He flails, he fails
In the first hours after the Orlando massacre and in the days since, Donald Trump has blamed President Barack Obama. The public isn’t buying that, according to a CBS News poll.
By 44% to 34%, Americans approved of Obama’s response to the tragedy.
By 51% to 25%, they disapproved of Trump’s response, which included self-congratulations for “being right” on terrorism, a call for Obama to resign and insinuations of presidential sympathies with America’s enemies.
Hillary Clinton fell in the middle, with 36% approving and 34% disapproving of how she has responded.
The numbers are likely to stoke the anxieties of Republicans who have feared, publicly or privately, that their presumptive nominee flunked a leadership test and is wrong on his proposed ban on Muslims coming to the U.S.
That idea, while still popular with a majority of Republicans, was rejected 62% to 31% by Americans overall.
Trump at 70% unfavorable
A new Washington Post/ABC News poll finds Trump rated unfavorably by 70% of voters — including 56% who feel this way “strongly” — while only 29% view him favorably. That’s a 41-point gap.
Clinton’s favorability is also under water in the poll, with 43% on the positive side and 55% negative — a 12-point deficit. Last month, the poll found their unfavorable ratings were the same.
He goes there again
Trump tweeted that he was right to insinuate Obama is an ISIS sympathizer, linking to a story from the right-fringe website Breitbart.com about a “secret” 2012 memo that, its headline says, proves Obama supported the terrorist group.
But all the memo does is describe generally what was widely known at the time about a diverse array of opposition to the government of Syrian leader Bashar Assad.
Call him Mr. Lonely
Trump has noticed Republican leaders aren’t exactly rallying around him lately, and he complained about it at a rally in Atlanta Wednesday.
“You know the Republicans — honestly folks, our leaders have to get tougher,” Trump said. “This is too tough to do it alone, but you know what I think I’m going to be forced to.”
And as for those Republicans openly criticizing him: “Don’t talk. Please be quiet ... either stick together or let me just do it by myself.” (Click here for video of Trump’s speech.)
The take-away: Gun gambit
Trump already has the National Rifle Association endorsement and isn’t going to lose it just because he’s now asking the gun group to support banning gun sales to people on federal terror “watch lists.” Trump wants to look like a pragmatic dealmaker and principled advocate, writes Newsday’s Dan Janison.
Clinton’s ‘welcome’ to Trump
Clinton told The Huffington Post that Trump had yielded to pressure from her and others on guns for people on the watch lists. “Welcome to the cause,” she said.
Speaking with military families in Hampton, Virginia, Clinton renewed her attacks on Trump’s approach to terrorism.
“Not one of Donald Trump’s reckless ideas would have saved a single life in Orlando,” she said. “It’s just more evidence that he is temperamentally unfit and totally unqualified to be commander-in-chief.”
LI bizman’s stop-Trump PAC
Jon Cooper, the former Suffolk County legislator and major fundraiser for President Barack Obama, says he will be chairman of a new super PAC that will raise money to defeat Trump.
Cooper told Newsday’s Tom Brune that Clinton already has super PACs such as Priorities USA helping her. “I thought there was a need for a home for Hillary supporters, Bernie supporters and disaffected Republicans to make sure Donald Trump does not become the next president,” he said.
What else is happening
- A 237-page opposition research report on Trump, reportedly stolen by computer hackers from the Democratic National Committee, has surfaced on The Smoking Gun and other websites.
- Maryland’s Larry Hogan is the third Republican governor who will not vote for Trump. He joins Michigan’s Rick Snyder and Massachusetts’ Charlie Baker.
- Trump told the Atlanta crowd he once offered to pay for a new ballroom at the White House because using tents during state dinners “looks like hell.” Former Obama aide David Axelrod confirmed the offer was made around 2010 and that no one got back to Trump.
- Clinton, in a USA Today interview, praised the Democrats’ party chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz, but did not rule out replacing her. Bernie Sanders wants her gone...
- Trump says a president has the power to bar immigration by “a class of persons,” and he may be right under a 1952 law that was aimed at Communists, The Washington Post says. But using the law against a religious group hasn’t been tested.
- Clinton goes warm and fuzzy in an ad aimed at Democratic unity for the general election race...
- Trump is due to give a deposition Thursday in his lawsuit against a chef who quit a deal for a restaurant at a Trump hotel in Washington because of the candidate’s remarks about Mexicans.
- Vice-presidential picks are overrated as a factor in national elections, says this analysis.
- Trump's conspiracy theory du jour is that the DNC hacked its own files to release the opposition-research report on him. As usual, no evidence is offered...
- Safe to count out Bernie Sanders as Clinton's VP candidate, reports the Wall Street Journal.