11-20-2017  12:52 pm      •     
MLK Breakfast
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NEWS BRIEFS

SEI, Sunshine Division Offer Thanksgiving Meals to Families in Need

Turkeys are being provided to fill 200 Thanksgiving food boxes for SEI families ...

NAACP Portland Monthly Meeting Nov. 18

Monthly general membership meeting takes place on Saturday, 12 - 2 p.m. ...

Multnomah County Animal Services Waives Adoption Fees Nov. 17

Special runs from 12 p.m. to 7 p.m. Friday ...

Fitzpatrick Presents 'Pathway 1000' Plan Before City Council

Plan would restore involuntary displacement by building 80 homes per year ...

Sisters Network to Hold Monthly Meeting Nov. 11

Meeting to take place Saturday morning at June Key Delta Center ...

U.S. & WORLD NEWS

OPINION

Local Author Visits North Portland Library

Renee Watson teaches students and educators about the power of writing ...

Is the FBI’s New Focus on “Black Identity Extremists” the New COINTELPRO?

Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (D-La.) talks about the FBI’s misguided report on “Black Identity Extremism” and negative Facebook ads. ...

ACA Enrollment Surging, Even Though It Ends Dec. 15

NNPA contributing writer Cash Michaels writes about enrollment efforts ...

Blacks Often Pay Higher Fees for Car Purchases than Whites

Charlene Crowell explains why Black consumers often pay higher fees than White consumers, because of “add-on” products. ...

AFRICAN AMERICANS IN THE NEWS

ENTERTAINMENT

Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, joined by, from left, Washington City Council member Jack Evans, Uprising Muffin Company owner Donnie Simpson, Washington Mayor Muriel Bowser and Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., pauses during a stop at the store in Washington, Friday, June 10, 2016. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon)
LAURIE KELLMAN, Associated Press

 

WASHINGTON (AP) — Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton adjusted their presidential politicking Sunday, first offering prayers and support to the victims of the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. But they both infused their sympathy with statements that favor their presidential aspirations, and the presidential race rolled on.

The presumptive candidates made statements hours after a gunman wielding an assault-type rifle and a handgun opened fire inside a crowded gay nightclub early Sunday, killing at least 50 people before dying in a gunfight with SWAT officers, police said. Another 53 were hospitalized, most in critical condition. Officials identified the shooter as Omar Mateen of Port St. Lucie, Florida, a U.S. citizen born in New York.

Clinton, the presumptive Democratic nominee, pushed for gun control and reached out to a key constituency — gays and lesbians.

"The gunman attacked an LGBT nightclub during Pride Month. To the LGBT community: please know that you have millions of allies across our country. I am one of them," she said in a statement, adding a call to keep assault weapons out of the hands of "terrorists or other violent criminals."

TrumpPHOTO: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump waves to the crowd as he is photographed arriving to speak at a campaign rally, Saturday, June 11, 2016 at a private hanger at Greater Pittsburgh International Airport in Moon, Pa. (AP Photo/Keith Srakocic)

Trump, the presumptive Republican nominee, also offered words of support. But then spent the day congratulating himself apparently for predicting more attacks inside the U.S. On Twitter, he renewed talk of his plan to ban Muslims from the U.S. for an indeterminate time. And he went after President Barack Obama.

As Obama stepped to the podium in Washington to address the nation early Sunday afternoon, Trump tweeted:

"Is President Obama going to finally mention the words radical Islamic terrorism? If he doesn't he should immediately resign in disgrace!"

In his address Obama called the tragedy an act of terror and hate.

He didn't talk about religious extremists, nor did others, reluctant to inflame a stunned nation already on edge about attacks inspired by the Islamic State group. Obama said the FBI would investigate the shootings in the gay nightclub as terrorism but that the alleged shooter's motivations were unclear. He said the U.S. "must spare no effort" to determine whether Mateen had any ties to extremist groups.

Hours later, a law enforcement official confirmed to The Associated Press that Mateen had made a 911 call from the club, professing allegiance to the leader of Islamic State group, Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi. The official was familiar with the investigation but not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity.

The shootings inspired the candidates to shift their schedules and focus.

Clinton's presidential campaign announced it was postponing its first joint event with Obama on Wednesday in Green Bay, Wisconsin, because of the Orlando shooting.

Trump said he was changing the focus of his speech Monday at Saint Anselm College in New Hampshire from his case against Clinton to "this terrorist attack, immigration and national security."

He also noted that he "said this was going to happen" and repeated his call for Obama to resign for refusing to use the words "radical Islam." Clinton, Trump added, should drop out of the presidential race for the same reason.

Trump has proposed temporarily barring all foreign Muslims from entering the country and has advocated using waterboarding and other harsh interrogation methods.

Trump's first tweet of the day was factual: "Really bad shooting in Orlando. Police investigating possible terrorism. Many people dead and wounded."
Tweeted Clinton: "Woke up to hear the devastating news from FL. As we wait for more information, my thoughts are with those affected by this horrific act."

And then they resumed their plans Sunday.

On schedule, Clinton's campaign unveiled its first general election ad Sunday morning. It will run in battleground states beginning Thursday.

SandersPHOTO: Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and his wife Jane arrive onstage for a rally in Washington, Thursday, June 9, 2016. (AP Photo/Cliff Owen)

And Sen. Bernie Sanders, still in the contest for the Democratic nomination despite Clinton's claim on it, went on with a round of appearances on the Sunday talk shows. He acknowledged the tragedy — then said he would not drop out of the race and endorse Clinton until he's convinced she's committed to fighting wealth disparity. He later issued a statement of sympathy to the Florida victims, with no political overtones.

Two hours later, Trump responded to the Clinton ad.

"Clinton made a false ad about me where I was imitating a reporter GROVELING after he changed his story. I would NEVER mock disabled. Shame!"

The Clinton ad uses footage of Trump onstage, flailing his arms in an apparent attempt to mimic New York Times reporter Serge Kovaleski, who suffers from a congenital condition that restricts joint movement. At the time, Trump was taking issue with a story Kovaleski had written for The Washington Post.

Roughly two hours after that tweet, Trump returned to the shootings.

"Horrific incident in FL. Praying for all the victims & their families. When will this stop? When will we get tough, smart & vigilant?" he tweeted.

An hour later, he followed up with some self-praise: "Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don't want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!"
___
Associated Press Writer Eric Tucker contributed to this report.

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