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David Cameron says Britain “will not and should not” turn its back on Europe as it leaves the European Union.

After discussing the vote to leave with other EU leaders, he said trade and security co-operation would be vital whatever the shape of future links.

But he said immigration was a “great concern” among UK voters and squaring this with access to the EU single market would be a “huge challenge”.

Germany’s Angela Merkel said the EU must “respect the result” of the vote.

But German politicians have insisted the UK cannot “cherry-pick” aspects of the EU.

Earlier on Tuesday, Chancellor Merkel said the UK must accept free movement if it wanted to retain access to the single market.

Mrs Merkel said the Brexit vote had been discussed “very intensively and deeply” at the dinner meeting with EU leaders.

“We all regretted the result and made clear that the legal procedure must be that the UK invokes Article 50.

“Mr Cameron said he would hand it over to the new government to do… we all agreed that before that point, there can be no formal or informal negotiations.”

Mrs Merkel said Mr Cameron expressed how he had expected a different result in the referendum, but she added that “We are politicians; we can’t spend a long time mourning”.

She also said that “Publicly… we can see no way to turn this around. It’s not a time for wishful thinking, but of contemplating the reality.”

She added that talks would be “on the basis that we expect the representative of the UK to say what idea he has about withdrawing from the EU”.

“The request to withdraw will say what sort of relationship the UK wants. But there can be no quasi-negotiations.”

‘Sadness and regret’

European Commission president Jean-Claude Juncker said the UK did not have “months to meditate” on activating Article 50, which will trigger talks on the country’s withdrawal from the EU.

“If someone from the Remain camp will become British prime minister, this has to be done in two weeks after his appointment,” he said.

“If the next British PM is coming from the Leave campaign, it should be done the day after his appointment.”

Mr Cameron had been explaining the outcome of Britain’s referendum to the EU’s other 27 leaders at a meeting of the European Council, expected to be his last after he announced his intention to stand down in the wake of the Leave vote.

He told reporters the discussions had been “calm, constructive and purposeful”.

He also said that “while Britain is leaving the European Union, it will not, it should not and in my view it won’t turn its back on Europe”.

The PM, who has said it will be up to his successor to decide how to proceed with talks on the terms of Britain’s separation from the EU, said there was “universal respect” for the UK’s decision to leave despite a “tone of sadness and regret”.

While the EU wanted more information about the UK’s negotiating plans going forward and a “clear model appearing”, he said there was an acknowledgement that this would take some time and “no great clamour” for talks to begin straight away.

The prime minister warned that intransigence over freedom of movement could scupper any chance of a UK-EU trade deal with whoever takes over from him, saying there was a “very great concern” over immigration “coupled with sovereignty and the ability to control these things”.

He said that he wished he had won the referendum, but it was right to hold it to try to settle the question of the UK’s role in the EU.

Mr Cameron said: “You fight for what you believe – if you win, good, If you lose, you have to accept the verdict.”

He also said Britain and the rest of the EU wanted to have the “closest possible” relationship as the country leaves the union.

Downing Street said his message to EU leaders was that if they want a close economic relationship with the UK after Brexit, they cannot “shy away” from the migration issue.

A government source said: “He believes that one of the key issues in the referendum campaign, and therefore why a lot of people voted to leave, is this sense that there was no control on the scale of immigration and freedom of movement. That was one of the factors.”

Earlier on Tuesday, hundreds of pro-Remain supporters gathered outside Parliament to demonstrate about the consequences of Brexit.

And hundreds also turned out in Cardiff, at an event which included speeches from Plaid Cymru leader Leanne Wood and racial equality activist Shazia Awan.

Other rallies in Manchester and Oxford were abandoned amid fears about crowd sizes, and a protest in Liverpool was postponed until next week.

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Story highlights

  • Florida Sen. Marco Rubio will seek re-election for his seat, a complete reversal from his previous position
  • Rubio is expected to make the announcement Wednesday afternoon
Rubio emailed supporters Wednesday announcing his decision, acknowledging the sharp departure from his previous stance.
“In politics, admitting you’ve changed your mind is not something most people like to do. But here it goes,” he wrote. “I have decided to seek reelection to the United States Senate.”
Rubio’s announcement marks a 180-degree turn from where he was even just a month ago, when he insisted he would give up his Senate seat at the end of this term.
Rubio also told Fox News’ Chris Wallace, “I changed my mind.”
The Florida freshmen said he had reversed course because “the Senate’s role of being able to act as a check and balance on bad ideas from the president I think are going to matter more in 2017.”
In his email, Rubio said he’s aware his opponents will use his decision “to score political points against me.”
“Have at it,” Rubio wrote. “Because I have never claimed to be perfect, or to have all the answers.”
Rubio is set to formally announce his plans later Wednesday, according to a source with knowledge of his plans. The decision follows a month of heavy lobbying from top Republicans and soul-searching on the part of Rubio after the Orlando attack.
Many Republican colleagues encouraged him to run, believing he’s the party’s best chance to keep the seat. His former presidential primary opponent Sen. Ted Cruz announced his support shortly after news broke of Rubio’s decision.
“Marco is a friend and has been an ally in many battles we have fought together in the Senate,” Cruz said. “I’m glad to support him in his bid for re-election. Marco is a tremendous communicator and a powerful voice for the American Dream.
But not every Republican in the highly competitive Florida Senate primary was happy about the decision. Tea party favorite Ron DeSantis waved off questions about Rubio from a CNN reporter as he left a Capitol Hill meeting Wednesday morning.
Leading Democrats have already painted a bright target on Rubio — Montana Democrat Jon Tester, leader of the Senate Democrats’ campaign arm, said last week that beating Rubio could potentially kill any chances he has for the White House in 2020.
And the vicious Republican primary — which Rubio exited only a few months ago — is sure to be milled for attacks against Rubio.
Rep. Patrick Murphy, a favorite among establishment Democrats for the seat, quickly blasted Rubio on Twitter for missing numerous key Senate votes and intelligence briefings to campaign for the White House.
“Marco Rubio abandoned Florida. Unlike Rubio, I love working hard every single day for the people of Florida. ‪#flsen,” Murphy tweeted, shortly after news leaked that Rubio was running again.

CNN’s Naomi Lim and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.

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Donald Trump will launch a “full-frontal assault” on Hillary Clinton in a speech Wednesday, campaign sources say, as he looks to move on from the ouster of top staffer Corey Lewandowski.

The business mogul is expected to hammer home the theme that “in an election defined by change, Hillary Clinton not only represents the status quo, she represents the worst features of politics,” an aide previewed, predicting Trump will try to strike a tone that’s more optimistic than angry.

Related: Clinton: Trump Would ‘Bankrupt America’ Like One of His Casinos

The speech, crafted by senior policy adviser Stephen Miller and Trump’s newspaper publisher son-in-law Jared Kushner, is expected to broadly cover five overall areas of attack: the Clinton Foundation, trade, terrorism, human rights, and immigration.

Trump himself appears eager to mount what advisers characterize as a “full-frontal assault” on Clinton’s charitable foundation, an attack that will likely highlight findings from the Peter Schweizer book “Clinton Cash.” It’s become a touchstone for some in the Trump campaign: one of his top policy aides, Stephen Miller, frequently cites it during speeches introducing Trump on the campaign trail.

But none of these are particularly new lines of attack for Trump: he’s tried out most at various points on the campaign trail. But the prepared remarks, set to be delivered in a more intimate setting at Trump’s lower Manhattan SoHo hotel, are the first real test of his ability to prove he can stay on message after this week’s staff shake-up.

Aides frame the speech — the first real test of “Trump 2.0.” — as part of an aggressive bid to appeal not just to the conservative base, but to Democrats and independents who play a key role in Trump’s strategy of winning over Rust Belt and blue-leaning battleground states.

The speech comes as Trump’s team finally feels able to put its foot on the gas on a communications strategy, releasing a wave of spin in the face of an all-out assault from Clinton — who trashed the presumptive GOP nominee on the economy during a speech in Ohio Tuesday.

Ten emails, with titles like “Clinton’s Policies Helped Create The Mortgage Crisis” and “Hillary Clinton Makes Good Deals for Iran and Her Foreign Patrons, Not The United States,” hit journalists’ inboxes in rapid succession on Tuesday following Clinton’s speech.

Trump supplemented the message with an Instagram video about handling debt and 11 tweets with messages conspicuously lacking exclamation points and focused on substance, for the most part.

The Republican presumptive nominee’s campaign seemed also to be suddenly deploying a rapid response team — the kind of basic political messaging apparatus Clinton’s team has been honing for years.

Then there were long overdue staff hiring announcements, a fundraising email, and the scheduling of his anti-Clinton speech in New York City on Wednesday.

“This is the most optimistic day since Wisconsin,” recently resigned Trump aide Michael Caputo told NBC News Tuesday night.

“It’s only going to get better from here. I may not be with the campaign anymore, but I can feel the sunshine just like anyone else.”

Related: Filings Show Huge Fundraising Gap

With Lewandowksi gone, sources both in the campaign and out described a collective sigh of relief from staffers who were trying to step up their game and become a team worthy of a general election.

“There’s a lot of energy and excitement,” one campaign source said. ‘We were vigorous on rapid response and it was very effective.”

The source also spoke glowingly of Tuesday’s fundraiser at the swanky Manhattan restaurant Le Cirque, but would not reveal the amount raised.

Fundraising is still a huge part of the Trump campaign’s problem. May’s Federal Election Commission report — showing Clinton with 30 times as much cash on hand as Trump — was devastating. It didn’t help restore confidence among wary donors and Republican lawmakers.

To make things worse, Trump is due to abandon the campaign trail for a visit to his golf courses in Scotland later this week. And although the trip was shortened to three days, the optics are not good.

“If he wanted to show people he was serious about changing course he’d cancel his trip,” advised Ryan Williams, a Republican strategist who served as deputy national press secretary on Mitt Romney’s 2012 campaign.

“It has nothing to do with his campaign for the presidency,” Williams added. “He’s not raising money. He’s not campaigning in battleground states. It’s solely for his business and brand.”

So the biggest hurdle now is the same as it was on day one: the candidate himself. Donors are weary, lawmakers are weary, and the party establishment is weary.

Multiple sources tell NBC News that Trump’s stubborn refusal to get in line with party leaders has not been forgotten.

“There’s still a lot of poison in the air. It takes a while to fan it out,” another campaign source said.

And while Trump’s champions believe there is time for him to turn it around, other Republicans are less than hopeful, grumbling that at this point almost anyone would be better than their soon-to-be nominee.

“Firing Corey [Lewandowksi] isn’t the magic bullet. Replacing Trump with a reasonable, intelligent, honest, and honorable man or woman would be magic bullet,” one GOP operative said.

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Will Trump Swallow the G.O.P. Whole?

By MARK LEIBOVICH
June 21, 2016

By MARK LEIBOVICH
June 21, 2016

Every week or so during the spring, I met with Reince Priebus, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, at the party headquarters on Capitol Hill. We fell into a familiar routine. I would enter his office, usually chaperoned by Sean Spicer, the R.N.C.’s chief strategist and head of communications. Priebus has a healthy appreciation for gallows humor, which is not a bad thing for an R.N.C. chairman these days. “I haven’t started pouring Baileys in my cereal yet,” he says often enough that it has become a signature line. I would regularly break the ice with something sarcastic, like asking Priebus how his party’s Hispanic outreach program was going on the morning after the committee’s head of Hispanic outreach resigned rather than work another day for Donald Trump’s election. “The scent of party unity is in the air,” I said in May when Paul Ryan reported that he was “not there yet” on supporting Trump. “No, that’s incense,” Priebus said, pointing out that he had been burning some behind his desk.

As suits a man occupying what might be the toughest political job in America, Priebus does his best to stay availed of serene distractions. He plays jazz piano at home late at night and gazes into the 29-gallon saltwater fish tank that he keeps next to his desk. “You see that big eel?” Priebus asked one day, pointing out a black slithery creature on the bottom, before noting others. “That’s a yellow tang, hippo tang, a spotted puffer. There’s an anemone. An urchin. An orange clown fish.” He took a hunk of shrimp from a refrigerator and dangled it with a set of tongs into the water. A race to the bottom ensued as bits fell away and the fish vied for pieces of flesh. It was difficult to look away from the feeding frenzy. The big orange clown fish flailed at front and center. I asked Priebus if it reminded him of anyone. “That’s not funny,” he said with something between a slight grunt and chuckle.

No matter how much Trump has roiled the Republican water, it remained Priebus’s job to carry it. The presumed Republican nominee appears on many days to be at open war with the party that is about to nominate him. The entire campaign, meanwhile, has been a proxy battle for the proverbial “soul of the party” that has been escalating between the G.O.P.’s populist grass roots (captured by Trump) and “party leaders” (embodied by Priebus, the House speaker, Paul Ryan, and the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell). Is the G.O.P. now the “party of Trump”? Priebus bristles when people ask him this — or taunt him. I asked Priebus some variation on this question during each of my visits. “Donald Trump is Donald Trump,” Priebus says. “And the party is the party.”

“Priebus” is a German name, pronounced like the Toyota Prius with a “b” stuck in the middle. Reince (short for Reinhold, rhymes with “pints”) is 44 but has an older-man’s vibe. He is often underslept, has the beginnings of jowls and tiny goose pimples clustered under his eyes like those on the belly of a toad. He speaks in the slow and slightly put-upon manner of an adolescent whose parents are always hassling him about the nightmare house guest. The Trump issue, in other words. It’s never far from anything, and really, these days, what else is there?

Plenty, Priebus kept trying to convince me. The Republican Party had its own distinct identity and principles and points of pride. It controls both chambers of Congress and holds more federal and statewide seats than at any time since 1900, he said. What keeps eluding Republicans is the White House. They have lost the popular vote in five of the last six national elections. “Cultural elections,” Priebus calls them — “the big ones.” A chief reason for this is that many voters dismiss Republicans as being culturally and demographically stuck in 1900. It was Priebus who commissioned and endorsed the findings of the G.O.P. “autopsy” after Mitt Romney’s defeat in 2012. Formally christened as the “Growth and Opportunity Project,” the report warned that the G.O.P. was “increasingly marginalizing itself” to a point where it would be “increasingly difficult for Republicans to win another presidential election in the near future.” That is, the report concluded, unless the party expanded its aging white base to include more immigrants, ethnic minorities and women, precisely the groups the next likely standard-bearer has so splendidly repelled.

Priebus refers to himself as a “party guy.” He spent much of his youth in Kenosha, Wis., organizing pizza parties for Republican volunteers, putting up yard signs and listening to Newt Gingrich speeches on cassettes in his car — party-guy things. His first date with his future wife included a trip to a Republican Lincoln Day dinner, an evening sexed up by the presence of two Republican congressmen: James Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin and Henry Hyde of Illinois. Being a “party guy” can come off sounding a little old-school nerdy, like being a ham-radio guy. But Priebus speaks of this identity with sincere pride, and his allegiance is clear: to “the party,” not any one nominee.

Still, our meetings sometimes took on the feel of therapy sessions, with Priebus playing the role of the betrayed spouse trying to convince me that his tormentor really could change. Trump would soon be “pivoting” into a more “presidential” mode, Priebus kept promising. But after a while it became clear that Trump’s outrages would continue unabated. Within the space of a few weeks, he suggested that Bill Clinton had committed rape and (along with Hillary) might have killed his former aide Vince Foster and that Ted Cruz’s father might have associated with Lee Harvey Oswald and that Mitt Romney walked like a penguin and. … Priebus pretty much stopped bothering with “presidential.”

On this particular day, cable news was wall-to-wall with stories: the surfacing of an audio tape of someone sounding a lot like Trump claiming to be a Trump “spokesman”; the discovery of a Facebook post from Trump’s longtime butler calling for President Obama to be killed; and news that the Trump campaign had selected a white nationalist leader to be a California delegate (the delegate wound up resigning). Priebus eventually pivoted to Trump’s supposed “authenticity.” Yes, “authenticity” was a better word, more latitude. He settled on the idea that Trump was a “unique” candidate who had created a new standard for what a politician could say and get away with. “He’s carved out this idea that he’s this earthquake in a box,” Priebus says.

Priebus was saying in effect that it would be possible to build a wall around Donald Trump and not have the G.O.P. pay for it. Trump did not define its values in the long term, even if he might temporarily defile them. “We’re the party of the ‘open door,’ ” Priebus told me, as he often does. Not big, beautiful walls.

For a while this spring, it seemed possible to contain the earthquake. Trump showed flickering signs of “maturing” as a candidate, and Republicans seemed willing to “support the nominee,” if not endorse him. The “normalization” of Donald Trump became a media watchword, the idea that his daily affronts could be integrated into the routine paces of a quadrennial exercise. Formerly hostile primary opponents like Marco Rubio, Lindsey Graham, Bobby Jindal and Rick Perry all at various points said they would support Trump or were at least no longer (in Rubio’s case) deriding him as a “fraud,” “con man” and “lunatic” or (in Graham’s) a “race-baiting, xenophobic, religious bigot” or (in Jindal’s) a “madman who must be stopped” or (in Perry’s) a “barking carnival act.” I imagined Trump laughing at how easy it was to get Republicans to submit to him after he had savaged so many of them during the primaries. Actually there was no need to imagine because Trump was doing exactly that. “I’ve never seen people able to pivot like politicians,” he said at a rally in California in late May while boasting of his support from Perry. In an interview, I asked Trump if it was harder to flip politicians or the real estate people he has dealt with over the years. His smirk was audible over the phone. “Well, I’m not referring to any politicians in particular, but I’ve said many times that businesspeople are much tougher,” Trump said. “Politicians tend to be much more deceptive and deceiving and more willing to break a deal. But they are not as tough.”

Priebus, meanwhile, kept working the phones, trying to coax anti-Trump Republicans back to the party line and persuade — beg — Trump to lay off the elected Republicans he kept dumping on. “I have encouraged him to constantly offer grace to people that he doesn’t think are deserving of grace,” Priebus said. Trump, in turn, calls Priebus “Mr. Switzerland” and speaks well of him. “Reince is a peacemaker, a very good person for getting people together,” he said. Trump was calling me from his limo after a rally in Anaheim, Calif. He was in the midst of an intrapartisan grudge tour of the American West, during which he disparaged, among other Republicans, Jeb Bush, the South Carolina governor, Nikki Haley, and the New Mexico governor, Susanna Martinez, who is one of the highest-profile Hispanic elected officials in the G.O.P. He also reiterated that Romney was a “loser” and a “choker” and for good measure boasted that “I have a store that’s worth more money than he is.”

Priebus’s mother is Greek, which he says trains him for dealing with whatever the Greek word for mishegas is. “Ever see ‘My Big Fat Greek Wedding’?” he asked. “That’s my family, that’s my life. The arguing starts at 7:30 in the morning, everyone’s in each other’s business. It was good family chaos.” I asked if what the G.O.P. was going through now was “good family chaos.”

“It depends how it turns out,” he said.

At this point in the pre-general-election calendar four and eight years ago, Romney and John McCain had built massive campaign operations and fund-raising networks that were orders of magnitude larger than Trump’s. They had accumulated armies of elected officials promoting them and were diligently making peace with vanquished opponents and paying courtesy calls to party dignitaries and congressional leaders in the name of “unity.” The period between the end of the primaries and the start of the conventions is typically one of consolidation, good-will harvesting and turning full attention to the general-election opponent — all of which Trump has succeeded in achieving the 180-degree opposite of.

Trump would of course be the first to point out that both McCain and Romney lost and that he has been doubted at every step of his campaign. But the degree to which he seems unconcerned with his pariah status among name Republicans remains a key feature of his pursuit. To a comical extent, top Republicans willed themselves invisible when I reached out to them for this article, fearing, not incorrectly, that the conversation would turn to Trump. This included some of the most typically quotable Republicans, including former Trump challengers like Graham (“He’s sorta had his fill talking about Trump,” a spokesman emailed), Perry (“Thanks for thinking of him”) and Ted Cruz (“Not great timing on our end”); the previous nominee Mitt Romney (“You are kind to think of me,” he wrote); Trump stalwarts like Chris Christie (“We are going to take a pass this time”); Trump-averse Republican governors like Charlie Baker of Massachusetts (“The governor won’t be available”); and senators like Mike Lee, of Utah (“Senator Lee would love to talk to you about the state of the G.O.P. and conservatism in general. We are free anytime after Nov 8.”).

I tried Rubio, who has undergone more public agony than perhaps anyone about Trump. Rubio looks nauseated whenever someone asks him about the man he called “the most vulgar person to ever aspire to the presidency” but who later said he would be “honored” to speak for at the Republican convention before clarifying that if he did speak, he would only “speak about things I believe in, not somebody else’s platform.” Rubio also holds the astonishing position of saying he’ll vote for someone he has previously declared unfit to hold the American nuclear codes. You envision him under a mushroom cloud, assuring his kids that it could be even worse — at least he didn’t vote for Clinton.

There’s a palpable weariness among Republicans, and it’s still only June. Every day, it’s something else. “What it does is suck all the oxygen out of the chamber,” Senator Susan Collins, a Republican from Maine, told me. “I’m trying to do my job as a senator, which does not end because we have a contentious and bizarre presidential candidate.”

Trump, after accumulating enough delegates to win the nomination with almost no visible operation or recognizable strategy, has only nominally scaled his campaign beyond where it was a few months ago. There is barely any fund-raising or field apparatus to speak of, and Trump has outsourced a great deal of the nitty-gritty of an enormous general-election campaign to the overtasked R.N.C. Priebus has won praise for revamping the fund-raising, data and field infrastructure that he inherited from his embattled predecessor, Michael Steele, in 2011. But no national committee in recent memory has been called upon to pick up as much operational slack in a general election. I asked Priebus if he was frustrated that so much has been thrown into the R.N.C.’s lap. “It’s more frustrating for us when a campaign comes in and layers over our field staff,” is how he spun it.

In addition to celebrating the presidential nominee, national conventions are a showcase for party eminences, rising stars and elected officials. Not so here. The last nominee, Romney, and two living former presidents, George W. Bush and George H.W. Bush, have said they are not supporting Trump or will not campaign for him. McCain has said he would be skipping the convention and is pursuing his senate re-election in Arizona with characteristically gritted teeth: the familiar “it pains me to do this” routine. Three of the top five runners-up in the primaries — Cruz, Jeb Bush and the Ohio governor John Kasich — have either made no commitment to support Trump or, in Bush’s case, said definitively he would not support him. A fourth, Rubio, in addition to his prolonged and winding agony over Trump, has said he does “not want to be considered” as Trump’s running mate. This is a popular distancing trick doubling as a nifty humble-brag among reluctant Trump endorsers. “To the members of the press who are asking, while I am flattered to be mentioned,” Nikki Haley said, “my plate is full, and I am not interested in serving as vice president.” (For the record, Trump finds these expressions annoying. “They were never asked,” Trump told me. “I don’t like it when they do that, because it’s very dishonest. If they’ve taken themselves out, it means they’re not being asked.”)

There is a distinct sense among leading Republicans that if you take proper precautions — Trump-proofing — it’s possible to avoid contagion. Ryan agreed to be interviewed for a Father’s Day feature in People Magazine but only on the condition that no Trump questions be asked.

Trump seems to fundamentally welcome the party’s revulsion. As Ryan wavered over supporting him, Trump was privately saying that Ryan’s rejection might actually help him, that he was just the kind of political lifer whom Trump positioned his campaign against. His social-media director (and a former caddie), Dan Scavino Jr., actually went public with this, tweeting out a link to a column in Breitbart headlined, “Paul Ryan Is the Reason the G.O.P. Is Losing America.”

While Ryan is trying to refashion and sell the G.O.P. as a party of innovation and heart, Trump is a creature of mouth and gut and other lower-body drivers. They can try to operate in parallel G.O.P. universes, but the two styles are often in obvious conflict.

On the sunny morning of June 7 in Washington, Ryan and a group of seven House colleagues visited the mostly black neighborhood Anacostia to highlight a central idea of Ryan’s agenda. After a meeting at a residential addiction-treatment center, the representatives took turns giving testimonials on why Republican policies — lower taxes, entitlement reform, less regulation — would better address the intractable problems of urban poverty. This was Ryan at his most earnest and high-minded. His concern for the urban poor derives heavily from his intellectual mentor, Jack Kemp, the former Republican congressman, housing secretary and patron saint of Reagan-era supply-side conservatism. Poverty is the first item of Ryan’s six-part policy plan. He spoke at a lectern, surrounded by community leaders, and then invited questions from the press.

Did Ryan have any regrets about endorsing Trump? “I told you,” Ryan said, smiling, turning to one of his hosts. The first six or so questions were about Trump. He was then in the midst of a furor over his repeated claims that Judge Gonzalo Curiel, the Indiana-born jurist presiding in a civil case against Trump University, could not rule fairly because he was “Mexican.” Ryan was blunt on the Curiel matter. “Claiming a person can’t do their job because of their race is sort of like the textbook definition of a racist comment,” he said. That was the headline. Ryan expressed great frustration that such comments by Trump “undercut these things,” meaning this anti-poverty event.

When we spoke, Ryan was most eager to discuss Priebus, his old friend and fellow Wisconsinite. Along with the high-profile governor, Scott Walker, the trio form a formidable G.O.P. axis of cheese heads. I asked Ryan how he, as the highest-ranking elected Republican, would distinguish his mission as a party leader from Priebus’s. “I see my role as helping to define the standard, which are the issues,” Ryan told me. Priebus’s role is building the party’s apparatus to be ready for the standard-bearer. “Reince is basically being the adult in calming the situation,” he added. “He is protecting that grass-roots process. Reince is protecting that from being disfigured or hijacked.”

Ryan views himself as a guardian of conservative “ideas.” “Ideas” is one of those fetish words, popular among ambitious young pols (conservative ideas-mongers are constantly dropping Kemp’s name). As the speaker of the Florida House, Rubio published a book in 2006 of “100 innovative ideas” and spoke about his love of ideas during his presidential campaign, before he started making pee-pee jokes about Trump. Bobby Jindal, the Louisiana governor who was then considered one of the rising-star innovators of the party, warned after Romney’s defeat in 2012 that the G.O.P. must stop being “the stupid party” and urged fellow Republicans to talk “like adults” and swear off “offensive and bizarre” rhetoric. He then embarked on a presidential campaign in which his most memorable “idea” was suggesting that Trump “looks like he’s got a squirrel sitting on his head.” (Jindal dropped out in November; Trump barely bothered to insult him.)

Jindal’s “stupid party” remark reflected a concern among idea conservatives that was marinating well before Trump came along: that the Republican Party has taken on an increasingly anti-intellectual bent. There has been a strong populist allergy to elitism within the G.O.P. coalition for a long time. But Sarah Palin’s emergence as the vice-presidential nominee in 2008 and subsequent tenure as a party celebrity was a benchmark. Lesser imitators like Michele Bachmann and Herman Cain took turns as Republican front-runners in 2012. Trump made his name as a national political figure in 2011 and 2012 with his flamboyant campaign to prove that Obama was not born in the United States, an oft-discredited notion that was especially offensive to African-Americans. Four years later, the leader of what many Republicans had hoped was a nativist fringe movement is the party’s presumed nominee.

Ryan believed that he and fellow idea-mavens in Congress could preserve the party’s substantive core. This would be the laboratory from which he could remake the party’s conservative identity while attracting new Republicans, including young and minority voters. “I have to protect conservatism from being disfigured,” Ryan told me. His focus, he said, is on “ideas, temperament and the future of conservatism.”

Ryan has little confidence that Trump cares at all about his ideas, possessed that temperament or had thought at all about the future of conservatism. Trump almost never talks about “ideas,” unless you count blustery promises to “build a wall and make Mexico pay for it,” end lousy trade deals and “win” again.

When, after considerable public hesitation, Ryan finally did say he would “vote for” Trump, he wrote a column in a newspaper in Janesville, Wis., reiterating his view that “politics can be a battle of ideas, not insults” and that “if we’re going to unite, it has to be over ideas.” He said he had become convinced that Trump “would help us turn the ideas in this agenda into laws.”

What Trump had going for him more than anything, in Ryan’s eyes, was his willingness to outsource the conservative “idea” architecture of his administration to Ryan and like-minded Republicans in the same way that he’s farming out much of his general-election campaign to the R.N.C. Even so, there’s no avoiding that Trump has over the last year been the ubiquitous voice of the G.O.P. to most voters, many of them new ones. He can cut a problematic image, to say the least. (In a June 15 Bloomberg poll, just 32 percent of Americans view the Republican Party favorably, the lowest figure since the survey’s 2009 inception.)

Priebus and Ryan were relatively powerless during the primaries as Trump undertook his systematic disfiguring of the R.N.C.’s plans for a more inclusive party. Last summer, during the relatively innocent months of Trump’s campaign, Priebus called and urged him to tone down his remarks (about “Mexican rapists,” for example). Trump scoffed at the idea that such a puny figure, a party guy, would ever try such a thing. “We’re not dealing with a five-star Army general,” Trump said. Priebus paid a debasing house call to Trump Tower last fall to accompany Trump as he signed a loyalty pledge to the eventual nominee. He listened this spring to Trump predict “riots” in Cleveland and complain about the “rigged” system that might deny him his rightful nomination. (“Give us all a break,” Priebus tweeted at one point.) He has endured an outpouring from a gallery of never-Trumpers who are urging the R.N.C. to take extraordinary measures and disavow its extraordinary nominee. “If Priebus ends up blessing the Trump nomination,” wrote the Washington Post columnist Michael Gerson, the head White House speechwriter for George W. Bush, “it would turn the sins of Trump into the sins of the G.O.P. And Priebus would go down as the head of the party who squandered the legacy of Lincoln, the legacy of Reagan, in a squalid and hopeless political effort.”

Priebus is not a man for extraordinary measures. He is an organization man in a time of disruption, runaway self-esteem and selfie campaigns. Party guys go along. It’s not always a fair fight.

Political parties have seen better days in America. They are like many big and traditional institutions that way: the government, the church, among others. Signing on with the Donkeys and Elephants would seem a tired construct in a disintermediated culture of free agents and personal brand customization. Identities have replaced affiliations.

In the course of reporting this article, I asked many Republicans of varied perspective why a young person today should consider joining a major political party. The question elicited sighs and head shakes, as if I were asking them why a millennial would join a Kiwanis Club, except that Kiwanis Clubs aren’t actively being resisted the way the Democratic and Republican parties are. Based on data from a 2014 Pew survey, 39 percent of the electorate identify as independents, compared with 32 percent as Democrats and 23 percent as Republicans (that’s the highest proportion of independents in nearly eight decades of surveys despite the fact that the country remains heavily partisan). It’s certainly worth pointing out that people have been predicting the death of the two-party system in America for years and also the demise of individual parties at various low points. The G.O.P. was supposedly terminal after Barry Goldwater’s landslide defeat of 1964, as were the Democrats following the rout of George McGovern in 1972; each party came back to win the White House four years later. Priebus, not surprisingly, is a defender of the party status quo. “The reality is, there’s two doors that people can walk through in this country,” he told me. “It’s not Italy. We don’t have 12 different parties where everyone can fit into their exact box.”

Still, the culture and speed of technological change has fueled an accelerated shift in how voters engage with and perceive political institutions and politicians. When I asked Trump the “why join a party?” question, he said, “I think the whole system is changing.” His toggling between parties over the years has been well documented. Likewise, his embrace of atypical Republican positions during the primaries — his support for some aspects of Planned Parenthood — did nothing to thwart his nomination. It would indicate that voters might not be as wedded to the assumed conservative orthodoxies as G.O.P. leaders might think. “You have people who are socially conservative and fiscally nonconservative and vice versa,” Trump told me. “You have so many different permutations now.”

Trump’s embrace of this à la carte approach comports to a sensibility of voters’ choosing between models of disruption rather than a singular ideology. In a sense, disruption in and of itself has become an ideology. Whoever swings the biggest wrecking ball wins. “Washington is so broken and needs to be disrupted, and a lot of what could happen in this disruption would be good,” said Ben Sasse, a freshman Republican senator from Nebraska. “Unfortunately, it has to be someone who takes seriously the stewarding of a whole nation. And who cares about facts. And who is trustworthy.”

Sasse was pointedly not talking about Trump. He has said that he could not support him as his party nominee. He would not be voting for Clinton either. “There are Dumpster fires in my town more popular than these two ‘leaders,’ ” he wrote in a Facebook post in which he predicted the imminent breakup of both parties. He was harsher on Trump. Everywhere he goes in Nebraska, Sasse told me, people ask him for advice. “People say: ‘I’m distraught. I’m opposed to everything Hillary Clinton stands for, and yet I think I have to vote for her. How do you make sense of this? What should I do?’ ” he said. “These are young evangelical women, teary sometimes. They say, ‘I can never tell my kids I voted for that man.’ ”

Sasse, who is 44, became an instant luminary of the so-called Never Trump movement after he unloaded on Trump. He is mostly avoiding interviews, though in a classic bit of politician faux-modesty took this as an opportunity to share with me that “I’ve turned down something like 45 Sunday shows in a row.”

I asked Sasse if America’s fascination with celebrity might help explain the rise of Trump. No, he said. “There is such crisis of shared vision for what America means right now,” Sasse, a Harvard-trained former college president and business consultant, said. “People desperately seek shallower pop culture as a form of escape rather than finding actual meaning.” For politics to be satisfying, it requires deeper ideals. And to partake of it as just another celebrity snack food leads a citizen to feel, after a while, “like you’ve eaten a crap-ton of cotton candy.”

In a tweet from early May, Sasse tried to nudge the former senator Tom Coburn into making a third-party bid. Coburn, an Oklahoma Republican and family-practice physician, left the Senate in 2015 after spending his career — six years in the House, 10 in the Senate — as one of Washington’s proudest conservative mavericks and procedural troublemakers. Sasse told me that Coburn is one of his political idols. He also mentioned Paul Ryan. “If Tom Coburn and Paul Ryan have a baby,” Sasse said, “I’m their hideous offspring.”

All things being equal, Coburn would welcome having a superdisrupter in Washington. He has never been a party guy. “I don’t think it really matters, the parties,” Coburn, now retired and living in Tulsa, said. But Trump has been “repulsive to me,” he said, adding that Trump’s ability to win a party nomination “kind of fits with the modern social decline of America.” I asked Coburn what Trump’s nomination signaled about the state of G.O.P. He was characteristically glib, apocalyptic and idealistic. “Either Trump is going to totally destroy the Republican Party,” Coburn said. “Or in the aftermath of him possibly losing an election, we’re going to rebuild it stronger than ever.”

The raze-and-rebuild option is predicated on Trump’s losing. Several Republicans I spoke to seemed to hope for this, if not explicitly. It is politically fraught, obviously, to say they will not support their party’s presidential nominee. But based on my discussions, I’m willing to bet a good portion of the elected Republicans who claim minimal allegiance to “the nominee” will wind up voting for Clinton in the privacy of their voting booths while rooting for Trump’s complete humiliation. “We’re just going to have to swallow it,” said Mark Salter, the longtime chief of staff and confidant of John McCain. “He’s just unfit for the office,” referring to Trump. As for Clinton, he said, “I mean, the worst thing you can say about her is, she’s kind of a hack.”

Ed Rogers, a Republican lobbyist and veteran of the Reagan and George H.W. Bush White Houses, calls himself a “not yet Republican,” meaning he is “not yet” ready to support Trump and has in fact moved in the opposite direction since Trump clinched the nomination last month. Rogers, a longtime business partner of the former Mississippi governor and R.N.C. chairman Haley Barbour, acknowledged that the Republicans tend to exaggerate Clinton’s flaws as a trade prerogative. “The Clintons have never been the demons ideologically that we’ve made them out to be,” Rogers told me. “From a character standpoint, they’re pretty bad, but Hillary isn’t the frightening offensive character that Trump is.”

If grass-roots Republicans rebelled against the “establishment” in the primaries, Trump has provided the establishment with mounting ammunition to fight back in the 11th hour. The first half of June has been a running train wreck for Trump, beginning with his crusade against Judge Curiel. Trump has been provoking increasing alarm among Republicans at the moment he should be proving himself nominally “presidential.” The Republican senator Mark Kirk of Illinois announced that he could no longer support Trump in the aftermath of Curiel (“I think he’s too bigoted and racist for the Land of Lincoln”); Lindsey Graham did the same and urged other Republicans backing Trump to rescind their endorsements. Top Republicans voiced widespread opposition post-Orlando to Trump’s reiterated calls for a temporary ban on Muslims entering the country.

Trump in turn called party leaders “weak” and pounded them for not falling in line behind him. “Just please be quiet, don’t talk,” he railed at them at a June 15 rally in Atlanta. “We have to have our Republicans either stick together or let me do it by myself,” Trump said. “I’ll do very well.” He would be banking on the two-party system being sufficiently hobbled that allegiance to him would prevail over partisan loyalty. Republicans wouldn’t hold it against Trump that he’s anathema to their establishment while Democrats would feel no loyalty to their traditional home team, let alone to Hillary Clinton. Trump appeared at this moment prepared to begin an independent general-election campaign under the nominal banner of the Republican Party, while using their abundant resources. This looked more like a jail break than a pivot.

The second week of June was shaping up as another one of those “Baileys in my cereal” stretches for Reince Priebus. We were two days past the mass shooting in Orlando, a horrific event that moved Trump to tweet immediate thanks to all those who sent him “congrats” for predicting it. He also called on Obama to resign and later seemed to suggest that the president might have even been complicit in the tragedy. This invited swift repudiations from Republicans and Democrats, including a furious Obama, whose presidential stature seems to grow the longer Trump dominates news cycles. Obama’s net job-approval rating has risen nearly 20 points since Trump became the G.O.P. front-runner and the party’s inescapable face last summer.

Priebus spent the weekend in Utah at an annual “ideas” gathering that Mitt Romney hosts for Republican luminaries, donors and business leaders. In a normal year, this would serve as a Republican unity confab before the convention: party bonding in the mountains. But this year’s edition was more of a rock slide. It convened a huddle of the Never Trumps, disaffected Republicans-in-exile and increasingly skittish party notables like Ryan and Senator Bob Corker of Tennessee. Romney set the tone for the weekend when he told Wolf Blitzer on CNN that Trump in the White House could “change the character of the generations of Americans that are following” and might result in “trickle-down racism,” “trickle-down misogyny” and “trickle-down bigotry.” In a question-and-answer session with Ryan, the Hewlett-Packard chief executive Meg Whitman, who was the G.O.P. nominee for governor of California in 2010, questioned how Ryan could endorse such an appalling figure. She placed Trump in the company of Hitler and Mussolini. Romney appeared to tear up at one point, according to an account in Politico. “Seeing this just breaks your heart,” he said.

Priebus played the good party soldier. “Respect Mitt and differences but couldn’t disagree more,” he tweeted at Romney after his remarks. “Let’s stop this and unify.” Priebus told Trump opponents at the retreat that Trump would win “with or without their help.” He conveyed the exasperation of a substitute teacher being pelted with flying erasers.

In almost every visit, Priebus and I had engaged in some variation on the same discussion. I kept asking him: “Whose party is this anyway? Who gets to define the G.O.P.?”

“It’s the party’s party,” he always answered. “The party defines the party.” Convention delegates write the platform that lays out the party’s tenets. Trump can’t really change those: It’s a common refrain these days among defensive-sounding Republicans. “Trump is not going to change the institution,” the Senate majority leader, Mitch McConnell, told Politico last month, referring to the G.O.P. “He’s not going to change the basic philosophy of the party.”

Priebus and others might try to shape Trump’s behavior. They talk every day, Priebus and Trump. And tens of millions of people are having their impressions formed, shaped or solidified about today’s Republican Party by watching Donald Trump. They will vote for or against him in droves, not based on anything they read in the platform, whose readership probably amounts to less than 1 percent of Trump’s Twitter following.

As I waited for Priebus in the lobby of the R.N.C., I noticed a tweet from an Associated Press reporter saying that Lamar Alexander, a Republican senator, had just suggested Trump might not be the surefire nominee after all. “We do not have a nominee until after the convention,” Alexander said. “That’s what you say,” Alexander added in response to a reminder that Trump was in fact the “presumptive nominee.” It would seem ridiculously late in the process to be haggling over modifiers, at least it would be in a mythical normal year.

When I walked into Priebus’s office, he sat on his couch and soldiered forth like a good party guy. If Ryan and McConnell tried to remain boxed off from the earthquake, Priebus occupied another shelter, constructed of talking-point armor, alternate reality and denial. “I’m feeling good about things,” Priebus told me. His voice was flat and deliberate, hostage-video mode. It was hard to resist a few pokes at the organization man. How’s that Trump pivot working out?

“I think it’s a work in progress,” Priebus said. He was trying to be upbeat. “I have Hillary Clinton on the other side,” he said, clinging to her as a lifeline. He was hoarse. I noticed him fiddling with a drink coaster. The coaster bore a cartoon rendition, sure enough, of Donald Trump: the only physical likeness I noticed anywhere in the building. Priebus had swiped a couple of these coasters from the bar at the Hay-Adams Hotel and found them amusing. He set them on a side table in his office, next to the fish tank.

He predicted that Clinton’s campaign would be a “race to the bottom.” Well, yes. There’s nothing like claims of moral high ground on a campaign. But I couldn’t help reminding Priebus that Trump recently accused President Bill Clinton of rape, Obama of treason, Hillary Clinton of murdering Vince Foster, Cruz’s dad of associating with assassins, Romney of not being a “real” Mormon and the rest of the litany. Where did the bottom even begin, and where could it possibly end? Priebus said that the rape and Vince Foster things were “sort of just warning shots to the Hillary campaign.”

He also claimed that Trump and Clinton were running “tied in the polls,” though this was being contradicted as we spoke. Clinton led Trump by 12 points in a new Bloomberg survey, with 55 percent of respondents saying they would never vote for the Republican; and in an ABC News/Washington Post poll, seven in 10 Americans viewed Trump unfavorably, up 10 points in just the last month. A few days earlier, the conservative radio host Hugh Hewitt said that Republicans’ accepting Trump as the nominee was “like ignoring Stage IV cancer.” There was a new wave of “Dump Trump” stories in the media, mostly featuring the same band of wishful-thinking Never Trumpers who seem to spend vast amounts of time on Twitter. I asked Priebus about any convention situation that could deny Trump the nomination. He did not reject the possibility, but it’s remote. It would require an alternative candidate (none currently), an organizing effort and a confluence of highly unlikely rule changes, delegate votes and procedural hurly-burly whose likelihood Priebus compared to drawing an inside straight three times in a row.

“I think people are living in Fantasy Land,” he said, not saying whether he shared in the fantasy. Priebus was heading out to catch a flight to Greensboro, N.C., for a fund-raising event with Trump that night. He was playing a role, the party guy, the proprietor of the china shop in the time of the bull. There was something oddly comforting to me about this presence, as thankless and unenviable as the life of Priebus might seem these days. What could be better for a lifer apparatchik? Priebus made a perfect old-school foil to a new politics of blazing chaos. “It could be a great moment or a bad moment,” Priebus told me. “But it’s going to be a moment.”

I thanked Priebus for his time. He was still fumbling with the cartoon Donald Trump coasters. “Your party’s made this story fun for me,” I told him.

“Have I made it fun?” he asked, almost plaintively. “Or have I made it less fun?”

Mark Leibovich is the chief national correspondent for the magazine.

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The FBI on Monday will release partial transcripts of three conversations that took place between mass murderer Omar Mateen and Orlando police negotiators during his bloody rampage that left 49 people dead, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says. USA TODAY

In the midst of a tense standoff with police, Orlando nightclub gunman Omar Mateen calmly claimed credit for the massacre and identified himself as an “Islamic soldier” while calling on U.S. authorities to stop the bombing in Iraq and Syria, according to partial transcripts of the attacker’s telephone contacts with dispatchers and crisis negotiators released on Monday.

“Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God,” Mateen told a 911 dispatcher in Arabic just after 2:30 a.m., June 12. “I am in Orlando, and I did the shootings.”

Mateen provided his full name during the 50-second call and then went on to pledge allegiance to a terror group, whose identity was redacted from the transcripts. Law enforcement officials, however, have said that the gunman pledged his solidarity to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, as well as to the Boston Marathon bombers and an American suicide bomber who died in a 2014 attack in Syria.

Ron Hopper, the FBI’s lead investigator in Orlando, said the terror group’s name and other references were redacted from the documents so as not to call undue attention to their causes.

USA TODAY

Read: Partial 911 transcripts from Orlando shootings

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., however, called the decision to edit the transcript “preposterous.”

“We know the shooter was a radical Islamist extremist inspired by ISIS,” Ryan said. “We also know he intentionally targeted the LGBT community. The administration should release the full, un-redacted transcript so the public is clear-eyed about who did this, and why.”

Hopper said there was no evidence to indicate that Mateen was specifically directed to act by a terror group, though investigators believe he was “radicalized domestically.”

Meanwhile, a short summary of the gunman’s communications during three calls with crisis negotiators indicated that Mateen was asked directly what he had done inside the club, prompting an ominous warning to police.

“No, you already know what I did,” he said. “There is some vehicle outside that has some bombs, just to let you know. You people are gonna get it, and I’m gonna ignite it if they try to do anything stupid.”

He later indicated that he had an explosive vest, similar to the type “used in France” during last year’s Islamic State attacks in Paris.

“In the next few days, you’re going to see more of this type of action going on,” he said.

No explosives were ultimately found in the gunman’s vehicle or inside the club.

Mateen, 29, was killed when police stormed the gay nightclub Pulse after a three-hour standoff. The attack ultimately left 49 dead and 53 wounded.

Eighteen of the of the wounded remained hospitalized Monday. Four were in critical condition, Orlando Health said.

Authorities previously have said Mateen made two calls to 911 during the attack, and that police called him back once. Mateen also made a “goodbye” call to a friend, called a local television station, made posts to Facebook and exchanged texts with his wife while holed up in the club.

USA TODAY

Orlando marks week after Pulse massacre: tears and questions

Included with Monday’s partial disclosure of the gunman’s communications was a timeline based on Orlando police radio transmissions, which showed that officers from various agencies entered the nightclub and “engaged the shooter” at 2:08 a.m., six minutes after the initial alert that “multiple shots” had been fired at the club.

By 2:18 a.m., Orlando police had deployed its full SWAT force, an action that preceded the shooter’s three contacts with 911 dispatchers and three separate exchanges with crisis negotiators, lasting a total of 28 minutes.

Between the initial exchange of gunfire with police and the final assault that left the gunman dead — a period of about three hours — there were no reports of gunfire, according to the radio transmissions.

During that three-hour period, police disclosed that they launched a rescue operation during which they pulled an air conditioning unit from a nightclub dressing room, allowing an undisclosed number of victims to evacuate.

Thirteen minutes after after police finally breached a nightclub wall with explosives and an armored vehicle at 5:02 a.m., radio transmissions indicated that officers had “engaged the suspect and the suspect was reported down.”

Attorney General Loretta Lynch is scheduled to travel to Orlando Tuesday to meet with investigators for an update on the inquiry. On Sunday, she declined to say if a federal grand jury was likely to charge Mateen’s wife, Noor Salman, who officials say may have known her husband was planning the attack.

Investigators are trying to learn more not just about Mateen, but also about others who knew him, including members of the mosque he attended. Hopper said Monday that investigators had conducted 500 interviews in the case so far and gathered 600 pieces of evidence as part of an inquiry that could take “months or even years.”

Mateen had been on the FBI radar prior to the Orlando tragedy. FBI Director James Comey has provided a history of the FBI’s contacts with Mateen, which included a 10-month investigation of possible terror connections. The inquiry was prompted by provocative statements Mateen made to co-workers in 2013 while working as a security guard at a Florida courthouse.

USA TODAY

FBI chief Comey stakes out unusually public profile on biggest issues

Mateen drew the attention of agents in 2014 when he was identified as a suspected associate of American-born suicide bomber Moner Mohammad Abu Salha, who died in an attack in Syria. Investigators concluded that Mateen had no association of consequence with the bomber.

Contributing: John Bacon and Rick Hampson

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The FBI on Monday will release partial transcripts of three conversations that took place between mass murderer Omar Mateen and Orlando police negotiators during his bloody rampage that left 49 people dead, U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch says. USA TODAY

In the midst of a tense standoff with police, Orlando nightclub gunman Omar Mateen calmly claimed credit for the massacre and identified himself as an “Islamic soldier” while calling on U.S. authorities to stop the bombing in Iraq and Syria, according to partial transcripts of the attacker’s telephone contacts with dispatchers and crisis negotiators released on Monday.

“Praise be to God, and prayers as well as peace be upon the prophet of God,” Mateen told a 911 dispatcher in Arabic just after 2:30 a.m., June 12. “I am in Orlando, and I did the shootings.”

Mateen provided his full name during the 50-second call and then went on to pledge allegiance to a terror group, whose identity was redacted from the transcripts. Law enforcement officials, however, have said that the gunman pledged his solidarity to the Islamic State, also known as ISIS or ISIL, as well as to the Boston Marathon bombers and an American suicide bomber who died in a 2014 attack in Syria.

Ron Hopper, the FBI’s lead investigator in Orlando, said the terror group’s name and other references were redacted from the documents so as not to call undue attention to their causes.

USA TODAY

Read: Partial 911 transcripts from Orlando shootings

House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., however, called the decision to edit the transcript “preposterous.”

“We know the shooter was a radical Islamist extremist inspired by ISIS,” Ryan said. “We also know he intentionally targeted the LGBT community. The administration should release the full, un-redacted transcript so the public is clear-eyed about who did this, and why.”

Hopper said there was no evidence to indicate that Mateen was specifically directed to act by a terror group, though investigators believe he was “radicalized domestically.”

Meanwhile, a short summary of the gunman’s communications during three calls with crisis negotiators indicated that Mateen was asked directly what he had done inside the club, prompting an ominous warning to police.

“No, you already know what I did,” he said. “There is some vehicle outside that has some bombs, just to let you know. You people are gonna get it, and I’m gonna ignite it if they try to do anything stupid.”

He later indicated that he had an explosive vest, similar to the type “used in France” during last year’s Islamic State attacks in Paris.

“In the next few days, you’re going to see more of this type of action going on,” he said.

No explosives were ultimately found in the gunman’s vehicle or inside the club.

Mateen, 29, was killed when police stormed the gay nightclub Pulse after a three-hour standoff. The attack ultimately left 49 dead and 53 wounded.

Eighteen of the of the wounded remained hospitalized Monday. Four were in critical condition, Orlando Health said.

Authorities previously have said Mateen made two calls to 911 during the attack, and that police called him back once. Mateen also made a “goodbye” call to a friend, called a local television station, made posts to Facebook and exchanged texts with his wife while holed up in the club.

USA TODAY

Orlando marks week after Pulse massacre: tears and questions

Included with Monday’s partial disclosure of the gunman’s communications was a timeline based on Orlando police radio transmissions, which showed that officers from various agencies entered the nightclub and “engaged the shooter” at 2:08 a.m., six minutes after the initial alert that “multiple shots” had been fired at the club.

By 2:18 a.m., Orlando police had deployed its full SWAT force, an action that preceded the shooter’s three contacts with 911 dispatchers and three separate exchanges with crisis negotiators, lasting a total of 28 minutes.

Between the initial exchange of gunfire with police and the final assault that left the gunman dead — a period of about three hours — there were no reports of gunfire, according to the radio transmissions.

During that three-hour period, police disclosed that they launched a rescue operation during which they pulled an air conditioning unit from a nightclub dressing room, allowing an undisclosed number of victims to evacuate.

Thirteen minutes after after police finally breached a nightclub wall with explosives and an armored vehicle at 5:02 a.m., radio transmissions indicated that officers had “engaged the suspect and the suspect was reported down.”

Attorney General Loretta Lynch is scheduled to travel to Orlando Tuesday to meet with investigators for an update on the inquiry. On Sunday, she declined to say if a federal grand jury was likely to charge Mateen’s wife, Noor Salman, who officials say may have known her husband was planning the attack.

Investigators are trying to learn more not just about Mateen, but also about others who knew him, including members of the mosque he attended. Hopper said Monday that investigators had conducted 500 interviews in the case so far and gathered 600 pieces of evidence as part of an inquiry that could take “months or even years.”

Mateen had been on the FBI radar prior to the Orlando tragedy. FBI Director James Comey has provided a history of the FBI’s contacts with Mateen, which included a 10-month investigation of possible terror connections. The inquiry was prompted by provocative statements Mateen made to co-workers in 2013 while working as a security guard at a Florida courthouse.

USA TODAY

FBI chief Comey stakes out unusually public profile on biggest issues

Mateen drew the attention of agents in 2014 when he was identified as a suspected associate of American-born suicide bomber Moner Mohammad Abu Salha, who died in an attack in Syria. Investigators concluded that Mateen had no association of consequence with the bomber.

Contributing: John Bacon and Rick Hampson

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U.S. officials will release partial transcripts of three phone conversations that the gunman who killed 49 people in a Florida gay club had with law enforcement during the massacre, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Sunday.

The now-deceased gunman, Omar Mateen, paused during his three-hour siege at the club in Orlando last Sunday to call emergency 911 dispatchers and post internet messages professing support for Islamist militant groups, authorities have said.

The rampage, the deadliest mass shooting in modern U.S. history, has triggered a week of national mourning and soul-searching over the easy accessibility of firearms and the treatment of gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people.

Speaking on CNN’s “State of the Union” program, Lynch said the partial transcripts of Mateen’s calls from the Pulse club would be released on Monday and include the “substance of his conversations.”

She later told ABC’s “This Week” that the transcripts would not include Mateen’s pledge of allegiance to Islamic State, the militant group that has urged its followers to attack targets in Europe and the United States.

Lynch said the investigation was focused on building a complete profile of Mateen, a 29-year-old U.S. citizen born to Afghan immigrants, including what motivated him, in order to prevent another Orlando massacre.

Authorities believe Mateen was “self-radicalized” and acted without any direction from outside networks.

Lynch, who will travel to the central Florida city on Tuesday to confer with investigators and meet survivors and victims’ loved ones, declined to say whether a federal grand jury was likely to charge Mateen’s second wife, Noor Salman, or anyone else.

U.S. officials have said Salman knew of her husband’s plans to carry out the attack on the club.

“Because this investigation is open and ongoing, we’re not commenting on anyone else’s role in it right now, except to say that we are talking to everyone who knew him, and that of course includes his family, to determine what they knew, what they saw in the days and weeks leading up to this,” Lynch said.

She noted that the transcripts would be redacted to avoid causing further pain to Mateen’s victims and their loved ones.

The attorney general’s remarks came ahead of a vigil Sunday evening at a lakeside park in Orlando. More than 20,000 people are expected to attend, city officials said.

GUN CONTROL

In a fresh effort to break a long-standing stalemate over gun control, the U.S. Senate is set to vote on Monday on four competing measures – two from Democrats and two from Republicans – to expand background checks on gun buyers and curb gun sales for people on “terrorism watch lists.”

Federal Bureau of Investigation Director James Comey said last week that Mateen was on a watch list between May 2013 and March 2014 while under investigation after claiming a connection to or support for multiple Islamist extremist groups, including al Qaeda, Hezbollah, al-Nusra and Islamic State.

“We have to make sure that people that are terrorists or have even an inclination toward terrorism cannot buy weapons, guns,” Donald Trump, the presumptive Republican presidential nominee for the Nov. 8 election, said on ABC’s “This Week.”

Republicans and Democrats alike say they share that goal, but deep partisan divisions have doomed past gun control measures.

Wayne LaPierre, the head of the powerful National Rifle Association, said the Democratic proposals would undermine the due process rights of people unfairly put on watch lists, a view widely shared among Republican lawmakers.

In an interview on the CBS show “Face the Nation” on Sunday, Comey said politicians were misguided in thinking tougher gun restrictions would stop someone intent on carrying out a massacre.

(Writing by Frank McGurty; Editing by Paul Simao)

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WASHINGTON — The Justice Department will release partial transcripts of conversations between the police and the Orlando gunman from the night he carried out a deadly attack at a gay nightclub, Attorney General Loretta Lynch said on Sunday.

The transcripts, expected to be released on Monday, will include three calls between the shooter, Omar Mateen, and negotiators who spoke with him as the massacre was unfolding. Law enforcement officials will also provide a detailed timeline of those calls.

Ms. Lynch said the calls should shed light on the motivation behind Mr. Mateen’s decision to walk into the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., on June 12 and carry out an attack in which he fatally shot 49 people before he was killed by the police.

The announcement came as Ms. Lynch, the nation’s top law enforcement official, made rare appearances on five major Sunday morning news programs to discuss the investigation as it entered its second week. She declined to comment on potential charges in the case but said on CNN’s “State of the Union” that she considered the shooting both “an act of terror and an act of hate.”

Ms. Lynch said the transcripts would not include portions of the calls that would risk “revictimizing” those affected by the shooting or could “further this man’s propaganda,” including Mr. Mateen’s pledge of allegiance to the Islamic State.

“As we have said earlier, he talked about his pledges of allegiance to a terrorist group,” Ms. Lynch said on CNN. “He talked about his motivations for why he was claiming at that time he was committing this horrific act. He talked about American policy in some ways.”

Ms. Lynch frequently found herself defending aspects of the F.B.I.’s current investigation into the shooting, as well as earlier ones into Mr. Mateen, which have drawn scrutiny for failing to anticipate his actions. Mr. Mateen was twice under investigation by the F.B.I., once beginning in 2013 after boasting to co-workers that he had ties to terrorist groups and again the following year in connection with a Florida man who tried to carry out a suicide bombing in Syria.

She said that though he had raised suspicions, there was not evidence at the time to suggest Mr. Mateen would actually carry out any attacks.

Asked on ABC’s “This Week” if she thought there was anything that federal authorities could have done differently leading up to the attack, Ms. Lynch said that her department was still “looking at that.”

“You know, this is an ongoing investigation,” she said. “We are going back and scrubbing every contact we had with this killer.”

The attorney general also faced questions about a Democratic proposal, endorsed by the Justice Department, that would bar those on federal terror watch lists from purchasing firearms. The Republican-controlled Senate is expected to vote on that and other competing proposals on Monday. None of the proposed amendments are expected to pass, but they have exposed some division within the law enforcement community over how to address cases like that of Mr. Mateen.

Ms. Lynch is scheduled to travel to Orlando on Tuesday to review the investigation in person and receive briefings from investigators and federal prosecutors. She will also meet with emergency workers, victims of the shooting and their family members.

“The L.G.B.T. and Latino community has come under fire before, but never in as horrific a manner as this,” Ms. Lynch said on ABC’s “This Week.”

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Thursday will be an historic day with long-term implications, whether Britain votes to leave the EU or remain in it. Here is what is likely to happen next.

Dawn breaks

Unless the result is on a knife-edge, we are likely to know by dawn on Friday 24 June whether the UK has voted in or out. The first thing to stress is that if Britain votes to leave it will not happen immediately. Britain will still be a member of the European Union at this stage. The process of leaving will begin, however.

David Cameron’s statement


David Cameron will almost certainly make a statement on the Friday morning – more likely than not in Downing Street – after the result becomes clear.

This will be followed by a statement to Parliament on the Monday or earlier if MPs demand a special sitting on Friday or Saturday.

Mr Cameron has insisted that he will not quit as prime minister even if it’s a vote to leave. However it remains widely expected that this would be the time to announce his departure, if the British people have rejected his advice to stay in the EU.

The markets react


All eyes will be on the City of London when trading starts at 08:00 BST.

The financial markets have been reacting to every development in the EU referendum campaign. The value of the pound will also be watched closely. No-one can say what the impact of the vote will be on the markets, but Andrew Walker, the BBC World Service business correspondent, says some analysts “expect the fall in the value of sterling in the event of a Brexit vote would be very sharp”.

Some in the Leave camp have acknowledged there would be a short-term “blip” in the markets but insist things will quickly return to normal.

Bank Governor Mark Carney would be likely to emerge as a key figure in the hours and days after a Leave vote and the European Central Bank is also likely to react swiftly given the scale of the changes to the EU that would follow a UK vote to leave.

European leaders respond


A Remain vote will be received with a collective sigh of relief in Europe’s capitals – all EU leaders want Britain to stay in the bloc.

In such a scenario, German chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Francois Hollande, European Council President Donald Tusk, European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker and other power brokers will be expected to fast-track the changes to the UK’s membership negotiated by David Cameron earlier this year – including curbs on in-work benefits for EU migrants, safeguards for sterling and an opt-out from ever closer union.

A Leave vote will be met with dismay and anger across the channel. EU leaders would probably convene an emergency summit, probably as early as the weekend.

What will happen is difficult to predict. There has already been talk of other EU leaders offering fresh concessions in an attempt to keep the UK on board although both Leave and Remain campaigners have dismissed this, saying the will of the British people must be respected.

And given Mr Juncker – the president of the European Commission – has suggested that “splitters will not be welcomed back with open arms”, the atmosphere could potentially become quite toxic quite quickly.

Europe’s leaders, concerned about the rise of populist anti-EU parties in their own countries, will want a joint declaration of a determination to continue – and there will be demands for the UK to set out where it stands on key issues such as free movement, to reassure the 2.9 million EU citizens living in the UK that they will not be deported.

David Cameron’s future


A Remain victory by a double digit margin should be enough for Mr Cameron to see off any leadership challenges and shore up his government’s position.

But a Leave vote or a narrow Remain win could herald a very different fate for Mr Cameron, who has already said that he will stand down before the next election due in 2020.

He has insisted he will carry on whatever the result, but there are plenty of commentators and some Tory MPs who feel a Leave vote would put him in an untenable position.

If Mr Cameron decided to stay on it would take 50 MPs to write to the party’s 1922 committee to trigger a vote of confidence in his leadership. Iain Duncan Smith, one of Mr Cameron’s predecessors, was brought down in this way.

Only a small handful of MPs have so far said they are prepared to do this but given the wounds that the campaign has opened up, this cannot be ruled out. This, as with Mr Cameron deciding to resign, raises the prospect of a Conservative leadership contest, which would take several months and could add a further layer of uncertainty to the EU exit negotiations.

Pushing the exit button


David Cameron has said in the event of a Leave vote, he will activate Article 50 of the 2009 Lisbon Treaty without undue delay – setting in motion the process of withdrawing from the European Union. George Osborne has suggested this could happen within two weeks of a leave vote.

Once Article 50 is triggered, there is no way back into the EU unless by unanimous consent from all other member states.

But quitting the EU is not an automatic process – it has to be negotiated with the remaining members. These negotiations are meant to be completed within two years but the European Parliament has a veto over any new agreement formalising the relationship between the UK and the EU.

Leave campaigners Boris Johnson and Michael Gove have said there is no need to trigger Article 50 immediately. Only after extensive informal talks with other EU members and the European Commission will it become clear whether and how to trigger Article 50, Vote Leave has said.

The idea would be to allow other EU leaders the time to realise they need a “friendly” trade deal with the UK to continue exporting their consumer goods into the British market without tariffs.

Also Britain could, technically, ignore all of this, the Vote Leave campaign says, and simply write the EU out of its laws, although that wouldn’t make future negotiations any easier.

As only one part of one country has ever left the European Community – Greenland more than 30 years ago (read Carolyn Quinn’s feature on how they left) – we would be in unchartered territory here.

Exit negotiations begin


So, depending on when the prime minister triggers Article 50 (as discussed above), perhaps at some time in late summer, or early autumn 2016, if Britain votes to leave, negotiations would begin in Brussels on the terms of its exit and the nature of the UK’s subsequent relationship with the EU.

This would involve not only rescinding the European Communities Act, which gives primacy to EU law in the UK, but also sifting through an estimated 80,000 pages of EU agreements, which have been enacted over the past five decades to decide which will be repealed, amended or retained – a process which Parliament will want to oversee.

After two years, the UK would no longer be bound by existing EU Treaties unless both it and the other 27 states agree unanimously to extend the process of negotiations.

Parliament will not stay silent


The majority of Britain’s 650 MPs are in favour of Britain staying in the EU and while they will have to respect the will of the British people if they vote to leave the EU, they will not be silent bystanders.

There are already moves among the 450 or so MPs who want to stay in the EU, across the Labour, Conservative, SNP, Plaid Cymru and Green parties, to keep Britain in the single market in any exit negotiations.

This would mean Britain would have to keep its borders open to EU workers and continue paying into EU coffers.

They say it would be legitimate for MPs to do this because the Leave campaign has refused to spell out what trading relationship it wants the UK to have with the EU in the future – and it would demonstrate the sovereignty of Parliament the Leavers were so keen to restore.

Vote Leave is calling for immediate legislation to pave the way for Britain’s formal exit by the next election due in 2020, the centrepiece of which would be repeal of the European Communities Act 1972, the brief piece of legislation that brought the country into the European Economic Community as it was then known.

Who would lead Britain’s negotiations?


Then there is the question of who will do the negotiating for Britain. The most senior members of the government – David Cameron, Chancellor George Osborne, Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond and Home Secretary Theresa May – are all Remain supporters.

The Leave side has said that it would be happy for the prime minister and senior civil servants – including Cabinet Secretary Sir Jeremy Heywood – to stay put to lead the negotiations although they would expect senior Leave figures to play a very prominent role. They have also called for figures from other parties, business, law and civil society to be drafted in to the negotiating team.

Even if Mr Cameron stays, expect a major shake-up of the Cabinet with the likes of Michael Gove and Boris Johnson getting promotions. Mr Gove has been tipped as a potential deputy prime minister and lead Cabinet negotiator and the former mayor could also expect a plum job.

A Cabinet reshuffle is also expected in the aftermath of a Remain win. Although whether it is enough heal the wounds of the campaign is another question…

Summer 2018 – exit looms


As the Article 50 two-year deadline approaches after the vote to leave, the prime minister of the day will be under pressure to sort out the terms of Britain’s exit and a new trade deal with the EU before the country ceases to be a member.

It is possible, say Remain campaigners, that Britain’s membership could cease and the UK revert to trading with the EU under World Trade Organisation rules, which would involve exporters being hit by import taxes, or tariffs.

The deal would have to be agreed by a qualified majority on the council of ministers and be ratified by the member states. It would also have to be agreed by the European Parliament and MPs at Westminster.

Under this scenario British ministers would return to Brussels, at some point, to negotiate a more favourable trade deal, which Remain campaigners have warned could take years, maybe even decades, to fully complete.

The Leave campaign insists that a favourable trade deal could be done fairly rapidly because it would not be in the interests of France and Germany to lose access to the British market for its consumer goods.

They also reject the two-year timetable for exit, saying the government should aim to complete negotiations on a new EU-UK trade deal by 2020.

And if Britain votes to Remain…


Things will not stand still. Britain’s relationship with the EU is set to change in some important ways in the next decade.

A document, dubbed the five presidents’ report, published last year outlines plans by the eurozone countries to stabilise their currency by completing economic and monetary union. This is meant to happen by 2025.

There is concern that as the eurozone countries push ahead with merging their banking systems, the UK will be absorbed into an emerging “superstate” or, alternatively, kept out of the really big decisions.

David Cameron secured guarantees in his renegotiation that Britain would have “special status” within the EU, taking full part in the single market but not part of the eurozone.

Britain will also be exempted from the drive towards “ever closer union” under Mr Cameron’s deal – and the UK will not be liable for eurozone bailouts. He also secured protections for the City of London and a new mechanism for member states to challenge laws they believe to be discriminatory.

But Leave campaigners have claimed Mr Cameron’s deal is full of holes and has not yet been written into a treaty (the only documents that count in the EU).

Conservative MP Owen Paterson has argued that the prime minister’s “special status” will “leave Britain as a colony of Europe”.

The UK’s future up for grabs?


UKIP leader Nigel Farage has raised the spectre of a second EU referendum if the result is close, saying it would leave the question of the UK’s future in Europe essentially unresolved.

Talk of a “neverendum” alarms Remain campaigners on the Tory side, given the parallel with Scotland where the SNP enjoyed a huge surge in the polls after their defeat in the 2014 Scottish independence referendum.

But if there is another referendum on the horizon, it may not even be on the issue of Europe.

The SNP has warned that if the UK overall votes to leave the EU but Scots vote to remain, Scotland would be taken out of the EU “against its will” and this could be the trigger for another independence vote.

While Nicola Sturgeon’s failure to win a majority in last month’s Holyrood elections means this will be harder to achieve, there are concerns in Westminster that a Leave vote could undermine the future of the Union.

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Hillary Clinton’s campaign will air their first general election television ad this week, targeting Donald Trump for comments about violence at his events and mocking a disabled New York Times reporter.
The ad, which aides said will begin airing Thursday, is meant to build on what Clinton will say this week at events in Ohio, Pennsylvania and Wisconsin.
Clinton narrates the minute long spot — titled “Who We Are” — and cast the election as a decision between helping people and dividing the country.
“Today, we face a choice about who we are as a nation,” Clinton says, before video plays of Trump telling an audience in Las Vegas that he would like to “punch” a protester “in the face.”
This formula is used throughout the ad. “Do we help each other,” Clinton asks, before Trump says “knock the crap out of them, would you? Seriously.” Back to Clinton, ” Do we respect each other,” before video plays of Trump mocking Serge Kovaleski, a New York Times reporter who suffers from a congenital joint condition.
“You gotta see this guy — ahh – I don’t know what I said — ahh – I don’t remember,” Trump said at a rally in South Carolina.
Trump tweeted Sunday morning: “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!”
Clinton then narrates a lengthy description of her presidential platform.
“It’s wrong to pit people against each other,” Clinton says. “We’ve had enough partisan division and gridlock already. It’s time to unite behind some simple, common goals.”
Clinton will speak in Cleveland on Monday, where aide says she will “define the choice that voters face in this election and outline her vision of an America that is stronger together.”
On the same day, though, Trump will deliver a speech in New Hampshire, where he is expected to go after the Clintons for past scandals and controversies, namely those from the 1990s.
Clinton aides have said they are happy with this contrast: While Trump is talking about the 1990s, Clinton aides said, the former secretary of state will be speaking about how to help voters.

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