terrorism

Trump says McConnell ‘totally on board’ with background checks
President dismisses possibility of NRA opposition to legislation

President Donald Trump says Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is “totally on board” with “intelligent background checks,” but a Senate aide says McConnell hasn’t endorsed “anything specific.” (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump on Friday gave perhaps his strongest endorsement yet of a background checks overhaul bill for firearms purchases, and predicted Republican lawmakers would “lead” on the issue despite opposition from the National Rifle Association.

“Frankly, we need intelligent background checks. This isn’t a question of NRA, Republican or Democrat. I spoke to [Senate Majority Leader] Mitch McConnell yesterday. ... He is totally on board,” the president told reporters as he left the White House for a 10-day working vacation.

Rep. Tim Ryan leads gun control ‘caravan’ to Mitch McConnell's hometown
Presidential candidate is one of hundreds of Democrats calling for McConnell to end recess and address gun violence

Ohio Democratic Rep. and presidential candidate Tim Ryan  is leading a caravan of gun control advocates to the hometown of Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Democratic presidential candidate and Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan is leading a caravan of gun law reform activists 376 miles from his hometown of Niles, Ohio, to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s hometown of Louisville, Kentucky.

The caravan, co-led by the gun control group Moms Demand Action, will make its sixth and final stop Thursday at City Plaza next to the Muhammad Ali Center in downtown Louisville for a rally at 7:30 p.m.

Disinformation moves from fringe sites to Facebook, YouTube
Report: Extremists promoting conspiracies are using same tactics as foreign actors

People gather Wednesday at a makeshift memorial honoring victims outside the scene of the mass shooting in El Paso. Police believe the shooter posted an anti-immigrant manifesto on the fringe site 8chan before he went on his rampage. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)

Lawmakers and regulators focusing their attention on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube for the platforms’ role in propagating disinformation may be missing a big chunk of other online sites and portals that drive conspiracies and outright falsehoods, according to a nonprofit group that is studying how disinformation works.

Sites and discussion portals such as 4chan, 8chan, Reddit and Gab, as well as smaller social media sites such as Pinterest and even payment sites such as PayPal and GoFundMe, and online retailers such as Amazon and others are all part of a large online ecosystem that helps domestic and foreign agents shape disinformation and launch adversarial campaigns, the Global Disinformation Index said in a report released last week.

After shootings, Trump again shows he prefers political brawler to consoler in chief
White House has ‘a problem’ with alleged ‘disingenuous’ comments by Sherrod Brown, Dayton mayor

President Donald Trump on Wednesday injected politics into his attempts to console those affected by mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, last weekend. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

Even on a day when he was thrust once again by gunmen into his consoler-in-chief role, President Donald Trump found new political enemies — and started throwing rhetorical elbows as the country reeled from two more gun massacres.

The president and first lady Melania Trump spent time Wednesday in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, with the victims of weekend mass killings and law enforcement officers who neutralized the shooters. But before, during and after even his critics gave him points for consoling and spending time with those affected, the president appeared more focused on political sparring than emotional healing.

Trump dings Biden during post-shootings trip, as lawmakers handle visits differently
‘Take these assault weapons off the streets,’ Sherrod Brown tells president in Dayton

Demonstrators line a street in Dayton, Ohio, on Wednesday before a visit from President Donald Trump. From there, he visited El Paso, Texas. Both cities were scenes of mass shootings last weekend that collectively left 31 people dead and dozens wounded. (Scott Olson/Getty Images)

President Donald Trump met privately Wednesday in Ohio and Texas with survivors of two deadly mass shootings, but he found time to publicly ridicule 2020 Democratic front-runner Joe Biden as several local lawmakers took differing approaches to his visits.

The day’s traveling press pool was not allowed access to Trump and first lady Melania Trump as they met with shooting survivors and local officials at Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton, Ohio. White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham told reporters aboard Air Force One as the president flew to El Paso, Texas, for a similar meeting that Trump was not there for a “photo op.” (The White House, however, released its own photos in a tweet.)

Sen. Sherrod Brown to meet with Trump after initially saying he wouldn’t
‘I decided I have a responsibility to look him in the eye and urge him to do the right thing,’ Brown tweeted

Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, heads to the Senate floor for votes on a two-year budget and debt ceiling deal on Thursday, August 1, 2019. Brown said he would not meet with President Donald Trump, but reversed himself, joining Trump to meet victims in Dayton. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown reversed himself Wednesday and joined President Trump in Dayton to meet victims of a mass shooting there and law enforcement officials who ended it.

“I wrestled with the right thing to do when Trump visits Dayton today. I decided I have a responsibility to look him in the eye and urge him to do the right thing,” Brown tweeted a day after telling Sirius XM he would decline a White House invitation because of the president’s racist rhetoric and stance on gun access.

House Democrats to visit cities roiled by white supremacist violence
The ‘action plan’ could be aimed at quieting concerns that lawmakers will lose momentum over the August recess

Rep. Nanette Barragan, D-Calif., serves on the House Homeland Security Committee. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)

Democrats on the House Homeland Security Committee will visit cities roiled by violence in the coming month “to address the threat of domestic terrorism” by white supremacists and neo-Nazis.

Chairman Bennie Thompson laid out the plan in a media release sent Tuesday night. The release comes amid a push from some Democrats to cut the August recess short and convene a session of Congress on the matter.

Trump: ‘Great appetite’ for background checks bill; Biden has ‘lost his fastball’
Former VP to say Trump ‘has fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation’

President Trump left the White House Wednesday morning to visit Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas after gunmen killed 31 people over the weekend. (Caroline Brehman/CQ Roll Call)

President Donald Trump on Wednesday said he might call Congress back to Washington if he and lawmakers “get close” to a deal under discussion to overhaul the federal background check system following deadly mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

Trump said he senses a “great appetite for background checks” among members and predicted the various sides would strike a “really, really good” overhaul deal. As he departed the White House to visit with victims of the Dayton and El Paso shootings, he said he has had conversations with numerous lawmakers but was not yet ready to urge a special session of the House and Senate. (No such special session would be necessary, as the House and Senate are still in session. That has not stopped people from referring to calling Congress back to something special.)

El Paso skeptical of Trump’s visit as he lashes out at opponents, media
The president lashed out at Beto O’Rourke and the media before his visits to El Paso and Dayton, Ohio

President Trump is criticizing Democratic presidential candidate and former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke just hours before heading to his native El Paso to visit victims of a mass shooting there. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call file photo)

Updated 8:51 a.m. | President Trump is opting to attack his political opponents and the media in the hours before he is slated to meet with victims of the deadly mass shootings in Ohio and Texas and the law enforcement officers who stopped both rampages.

Previous commanders in chief almost always chose to focus on the victims of tragedies and attacks, while also discussing federal aid and possible policy changes. But not Trump, firing off angry tweets hours before Air Force One is slated to touch down in Dayton and then El Paso, where two gunmen killed at least 31 people over the weekend.

Trump urged unity after shootings. But White House is hitting Dems hard
President heads to Dayton and El Paso as his team criticizes political opponents

President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump will take Air Force One to Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, on Wednesday after mass shootings in both cities. (Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call file photo)

President Donald Trump’s warnings about political divisions hindering efforts to stave off future mass shootings began to erode Tuesday at his own White House, as he and senior aides took not-so-veiled shots at Democrats.

The president will spend time Wednesday with some family members of the victims of deadly weekend shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, and others, 48 hours after warning of the dangers of political division and calling for unity.