Donald Trump, minus teleprompter, is back — mocking Obama and Clinton
The real Donald Trump — as opposed to the teleprompter version — returned in full force Tuesday as he took on both President Obama and Hillary Clinton for their criticism of his response to the Orlando massacre.
Trump mocked them both.
Before a cheering crowd in Greensboro, he complained that Obama was more focused on Trump than on the mass shooting.
“He was more angry at me than he was at the shooter,” Trump said.
And he imitated Clinton stumbling over her own scripted speech about national security.
Mainly, though, Trump’s performance in in this crucial swing state offered an unplugged prelude of the general election battle to come.
In full display was a reminder of why supporters embrace his impolitic tough talk — and why the GOP establishment is having second thoughts over its presumed nominee.
“We’re led by the stupid people,” Trump said at one point. “We’re not going to be fools anymore.”
The rally was Trump’s first since the weekend shooting at a gay nightclub in Florida and provided an opportunity for him to link two issues, immigration and terrorism, that have propelled his campaign.
He led the crowd of thousands in his by-now standard cheer about his immigration plan — “Build the wall!” the crowd chanted — as he warned of immigrants wanting to harm Americans.
After days without a big rally, Trump seemed to be enjoying the return to his element, rambling at times in a talk that hit many of his familiar themes — jobs, the trade deficit — and stretched to nearly an hour. Some people left early.
As he wrapped up, Trump pivoted to the campaign ahead and offered fresh evidence that the candidate whose party leaders hoped he would become more presidential was in fact more likely to just be himself.
Bringing up who he’d like Clinton to choose as a running mate, Trump referred to Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren not by name, but by the slight he has bestowed on her.
“I hope it’s Pocahontas,” he said.
Hillary Clinton wins District of Columbia primary
Hillary Clinton defeated Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the District of Columbia’s primary on Tuesday, the final contest of the Democratic primary season.
Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, is scheduled to meet with Sanders on Tuesday night to work out a plan to unite the party ahead of the November general election.
Sanders calls for a ‘transformation’ of the Democratic Party as he moves toward exiting race
Bernie Sanders began to shift Tuesday from a campaign for votes to a bid to maintain influence in national politics, calling for “a fundamental transformation of the Democratic Party” as he sought to set the terms for his formal exit from the presidential race.
On the day the last votes of the nominating race were being cast in the District of Columbia, Sanders was clearly a man in transition. He made his first appearance in months at the Senate Democrats’ weekly policy luncheon and even joined his colleagues in the formal “class photo” in the Senate chamber.
Tuesday evening he was set to hold a face-to-face meeting with Hillary Clinton, the party’s presumptive nominee, at a Washington hotel.
And he announced plans for a Thursday evening online video address to his supporters, saying in an email that although the voting may be over, “our political revolution continues.”
Trump responds to Obama criticism
Trump fights to keep videos of his Trump University testimony private
Lawyers for Donald Trump say there is “no legitimate reason” to release video of the businessman testifying in depositions for one of two class-action lawsuits filed against his real estate investing program, Trump University.
A terse, four-page motion filed Monday in federal court in San Diego is aimed at blocking lawyers for the plaintiffs in the case from adding to the court record excerpts from videotaped depositions Trump gave in the case in December and January.
The motion focuses on legal arguments against releasing the video, noting that transcripts of the depositions are already available and arguing that seeking the release of the video is an “obvious attempt” to create prejudice against Trump.
Unspoken is the potential political fallout at stake -- the possibility that snippets of the videos could provide material for campaign ads opposing the Republican Trump in his bid for the presidency against Democrat Hillary Clinton.
Poll watch: Clinton leads Trump by 12 percentage points in Bloomberg survey of likely voters
Hillary Clinton: 49%
Donald Trump: 37%
On fighting terrorism
If a situation similar to the Orlando shootings were to happen a year from now, would you have more confidence in Hillary Clinton or Donald Trump to deal with it as president?
Some of Bernie Sanders’ demands
Donald Trump’s celebratory mood?
Donald Trump, who has castigated President Obama and Hillary Clinton since the massacre at an Orlando, Fla., nightclub early Sunday, used social media Tuesday to evoke a more celebratory mood.
Balloons adorned the businessman’s Twitter page in recognition of his 70th birthday.
Trump, the presumptive GOP nominee, is scheduled to speak to supporters Tuesday night in North Carolina.
On Monday, he delivered a fiery speech in New Hampshire that flouted post-tragedy tradition and slammed the Obama administration’s handling of terrorism and even suggested the president might sympathize with Islamic terrorists.
As the nation mourned the 49 people killed at Pulse nightclub, Trump reissued his call for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States -- and expanded the proposed ban to include any regions he deems to be hotbeds of terrorism.
Trump’s Twitter feed has become a base for him to launch attacks against rivals since he entered the presidential race a year ago.
In one tweet after Sunday’s shooting, he urged supporters not to “congratulate” him for warning them about the dangers of terrorism.
Clinton declares Trump an egomaniac, a liar, ungracious and unfit to be president
Hillary Clinton delivered a blistering rebuttal to Donald Trump’s latest personal attacks and skewered his plan for confronting mass shootings, calling him an egomaniac and a liar unfit to be commander in chief.
The former secretary of State was unrestrained in her assessment of Trump during a campaign rally in Pittsburgh on Tuesday afternoon. She tore into remarks Trump made Monday that had questioned President Obama’s affiliations in the fight against terrorism.
“Yesterday morning, just one day after the massacre, he went on TV and suggested President Obama is on the side of the terrorists,” Clinton said. “Just think about that for a second. Even in a time of divided politics, this is way beyond anything that should be said by someone running for president.”
Clinton called on other Republican leaders to disavow the comments, the latest to come from Trump that have put others in the GOP in an awkward spot.
“History will remember what we do in this moment,” Clinton said.
She called Trump’s remarks “shameful” and “disrespectful” and “yet more evidence that he is temperamentally unfit and totally unqualified to be president.”
Clinton then tore into Trump’s history as a leader of the birther movement, which alleged Obama was not born in America — which he was — and his more recent allegation that the judge overseeing the case against him by former Trump University students is biased because of his Mexican heritage. She noted how Trump wrongly declared the shooter in Orlando was born in Afghanistan.
“He was born in Queens, N.Y., just like Donald himself,” Clinton said.
Clinton said that after she had “sifted through all the bizarre rants and outright lies” in Trump’s address at a New Hampshire college Monday, his plan boiled down to using the words “radical Islam” to define terrorists and imposing a ban on Muslims and other unspecified groups from entering the country.
“Trump, as usual, is obsessed with name-calling,” she said. “From my perspective it matters what we do, not just what we say. It didn’t matter what we called Bin Laden. It mattered that we got Bin Laden.”
Clinton warned that a ban on Muslims would play into the hands of Islamic State by antagonizing allies abroad who are crucial to effectively fighting extremists, as well as American Muslims whose cooperation is essential to stopping homegrown jihadists.
“I will not demonize and declare war on an entire religion,” Clinton said.
The former secretary of State talked about the letter George H.W. Bush had left on the Oval Office desk for Bill Clinton during his final day in the White House. The letter was notable for a gracious, nonpartisan tone that Clinton was implicitly questioning whether Trump would ever be capable of. It offered advice for staying focused in the job, but it also wished Bill Clinton and his family well.
“I will be rooting for you,” Bush wrote.
“Let’s make this once again the big-hearted, fair-minded country we all love so much,” Clinton said.
Obama accuses Trump of ‘doing the terrorists’ work for them’
President Obama accused Donald Trump of undermining American values through his proposals to ban Muslim immigrants from the country and said that such ideas were “doing the terrorists’ work for them,” as he issued his most direct attack to date on the presumptive Republican presidential nominee.
“Are we going to start treating all Muslim Americans differently” than other citizens, Obama asked. “Are we going to start discriminating against them because of their faith?”
If the U.S. goes down down that path “we would have betrayed the very things we’re trying to protect,” the president said.
“And then the terrorist would have won, and we cannot let that happen. I will not let that happen.”
Obama’s remarks Tuesday came after a meeting at the Treasury Department with Vice President Joe Biden, Secretary of State John Kerry and other national security advisors that focused on efforts to disrupt the finances of the Islamic State militant group, also known as ISIS or ISIL.
Obama insisted that the campaign against Islamic State is “firing on all cylinders” and that the “noose is tightening” around the group’s territory in Iraq and Syria, before launching into a lengthy condemnation of Republican rhetoric about “radical Islam.”
For a while now, Obama said, the “main contribution” of some Republicans has been to “criticize this administration and me for not using the phrase ‘radical Islam.’”
“What exactly would using this label accomplish?” he asked. “Would it make ISIL less committed to trying to kill Americans? Would it bring in more allies? Is there are military strategy that is served by this?”
“The answer,” he said, is “none of the above.”
“This is a political distraction,” he said. “Someone seriously thinks that we don’t know who we’re fighting? That would come as a surprise to the thousands of terrorists who we’ve taken off the battlefield.”
Paul Ryan stands firm against Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim immigration
House Speaker Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.) reiterated his opposition Tuesday to the blanket ban on Muslim immigration proposed by Donald Trump, saying such a religious test was contrary to U.S. interests and inconsistent with the principles of Republicans.
“This is a war with radical Islam. It is not a war with Islam,” he said at a news conference when asked about Trump’s address Monday on the Orlando, Fla., massacre.
“Muslims are our partners. The vast, vast majority of Muslims in this country and around the world are moderate. They’re peaceful. They’re tolerant. So they’re among our best allies, among our best resources in this fight.”
The speaker’s comments highlighting the daylight between him and Trump on policy came just after House Republicans were told their presumptive presidential nominee would address them next month.
Ryan said he favored a “security test” to a religious one when it came to immigration.
But he otherwise sidestepped giving any response to some of Trump’s other comments, saying only that he “would encourage everyone, including our nominee, to work with us” on addressing the threat posed by Islamic State.
“We’ve been working on this issue for quite some time,” Ryan said.
He also criticized the Obama administration for what he viewed as an inadequate response to fighting terrorism.
“This is a threat that cannot be contained. This is a threat that must simply be defeated,” he said. “Right now, the president doesn’t have a plan to get the job done.”
Asked as he left the news conference at the Republican National Committee’s Capitol Hill headquarters whether he stood by his endorsement of Trump, Ryan remained quiet, aside from a stray comment about the temperature in the room.
“It’s hot in here.”
Former Republican senator endorses Clinton in wake of Orlando massacre
Former Sen. Larry Pressler (R-S.D.) said he woke up on Monday and asked himself, “Did I really do that?” Yes, he really endorsed Hillary Clinton — a Democrat — for president over the weekend.
“If someone had told me 10 years ago I would do this, I wouldn’t have believed them,” Pressler said in an interview with The Hill.
Pressler served three terms as a Republican senator in the 1990s. But after the mass shooting that killed 49 in Orlando on Sunday, he said he concluded that the U.S. needs to ban assault weapons and institute background checks for all firearms purchases but that such a discussion is a nonstarter for Republicans.
And, he added, he simply can’t get behind Donald Trump’s attacks on Muslims and other minority groups.
“This is a very dangerous national conversation we’re slipping into,” Pressler said.
Trump says he hopes Muslims don’t hate him
Donald Trump reiterated his call to ban Muslims from entering the U.S. and encouraged reporting of suspicious behavior in an address Monday in which he also broadened the proposed ban, but said it’s his “hope” that that doesn’t cause Muslims to fear him.
Asked by Fox News host Bill O’Reilly in an interview whether he was demonizing all Muslims, Trump denied the accusation.
“No, just the opposite,” Trump said. “I really believe it’s just the opposite.”
But he immediately blamed Muslims as a whole for failing to report any suspicions about the assailants in the Orlando, Fla., and San Bernardino massacres and threatened unspecified consequences.
“The Muslims are the ones that see what’s going on,” he said on the “O’Reilly Factor.” “The Muslims are the ones that have to report them. And if they don’t report them, then there have to be consequences to them.”
His argument failed to take into account that Omar Mateen, the Orlando gunman, was previously investigated by the FBI.
O’Reilly himself later appeared on CBS’ “Late Show” with Stephen Colbert and agreed that Trump congratulated himself for predicting Orlando.
“He wants to be president,” the Fox News host said. “He’s using this terrorism issue to bolster his popularity.”
How Trump’s and Clinton’s claims in their speeches after the Orlando shooting stack up
In competing addresses Monday after the Orlando nightclub massacre, Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton sought to frame the political debate surrounding the mass shooting on their terms.
Trump renewed his call for tougher immigration laws and reaffirmed his commitment to temporarily banning Muslim immigration as president.
Clinton called on Americans to unite and laid out a plan for working with U.S. allies, beefing up resources for law enforcement and strengthening gun laws.
Here’s a look at some of their assertions and how they measure up to the facts.
Congress remains unlikely to change U.S. gun laws after Orlando shooting
Even the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history is not likely to convince Congress to change the nation’s gun laws.
Democrats in the Senate said Monday that they would renew efforts to ban gun sales to terrorism suspects in the aftermath of the Orlando attack.
But the bill is likely to find the same fate it did six months ago, after the San Bernardino terrorist attack, when the Republican majority opposed it on a largely party line vote.
More ambitious proposals, including one to reinstate an assault weapons ban, were not immediately on the table.
“The only way we’re going to see the kind of change to our gun safety laws that we would like to see, that the vast majority of the country would like to see … will be when individual Americans make clear to their representatives in Congress that this is a top priority,” White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest said Monday.