NATION POLITICS TRAIL GUIDE

Republicans grapple with Charleston fallout

Good morning and welcome to your Monday trail guide. Candidates and their campaigns are starting out this week still rattled by the events of last week. The horrific massacre in a Charleston Church has spawned several new lines of debate -- on gun control, flying the Confederate flag and confronting racism within the ranks, to name a few. For Republicans in particular, these are uncomfortable subjects that may carry risks of turning off some conservative white voters. This week could be the test of which candidates are willing to take that chance.

What we’re watching:

_ Sens. Rand Paul and Ted Cruz say they’re forfeiting money donated by Earl Holt III, the leader of a group that appears to have helped shape Charleston shooter Dylann Roof’s racist beliefs. The Cruz campaign will return the money, according to the Guardian, which first reported on the contributions. Paul’s RandPAC will be donating the money to victims' fund. Former Sen. Rick Santorum, who also received Holt’s cash, along with scores of GOP candidates in recent years, has not yet commented.

_ On the Democratic side, Martin O’Malley is accusing Congress of ‘white racism’ in its refusal to pass stricter gun laws.

_ President Obama will weigh in again as his interview with comedian Marc Maron, taped Friday in Los Angeles, will post later this morning. 

Clinton to address race at stop near Ferguson

Hillary Rodham Clinton will address the racially charged shootings of nine black parishioners last week when she speaks at an event Tuesday in the St. Louis suburbs.

The site of the event, a church in Florrisant, Mo., is significant because the surrounding area was torn apart by violent protests last year in the wake of the police shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black man in nearby Ferguson.

Clinton, the frontrunner to secure the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, spoke at length about race over the weekend at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in San Francisco.

“It's tempting to dismiss a tragedy like this as an isolated incident, to believe that in today's America bigotry is largely behind us, that institutional racism no longer exists. But despite our best efforts and our highest hopes, America's long struggle with race is far from finished," Clinton said.

The parishioners were killed when a 21-year-old white man, Dylann Roof, sat in on a weekly Bible study before he began a racist rant and allegedly began shooting.

The event has spawned a debate over race and gun-control that both Democratic and Republican presidential candidates have been forced to address in recent days.

Here's a tweet Clinton sent out on Monday:

IN THEIR OWN WORDS

“For decades community leaders in South Carolina ¿ and across the country ¿ have been calling to get rid of this symbol of hatred, and action has been long overdue. "But this is just the beginning of a conversation we as a society need to have about race, bigotry and violence in this country ¿ not the end of one.”
Debbie Wasserman Schultz, chairwoman Democratic National Committee

Clinton to address race at stop near Ferguson

Hillary Rodham Clinton will address the racially charged shootings of nine black parishioners last week when she speaks at an event Tuesday in the St. Louis suburbs.

The site of the event, a church in Florrisant, Mo., is significant because the area was roiled by violent protests last year in the wake of the police shooting death of Michael Brown, an unarmed black man.

Clinton, the frontrunner to secure the 2016 Democratic presidential nomination, spoke at lengthy over the weekend at the U.S. Conference of Mayors in San Francisco.

“It's tempting to dismiss a tragedy like this as an isolated incident, to believe that in today's America bigotry is largely behind us, that institutional racism no longer exists. But despite our best efforts and our highest hopes, America's long struggle with race is far from finished," Clinton said.

Here's a tweet Clinton sent out on Monday:

It's not just a matter of it not being polite to say ... in public. That's not the measure of whether racism still exists or not. It's not just a matter of overt racism.
President Obama, using a racial epithet on Marc Maron's "WTF" podcast

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RandPAC rejects Holt money

Rand Paul campaign advisor Doug Stafford says RandPAC will be donating the money it from Earl Holt to the Mother Emanuel Hope fund for the victims' families. The campaign did not release a total and would not comment on how it came to receive Holt's donations.

In an online manifesto, Roof appears to have credited Holt's group, the Council of Conservative Citizens, with opening his eyes to "black-on-white murders."

O'Malley accuses Congress of 'white racism'

@cathleendecker reports on former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley's speech to the nation's mayors in San Francisco on Sunday. O'Malley, who last week declared he was "pissed" about the lack of action after the Charleston shooting, continues his attention-grabbing remarks:

One of the sad triumphs of white racism is the degree to which it has succeeded in subconsciously convincing so many of us, black and white, that somehow black lives don't matter.
Martin O'Malley, on why Congress hasn't passed tougher gun laws

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