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Donald Trump Responds To Mass Shooting In Orlando


Now we're going to talk about the presumptive Republican nominee, Donald Trump. He talked about the Orlando attack during a speech in New Hampshire.


DONALD TRUMP: We express our deepest sympathies to the victims, the wounded and their families. We mourn as one people for our nation's loss and pledge our support to any and all who need it.

MCEVERS: Trump went on to outline a view very different from Clinton's stance on how to combat terrorism.


TRUMP: We need to respond to this attack in America as one united people with force, purpose and determination. But the current politically-correct response cripples our ability to talk and to think and act clearly.

MCEVERS: This wasn't the speech Trump had expected to give. Last week, he said he would bring up all of the things that have taken place with the Clintons, and he did go after Clinton but in a different way. NPR's Don Gonyea was there, and he is on the line with us now. Hi there, Don.


MCEVERS: And how would you describe the scene there? I mean, was this free-flowing Trump or was this more restrained teleprompter Trump?

GONYEA: It was way more restrained. It was teleprompter. First it was an invited audience, just a couple of hundred people at Saint Anselm College's Institute of Politics, one of those kind of stately places in New Hampshire. A lot of people in the audience were New Hampshire lawmakers.

And here's the thing. When he works with the teleprompter - if you've seen him give a speech at one of those big rallies, it is such a very different experience. It's strange really to hear him, you know, being careful with his words, trying to stick to what's on the screen in front of them.

He still ad libs, mind you. He still goes off, but he comes back. His arms don't wave around as much as they do. But it is - it's a very restrained, subdued experience as you can hear from those clips of tape.

MCEVERS: And Trump isn't often very specific about his plans or policies. Did he offer anything new today?

GONYEA: Yes. But the specifics weren't really there still. You recall his proposed ban of Muslims coming into the country announced last year. Now he wants to suspend immigration from countries with, quote, "a proven history of terrorism," saying it was long overdue. He also said that he would have the power as president to interpret immigration law that way. But again, he didn't say what the standard would be for determining if people from this country or that wouldn't be allowed to come in.

And, Kelly, let's be clear, this was not the planned speech that he was going to give about Hillary Clinton. But much of it was still about Hillary Clinton.

There was another new attack. And this was classic Trump. He told the LGBT community that Hillary Clinton's policies are not supportive of them. She has long been a friend of the gay community, but Trump today reached out to them after Orlando by making an accusation that in his view this is why gays and lesbians should vote for him. Give a listen.


TRUMP: Clinton wants to allow radical Islamic terrorists to pour into our country. They enslave women, and they murder gays. I don't want them in our country.

GONYEA: So I mean, first off, that is not what Clinton wants - to have radical Islamic terrorists pour into the country. But it also follows up on something Trump said about President Obama on Fox News this morning.

He said that on terrorism, either Obama, quote, "is not tough, not smart or has something else in mind." When pushed on what he meant, Trump said Obama just doesn't get it. But it implied that maybe the president doesn't want to get it, so he's letting that hang out there.

MCEVERS: You know, Clinton, Obama and the Democrats have called for curtailing some gun rights, expanding background checks and limiting assault rifles like the one used in this attack. Did Trump talk about guns at all - quickly?

GONYEA: He talked about his NRA endorsement. He said he supports gun rights. He said any change in the laws would take people's guns away from them, guns that they need to defend themselves against terrorists.

MCEVERS: That NPR's Don Gonyea. Thanks so much.

GONYEA: Thank you. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

Don Gonyea
You're most likely to find NPR's Don Gonyea on the road, in some battleground state looking for voters to sit with him at the local lunch spot, the VFW or union hall, at a campaign rally, or at their kitchen tables to tell him what's on their minds. Through countless such conversations over the course of the year, he gets a ground-level view of American elections. Gonyea is NPR's National Political Correspondent, a position he has held since 2010. His reports can be heard on all NPR News programs and at NPR.org. To hear his sound-rich stories is akin to riding in the passenger seat of his rental car, traveling through Iowa or South Carolina or Michigan or wherever, right along with him.