyle. The ruling overturns a 2014 defamation case filed by former Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura, who claims the Navy SEAL sullied his image in the best-selling book “American Sniper.” (Dan Lamothe)
  6. A gay couple in Russia was arrested after attempting to pay tribute to victims of the Orlando massacre with flowers and a “Love Wins” sign. The men were dropping off the gifts outside the U.S. embassy in Moscow when they were detained by authorities. (AFP)
  7. Former Afghanistan President Hamid Karzai expressed skepticism about the expansion of the U.S. military role in Afghanistan, saying he does not believe it will bring peace to the country. “We did it for the last 14 years and it didn’t bring us that,” he told The Post’s Missy Ryan.
  8. Another former California state senator, Ron Calderon (D), reached a plea deal with federal prosecutors. He admitted taking tens of thousands of dollars in bribes in exchange for supporting certain legislation, and prosecutors agreed to seek 70 months of jail time. His brother, a former state assemblyman, recently took a plea deal for money laundering. (LA Times)
  9. Bill Murray will receive this year’s Mark Twain Prize for American Humor. The prolific comedian and actor, who began his career on “Saturday Night Live,” will receive the award in October at the Kennedy Center. (Geoff Edgers)
  10. Twenty countries have serious levels of malnutrition, diet-related anemia and obesity, according to a new Global Nutrition Report. (New York Times)
  11. London Mayor Sadiq Khan banned “body-shaming” ads from appearing on buses and subway trains across the city, citing a potential detrimental effect on body confidence. (Quartz)
  12. A man who was inspired to build a 230-foot Noah’s Ark ship after repeatedly dreaming of rain has been dealt a setback. His vessel was impaled by a Norwegian Coast Guard ship. (Ben Guarino)


-- The FBI had closely scrutinized the shooter before dropping its investigation. From Adam Goldman, Matt Zapotosky and Mark Berman: The FBI had investigated Omar Mateen for 10 months beginning in 2013, putting him under surveillance, recording his calls and using confidential informants to gauge whether he had been radicalized after the suspect talked at work about his connections with al-Qaeda and dying as a martyr.” As part of the investigation, Omar Mateen was placed on a terrorism watch list and interviewed twice before the probe was closed in March 2014, when agents concluded “he was not a threat,” FBI Director James B. Comey said Monday. “Several months later, in July 2014, Mateen surfaced in another investigation into the first American to die as a suicide bomber in Syria, a fellow Floridian. And, again, investigators moved on.” It was the third time that someone who had been scrutinized by the FBI later carried out a terrorist attack. Comey said the bureau was “reexamining its contact” with Mateen as new details emerged from law enforcement officials about the deadliest shooting rampage in U.S. history:

Mateen's comments about Islam suggested that while his viewpoints were undoubtedly extreme, they were also confused -- perhaps even incoherent:  Mateen claimed to be a supporter of the Islamic State during his calls to 911. But the Orlando gunman also mentioned the 2013 Boston bombing … as well as connections to Moner Mohammad Abusalha, a fellow Floridian who had traveled to Syria to fight with an al-Qaeda affiliate in Syria. He also claimed allegiance to a Hezbollah group in 2013 which fights both the Islamic State and al-Qaeda.

Comey suggested that Mateen may not have understood the distinctions among the groups:  “Relatives have given mixed reports about the level of Mateen's religiosity, with some suggesting he preferred working out to studying religion.”

Obama said there is “no evidence” to suggest the 29-year-old was part of a larger plot. “We see no clear evidence that he was directed externally,” the president said. (Matt Zapotosky and Mark Berman)

More than 90 percent of the victims were Latino:  “The names of the dead paint an unmistakable picture -- Sotomayor, Velazquez, Guerrero, Rivera, Martinez, Perez. Sunday’s massacre at the Pulse nightclub, the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, carved deep wounds into the heart of Florida’s Latino community.” (Kevin Sullivan and Arelis R. Hernández)

A candlelight vigil in Orlando (AP/David Goldman)

-- The Orlando gunman had frequented gay dating apps and hung out at the bar beforeFrom William Wan and Anne Hull: “Kevin West said he was in the parking lot at the Pulse nightclub at 1 a.m. Sunday when he recognized Omar Mateen walking in. The men had met more than a year ago when Mateen reached out to West on Jack’d, a dating app for men.” They then lost touch until three months ago, when Mateen reached out, mentioning he would be in Orlando soon and suggesting they meet for a drink. West had also seen Mateen at Pulse “multiple times.” “I remember details,” said West, a 37-year-old Navy veteran. “I never forget a face.” Just hours later, Mateen would open fire inside the nightclub. Mateen’s apparent presence on gay dating apps and his previous visits to Pulse added another dimension to the portrait emerging Monday of the man behind the violent rampage.

-- Some former classmates pinpointed 9/11 as the day Mateen’s erratic behavior began to surface. From William Wan and Brian Murphy: “At a high school in Florida, students watched the horrors of Sept. 11, 2001, unfold on live TV … in stunned disbelief. But one student, a classmate recalled, ‘started jumping up-and-down cheering on the terrorist.’” That was sophomore Omar Mateen, according to accounts of several classmates. “He was smiling,” recalled a former student. “It was almost like surreal how happy he was about what had happened to us.” Another classmate said he recalled Mateen acting out after the attack because both of them were sent to the dean’s office for misbehaving. “I was sleeping in class and woke up to see people jumping off buildings, so I started swearing and they sent me up,” the student said. “But Omar was saying … stuff like, ‘That’s what America deserves.’ That kind of thing.”

  • Another recalled how Mateen stood up after the second tower was hit and claimed that Osama bin Laden was his uncle: “Back then, we didn’t even really know who Osama bin Laden was,” the classmate said. “But he talked about shooting AK-47s … He said he shot them and his uncle taught him how to shoot them.”
  • Several students recalled Mateen being suspended or expelled from the school shortly after 9/11: “He got bullied a lot,” said one classmate. “He was totally cool before 9/11,” said another. “Then something changed."

-- Residents of Fort Pierce are wondering: How did one small Florida town produce two violent extremistsFrom Mary Jordan: “Two days before Omar Mateen shot a hundred people, killing 49, he knelt for over an hour on the green carpet of the Fort Pierce mosque, praying with his young son last Friday evening. The first American to carry out a suicide bombing in Syria, Moner Mohammad Abusalha, also occasionally worshiped here before flying to Syria in 2014 and blowing himself up in an operation for an al-Qaeda affiliate. Now ... there is a new focus on this small working-class town in South Florida and the mosque attended by two of the most infamous Muslim extremists with U.S. roots: 'We are a low-key small town and we are hearing that we have two radicalized Muslims,' said retiree Dennis Gaskin, who worked at the Tropicana plant here. 'Hindus are more noticeable here. You almost never see a Muslim.' Perhaps, he said, this 'small town has gotten too big too fast.'"

-- Two chilling scenes from inside the Pulse club during the three-hour hostage situation, via The New York Times’ Jack Healy and Marc Santora:

  • “For three sickening hours on Sunday morning, a life-or-death game of deception played out in a bathroom where the assailant holed up with hostages after killing dozens of people inside the Pulse nightclub. Orlando [a 52-year-old man] and his friend desperately tried to avoid becoming two more victims … Orlando described moments of surreal quiet as the siege went on and the killer fiddled with his weapon and used the sink and the hand dryer. At one point, Orlando switched positions and played dead, and he felt something poking him. He believed it was the gunman, checking to see if he was dead.”
  • The first bursts of gunfire, around 2 a.m., were captured on video by 25-year-old Amanda Alvear, who uploaded the footage to Snapchat. “In the video, she is recording herself and others as they dance to the last song of the evening ... Then she turns the camera toward her own face. She is staring into the lens as the first few shots are heard. They do not seem to faze her. But as they continue, unrelenting, roughly 20 rounds, the video abruptly ends. She was listed among the dead on Monday.”

-- Late-night talk show hosts conveyed their outrage over the attack, with even those who typically refrain from sharing opinions talking about the mass shooting. Here’s how some covered the news, via Emily Yahr:

  • Stephen Colbert opted out of an opening segment completely, emphasizing grief at how common mass shootings have become: “It’s as if there’s a national script that we’ve learned,” he said. “And I think by accepting the script, we tacitly accept that the script will end the same way every time … Except for the loved ones and the families of the victims, for whom nothing will ever be the same.”
  • Jimmy Fallon urged a lesson in diversity and tolerance: “We need to support each other’s differences and worry less about our own opinions,” he said. “Get back to debate and away from believing or supporting the idea that if someone doesn’t live the way you want them to live, you just buy a gun and kill them … That is not okay.”
  • Seth Meyers scrapped his “Late Night” monologue to show footage of people giving blood in Florida before turning the conversation to gun control: “Whether the shooter was a homophobe, mentally ill, a terrorist inspired by ISIS or all three, what allowed him to kill so many people on Sunday was his gun,” he said.
  • “I wonder if president Obama ever thought to himself that mass shooting speeches would be such a big part of his job,” said “Daily Show” host Trevor Noah. “Because, you know, at this point he’s hosted 12 state dinners, but he’s had to give 16 mass shooting addresses.”

-- “Democrats are charging ahead with plans to force another vote on a measure by Senate Intelligence ranking Democrat Dianne Feinstein to prevent anyone known or suspected of ties to terrorism from buying firearms or explosives,” Karoun Demirjian reports. “When asked Monday if the FBI should simply be notified when past terror list entrants try to purchase weapons, Senate Intelligence Committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said he was against it. 'These individuals are U.S. citizens, and we take their Second Amendment right away because the FBI interviews them?' Burr said.

Last fall, only one Republican senator broke with the party to back the California senator’s proposal. But asked last November on ABC if people on an FBI terror watch list should be allowed to buy a gun, Trump responded: “If somebody is on a watch list and an enemy of state and we know it's an enemy of state, I would keep them away, absolutely.” On Monday, campaign manager Corey Lewandowski  told Bloomberg that Trump still holds that position. “I don't think it's changed,” he said. “I haven't seen anything contrary to it.”


Trump speaks at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire. (Jabin Botsford/The Washington Post)

-- Trump called for a ban on immigrants from Middle Eastern countries, saying that strengthening the effectiveness of immigration screenings is a key component to preventing domestic terrorism. From Jose A. DelReal: “They’re pouring in, and we don’t even know it,” said Trump, disregarding the fact that the Orlando gunman was born in New York. “Broadening who would be banned from entering the U.S. under his plan, Trump said that he would suspend immigration ‘from areas of the world where there's a proven history of terrorism against the United States, Europe and our allies.’ Later in the speech, he specifically focused on immigration from the Middle East and ‘many more from Muslim countries outside of the Middle East.’”

The presumptive Republican nominee did not distinguish between mainstream Muslims and terrorists during his speech. “The Muslims have to work with us,” Trump said. “They know what’s going on. They know that [Mateen] was bad. They knew the people in San Bernardino were bad. But you know what? They didn’t turn them in. And you know what? We had death and destruction.”

It was a decidedly not presidential performance: “In a speech laden with falsehoods and exaggeration, Trump was antagonistic and pugnacious,” Philip Rucker, Jose A. DelReal and Isaac Stanley-Becker write. “We need to tell the truth also about how radical Islam is coming to our shores,” Trump said.

Vox’s Matthew Yglesias say Trump's remarks revealed a “dangerous mix” of ignorance and arrogance: “Nobody knows everything about everything. But an effective president needs a degree of humility. … In delivering this speech — a rare prepared address with text emailed to journalists and read off a teleprompter — Trump is making clear that he has no interest in faking it. He wants to say what he wants to say, and he doesn’t care if people who know what they are talking about think it makes sense. The problem for Trump — and for the country — is that reality does care.”

-- Trump made pointed overtures to the LGBT community  — but quickly drew a sharp rebuke from gay leaders who remained skeptical of his embrace. From DelReal:"The Human Rights Campaign, a leading pro-LGBT organization, accused Trump of dividing the country and attempting to pin the gay community against Muslims. ... Trump mentioned LGBT rights throughout his speech. His pitch ... rested on his suggestion that the administration’s immigration policies, which he says are to blame for domestic terrorism, have directly compromised the safety of the gay community."


-- Trump said President Obama either does not understand radicalized Muslim terrorists or “he gets it better than anybody understands” – displaying his go-to method of spreading conspiracy theories and innuendos on the campaign trail. “Well,” Trump said of Obama on the “Today Show,” “there are a lot of people that think maybe he doesn’t want to get it. I happen to think that he just doesn’t know what he’s doing, but there are many people that think maybe he doesn’t want to get it ... And that could be.” 

“In other words, Jenna Johnson explains, “Trump was not directly saying that he believes the president sympathizes with the terrorist who killed at least 49 people in an Orlando nightclub. He was implying that a lot of people are saying that. ... He frequently couches his most controversial comments this way, which allows him to share a controversial idea, piece of tabloid gossip or conspiracy theory without technically embracing it. If the comment turns out to be popular, Trump will often drop the distancing qualifier — ‘people think’ or ‘some say.’ If the opposite happens, Trump can claim that he never said the thing he is accused of saying." 

This is particularly true when it comes to Trump’s comments on Islam. “For months, Trump has portrayed Muslims as the leading threat working against the U.S., … routinely suggesting in a ‘wink-wink’ fashion that Obama might secretly be a follower.”

There he goes again....

Big picture --> Trumpism resonates in an anxious era, and with a segment of voters who have given up on Washington. Karen Tumulty and Robert Costa break down the phenomenon: When he declared his presidential candidacy last June, his declarations and discredited theories still had the capacity to shock. But one year later, his outbursts almost seem like standard fare — which is itself a testament to how Trump has reoriented the axis of politics and discourse: “Trumpism is not defined by any set of policies, or an ideology. It is not handcuffed to coherence or consistency, except in its disregard for what its adherents deem to be political correctness. Trumpism is a personality-fueled movement that has proven, against the smart money’s predictions, to be in tune with the frustrations of a significant slice of the electorate.” Now, having drawn record numbers of voters to the polls during a Republican primary, Trump is betting that his brand of politics will be just as compelling in a general election:

  • Trumpism has echoes in the kind of populism associated with earlier figures such as Huey Long, the Depression-era governor of Louisiana. William Galston, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, ticked off the characteristics: “intensely nativistic, ethno-centric, exclusionary, angry, fearful.” “Conspiratorial thinking is the cesspool of conservative populism,” Galston said. “It has analogs on the left, but it is a distinctive phenomenon.”
  • Trumpism is fueled by a former TV star who brings a “reality-show zeitgeist” to politics. “He knows that the culture is everything, and to attract people, you need to be in the culture,” says GOP strategist Kellyanne Conway. “He has tracked ratings and his audiences for years and understands how public opinion works … He studies the polls, and his crowds are his focus groups.”
  • In the end, Tumulty and Costa write, “the only instincts that Trump truly trusts are his own.”

-- Trump was not alone in fear-mongering: 

  • Trump ally and former adviser Roger Stone suggested that longtime Clinton aide Huma Abedin could be a “Saudi spy” or “terrorist agent”: "There’s going to be a new focus on whether … the administration of Hillary Clinton at State was permeated at the highest levels by Saudi intelligence and others who are not loyal Americans," Stone said Monday in a Breitbart radio interview. “I speak specifically of Huma Abedin." Abedin, who was born in Michigan, moved to Saudi Arabia with her family and attended a British girl’s school until returning to the U.S. for college. (Politico)
  • Noted conspiracy theorist and Trump supporter Alex Jones claimed Obama purposely let the Orlando shooting happen because he “wants to ban” free speech and guns. “Our governments are bringing these people in,” Jones said in a video posted online. “They’re allowing them to operate openly in our society so they can attack us and then have our freedoms taken.” In the same video, Jones claimed Obama is “not the president” and is rather a  “globalist” and Islamist. (Media Matters)

-- Trump was accused of destroying email evidence in a lawsuit 10 years agoFrom USA Today's Paul Singer: “In 2006, when a judge ordered Trump's casino operation to hand over several years' worth of emails, the answer surprised him: The Trump Organization routinely erased emails and had no records from 1996 to 2001. Meanwhile, another Trump IT director testified that until 2001, Trump Tower executives relied on personal email accounts using dial-up Internet services, despite the fact that Trump had launched a high-speed Internet provider in 1998 and announced he would wire his whole building with it. Another said Trump had no routine process for preserving emails before 2005 …The preservation of email was a central point of contention in the suit filed in 2004 by Trump's publicly traded casino company, called Trump Hotels and Casino Resorts.”

Quote du jour: The judge, who has since retired, said he remembers the case. “I was a bit incredulous that an organization of that significance doesn’t do email,” he recalled. “I had heard a number of things in 24 years on the bench, but that stuck in my mind.”

-- Ex-Sen. Larry Pressler (R-S.D.) endorsed Clinton, citing her response to Orlando. “I can’t believe I’m endorsing Hillary Clinton for president, but I am,” said Pressler, who ran unsuccessfully for his old seat as an independent in 2014. Pressler also cited concerns over Trump’s “dangerous” rhetoric on Muslims, saying the election “is starting to sound like the German elections in [the late 1920s].” (The Hill)

Marco Rubio in Orlando on Sunday (Photo by Melissa Lyttle/For The Washington Post)

-- Marco Rubio hinted that the Orlando attack may have changed his mind on running for reelection to the Senate. He told conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt that the shooting has caused him to rethink his role in the debate. Asked if the carnage changes anything about his decision not to seek reelection, he replied: "I haven't even given it thought in that perspective, other than to say I've been deeply impacted by it. And I think when it visits your home state, when it impacts a community you know really well, it really gives you pause to think a little bit about your service to your country and where you can be most useful to your country." This is the latest evolution in his answer to the question, from a very firm "no" to maybe. "We'll find out in the next week or two what he ultimately decides. Florida's filing deadline is June 24," Amber Phillips notes.


— ZIGNAL VISUAL: Terrorism dominated online discussion of the presidential election. This annotated chart from our analytics partners at Zignal Labs shows the largest mention spikes for the two presumptive nominees. For Clinton, it came in the morning when she uttered the words 'radical Islam' in an interview. For Trump, it came during his New Hampshire speech where he addressed the shooting. 

Flags flew at half-staff to honor the victims:

Members and staff met on the Capitol steps for a moment of silence:

Katherine Clark joined Jim Himes in refusing to join in:

Finally, Washingtonians gathered for an Orlando vigil in Dupont Circle:

Bernie Sanders attended a vigil in Vermont:

New Yorkers held their own gathering:

Thoughts on the VP and AG stakes:

Trump tweeted more about Orlando:

Here's how civil rights legend John Lewis (D-Ga.) replied to Trump's speech:

More reaction to Trump's N.H. speech:

A day in the life of a reporter covering Trump:

From Capitol Hill, Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) gave this answer on guns:


Today is Trump's 70th birthday:

A note from a Huffington Post reporter:

There is a lot of nastiness out there:

Conservatives were not happy with this opinion piece from the New York Times:

Michael Moore reupped this primary-campaign tweet from Jeb Bush:

The Commerce Secretary was at the Nationals game last night:

Patrick Leahy locked eyes with two big cats over the weekend:

Bryce Harper wore a 51st state t-shirt:


-- The Huffington Post’s Sam Stein jointly interviewed senior advisers to three of the failed GOP candidates: Danny Diaz (Jeb Bush's campaign manager), Jeff Roe (Ted Cruz's campaign manager) and Alex Conant (Rubio's communications director). “Publicly defeated, each one of them is still angry, both at Trump and at the media. Each one of them has theories about how we got to this very disconcerting place in American political history. And not one of them is prepared to vote for Trump.”

  • Diaz said he began to realize his carefully-laid primary plans were “meaningless” around Labor Day: “Right after Labor Day, we understood that it was going to be a really, really difficult race for us, despite the advantages that we had. It was persistent in the survey work just the level of unhappiness, anger and disaffection among voters.”
  • The number of times they thought Trump was “smoked” during the primaries? Plenty, according to Roe: “There was a time when you wondered if the bug was going to meet the windshield or not. But everything was brand-consistent. His brand was being politically incorrect: He’s saying everything that you’ve always wanted to say. You might not like it, but he’s speaking for you. He's the billionaire blue-collar guy. That’s why this Mexican judge thing is different. That's him looking out for himself, instead of him looking out for you.”
  • Conant said the low point of Rubio’s campaign was the New Hampshire debate: “The media narrative coming out of was just devastating,” he said. “In the moment, you know it’s not good, but you don’t know how bad it’s going to be.”

-- Confidence in the nation’s major institutions continues to lag below historical averages, with two institutions dropping to record lows this year, according to a Gallup Poll: The overall average of Americans expressing "a great deal" or "quite a lot" of confidence in 14 institutions is below 33 percent for the third straight year. Meanwhile, Americans have lost confidence in 10 of those 14 institutions since 2006 – with banks, organized religion, the news media and Congress reflecting the steepest decline: Confidence in banks fell the most, plunging from 49 percent in 2006 to 27 percent. Confidence in organized religion dropped from 52 to 41 percent, one point below last year's previous low. Meanwhile, television news, newspapers and Congress all dropped 10 points -- pushing newspapers to a 20 percent confidence level, two points below their previous low of 22 percent in 2007 and 2014.


“Biggest US coal company funded dozens of groups questioning climate change,” from The Guardian: “Peabody Energy, America’s biggest coal mining company, has funded at least two dozen groups that cast doubt on manmade climate change and oppose environment regulations … Its funding of climate denial groups was only exposed in disclosures after the coal titan was forced to seek bankruptcy protection in April, under competition from cheap natural gas."



“Flying High on the Taxpayer Dime: These Senators Bust the Budget on Air Travel“ from the New York Observer: “Sen. Charles Schumer spent $292,000 in public money flying private airplanes last year. His protégé Sen. Kristen Gillibrand spent more than $150,000 on charter travel. The two New York Democrats were the top spenders on private air travel between October 2014 and September 2015 … racking up the largest credit card late fees in the world’s greatest deliberative body. A review of flight information suggested the lawmakers in many cases could have flown commercial–even at the last minute–for a tenth of the cost of the private jets.” 


Today is the Democratic primary in D.C. Hillary and Bernie meet after the polls close.

On the campaign trail: Here's the rundown:

  • Clinton: Pittsburgh, Pa.
  • Trump: Greensboro, N.C.

At the White House: Obama convenes a National Security Council meeting on the Islamic State, then delivers a statement to the press. Later, Obama speaks at the White House Summit on the United State of Women and at a picnic for members of Congress. Vice President Biden speaks at the women's summit, then travels to New York to speak at an event for Father's Day. Later, he speaks at the LaGuardia groundbreaking event and a DSCC fundraiser.

On Capitol Hill: The Senate meets at 10 a.m. to resume work on the NDAA. The House meets at noon for legislative business.


“The American government is a very volatile, dangerous mechanism, and Hillary has the most experience with it,” comedian Louis C.K. told Vulture Magazine in a Q&A. "It’s like if you were on a plane and you wanted to choose a pilot. You have one person, Hillary, who says, ‘Here’s my license. Here’s all the thousands of flights that I’ve flown. Here’s planes I’ve flown in really difficult situations. I’ve had some good flights and some bad flights, but I’ve been flying for a very long time, and I know exactly how this plane works.’ … And then Trump says, ‘I’m going to fly so well. You’re not going to believe how good I’m going to fly this plane, and by the way, Hillary never flew a plane in her life.’ ‘She did, and we have pictures.’ ‘No, she never did it.’ It’s insane.”


-- Another day of complaint-free weather, according to The Capital Weather Gang: “Partly to mostly sunny, still fairly comfortable humidity (dew points in the 50s), and highs in the upper 70s to low 80s, slightly cooler than normal for this time of year. Light breezes blow from the north … This is as close to complaint-free weather as you can get this time of year.”

-- The Nats beat the Cubs 4-1. It was an awesome game that bodes well for the team's playoff hopes.

-- A naked, hatchet-wielding man in Arlington was arrested after being mistaken for an Uber driver, swinging his weapon at a group of individuals who approached his vehicle for a ride. (Justin Wm. Moyer)

-- A 27-year-old Montgomery County police officer was arrested after responding to a juvenile sex sting operation set by officers in Prince William County. The officer, who has patrolled in the Bethesda area, faces multiple charges of using a communication device to facilitate offenses with juveniles. (Dan Morse)

-- Authorities in Montgomery and Prince George’s County received nine reports of a black bear sighting on Sunday alone, along suburban roads and on the University of Maryland campus. Wildlife officials believe it is the same bear. (Dana Hedgpeth)


Paul Ryan tried to ignore Democrats in the House chamber who were calling on him to allow votes for stricter gun control after a moment of silence:

Seth Meyers walked through his favorite jokes of the week:

The Dalai Lama said the Orlando shooting was an example of "old thinking":

The Eiffel Tower was lit in honor of the victims:

Here are highlights from the vigil in downtown Orlando:

A rainbow prayer chain:

The Smithsonian Channel profiled John F. Kennedy's family summer home in Hyannis Port:

As well as Lyndon Johnson's home in rural Texas:

Watch the Hamilton performances from the Tony Awards: