Trump, Clinton differ on plans to combat gun violence

Erica Werner
Associated Press

Washington — Dismayed Republicans scrambled for cover Tuesday from Donald Trump’s inflammatory response to the Orlando massacre, while President Barack Obama and Democrat Hillary Clinton delivered fiery denunciations that underscored the potential peril for the GOP.

Republican hopes are fading for a new, “more presidential” Trump as the party’s divisions around him grow ever more acute.

Clinton, campaigning in Pittsburgh, said, “We don’t need conspiracy theories and pathological self-congratulations. We need leadership and concrete plans because we are facing a brutal enemy.”

In Washington, Obama said of Muslim-Americans: “Are we going to start subjecting them to special surveillance? Are we going to discriminate against them because of their faith?” After meeting with counterterrorism officials, a stern-faced Obama said: “We heard these suggestions during the course of this campaign. Do Republican officials actually agree with this? Because that’s not the America we want.”

Several of Trump’s fellow Republicans clearly did not agree with him. They were nearly as unsparing as the Democrats in their criticism of his boundary-pushing response Monday to the killing of 49 patrons at a gay club in Orlando, Florida, by an American-born Muslim who pledged loyalty to the Islamic State group.

Among other things, Trump suggested moderate Muslims and perhaps even Obama himself might sympathize with radical elements and expanded his call for a temporary ban on Muslim immigration to the U.S.

“Mr. Trump seems to be suggesting that the president is one of them, I find that highly offensive, I find that whole line of reasoning way off-base,” said Sen. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina.

GOP Rep. Adam Kinzinger of Illinois said Trump’s comments could be used to radicalize uneducated Muslims.

Trump responded to Obama’s criticism in a statement saying: “President Obama claims to know our enemy, and yet he continues to prioritize our enemy over our allies, and for that matter, the American people. When I am president, it will always be America First.”

Campaign

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Hillary Clinton capped her primary campaign on Tuesday with a win over Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders in the Washington, D.C., primary.

Clinton, the presumptive Democratic presidential nominee, and Sanders were meeting at a hotel in the city as elections officials started to count votes in the nation’s capital. Sanders is slated to meet with Senate Democrats and planning to update his supporters on Thursday night in his hometown of Burlington, Vermont.

Sanders said in an email to supporters earlier Tuesday that he will hold an online town hall “to talk to you directly on Thursday night about what’s next for our campaign.”

■Sophisticated hackers linked to Russian intelligence services broke into the Democratic National Committee’s computer networks and gained access to confidential emails, chats and opposition research on presumptive Republican nominee Donald Trump, people familiar with the breach said Tuesday.

CrowdStrike Inc., a cybersecurity firm, said the DNC asked it to investigate a suspected breach of its systems that began as early as last summer. CrowdStrike said it quickly found traces of two of the best adversaries in the hacking arena, both tied to the Russian government.