Sen. Bob Corker, chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, wanted to be a happy passenger on the Trump train.
The Tennessee Republican praised Trump’s foreign policy speech in late April as a “great step in the right direction.”
Then came Orlando. The self-congratulatory tweets. The speech Monday, replete with rhetoric against Muslims in the United States. The insinuations that President Barack Obama had a hidden agenda favorable to terrorists.
“I continue to be discouraged by the direction of the campaign and comments that are made,” Corker said Tuesday. Trump’s address was not “the type of speech that one would give that wants to lead this country through difficult times.”
But party leaders hoping for the emergence of a more “presidential” Trump aren’t seeing it.
House Speaker Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) said, “I do not think a Muslim ban is in our country’s interest. I do not think it is reflective of our principles, not just as a party, but as a country.”
The Republican National Committee issued a scathing statement denouncing Obama’s and Hillary Clinton’s terror policies as failures. But the statement never mentions Trump.
Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) was similarly critical of Obama and Clinton, but called Trump’s innuendo over the president’s sympathies “highly offensive.”
On Wednesday, Trump said he'd meet with the NRA about banning sales to those on the terror watch list -- an issue that's been around for years.
Clinton, Obama hit Trump
A day after detailing her plans to fight terror, Clinton ridiculed Trump’s answers as “nonsensical,” full of “bizarre rants” and “outright lies,” with no substance behind them.
“We need leadership and concrete plans because we are facing a brutal enemy,” Clinton said. Newsday’s Laura Figueroa covered her speech.
In Washington, Obama ripped Trump as a “dangerous” threat to the nation’s safety, religious freedom and diversity.
And at an evening rally in Greensboro, North Carolina, Trump said Obama was “more angry at me than at the [Orlando] shooter.”
The take-away: Trail boss
Trump’s ban of The Washington Post from his events seems like something you might see in an Eastern European dictatorship or at least a town with a third-rate supervisor, writes Newsday columnist Dan Janison.
It’s just another way of changing the story of the moment from the difficult one he didn’t like to one in which he gets to show he’s in charge.
Clinton surge in polls
Clinton has opened up a double-digit lead over Trump — 49% to 37% — in a Bloomberg Politics national poll. The June 10-13 survey overlapped the Orlando shootings, which had little impact, Bloomberg News said.
She led even though Trump received a 50%-45% edge as stronger in combating terrorism. The poll found 55% percent of those polled said they could never vote for Trump. Libertarian Gary Johnson was preferred by 9% of those surveyed.
Clinton also led Trump by 7 points — 49% to 42% — in an NBC News|SurveyMonkey Weekly Election Tracking Poll conducted June 6-12.
Russians hack DNC Trump file
Hackers linked to Russian intelligence agencies broke into the Democratic National Committee’s computer networks and gained access to emails, chats and opposition research on Trump.
DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz called the incident serious and said the committee moved quickly to “kick out the intruders and secure our network.”
What Bernie wants
Clinton and Bernie Sanders met at a downtown Washington hotel after District of Columbia Democrats voted in the windup of the primaries. Clinton won easily.
In advance of their private Tuesday night meeting, Sanders said he would be bringing demands to the Democratic National Convention, including the ouster of Wasserman Schultz and opening up primaries now closed to independent voters.
They met for 90 minutes. Neither took questions afterward. Both issued statements that called their exchange "positive."
What else is happening:
- New York Police Commissioner William Bratton said Trump hurts efforts to build trust in Muslim communities to fight terror and called it “ironic” that some NYPD officers assigned to a security detail at Trump Tower are Muslim ...
- The Republican Jewish Coalition criticized Trump’s proposed Muslim ban, saying “the fear that many feel today cannot be superseded by a rush to demonize and marginalize other Americans of a different faith” ...
- Trump spokeswoman Hope Hicks gave an improbable explanation after Trump saw fit to mark a U.S. Army celebration by talking about soldiers skimming cash...
- Ted Cruz’s former campaign manager told Politico that Trump is costing himself 2.5 to 5.5 points nationally by skimping on data, analytics and a ground operation ...
- Lawyers for the GOP nominee-to-be asked his least-favorite Mexican-American judge to conceal videos of Trump's deposition in the Trump U. fraud case...
- Trump celebrated his 70th birthday Tuesday. His birth certificate is public record ...
- The Communications Workers of America, which had backed Sanders, endorsed Clinton Tuesday. Union president Chris Shelton said she is not a “perfect candidate,” but Trump is “a mindless jerk who threatens to destroy our country” ...
- Clinton is clearer in message as she pivots into the general election, according to a Wall Street Journal analysis.