Nelson renews fight to limit guns for terrorists; Scott speaks with President Bush about Orlando shootings

Sen. Bill Nelson
Sen. Bill Nelson

Florida’s Bill Nelson joined fellow Democratic U.S. senators Monday in citing the Orlando nightclub shootings as another reason for moving forward with limiting gun access to possible terrorists.

Nelson said the FBI has “done a great job, but they were handicapped,” in tracking Omar Mateen, the accused gunman believed to have been inspired by ISIS.

Nelson and Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California, Charles Schumer of New York and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut said they were renewing efforts for the Senate to approve a gun-purchasing ban for those on the FBI’s terrorist watchlist, a move which supporters said also gives investigators authority to refuse gun-access for others suspected of being a security risk.

Similar legislation failed last year.

“I don’t know what it will take to change the mindset of this Congress,” Feinstein conceded in a conference call with reporters.

Gov. Rick Scott, meanwhile, spoke to former President George W. Bush on Monday in the wake of the shootings.

“Thank you President George W. Bush and First Lady Laura Bush for your call today,” Scott said on his Twitter account. “We appreciate your prayers.”

It turns out Donald Trump was for the Iraq war before he was against it

Donald Trump and Anderson Cooper on CNN Thursday night.
Donald Trump and Anderson Cooper on CNN Thursday night.

Donald Trump often says he spoke out against the invasion of Iraq before former President George W. Bush sent U.S. troops there in March 2003. But an audio clip unearthed by from Sept. 11, 2002 shows one instance of Trump offering not particularly enthusiastic support for the invasion.

Trump has held up his opposition to the war as an example of his superior judgment. In a Republican presidential debate at the Ronald Reagan Library last September, for instance, Trump said: “I am the only person on this dais, the only person that fought very, very hard against us — and I wasn’t a sitting politician — going into Iraq. Because I said going into Iraq — that was in 2003 and you can check it out, check out, I’ll give you 25 different stories…I’m the only person up here that fought against us going into Iraq.”

"I could have said that," Trump said of his 2002 interview supporting the invasion of Iraq.
“I could have said that,” Trump said of his 2002 interview supporting the invasion of Iraq.

Trump repeated the claim Thursday night during a CNN interview with Anderson Cooper.

“I’m the one from 2002, 2003, said you shouldn’t be doing it,” Trump said.

While CNN’s broadcast was going on, however, reported on the Sept. 11, 2002 interview  in which Howard Stern asked Trump about invading Iraq.

“Are you for invading Iraq?” Stern asked Trump on the first anniversary of the 2001 terrorist attacks.

“Yeah, I guess so. I wish the first time it was done correctly,” Trump said.

After a commercial break, Cooper asked Trump about the Buzzfeed report.

Replied Trump: “I could have said that. Nobody asked me — I wasn’t a politician. It was probably the first time anybody asked me that question…By the time the war started, I was against the war.”

Cooper noted that the only published reports of Trump criticizing or opposing the war are from after it began. But Trump said he deserves credit for being an early critic.

“Even if it was a little bit after the war, (I) was totally against the war….By the time the war started, I was against it and shortly thereafter I was really against it,” Trump said.

Presidents Day: Bill Clinton in Riviera Beach for Hillary; George W. Bush in S.C. for Jeb

George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will be on the campaign trail today.
George W. Bush and Bill Clinton will be on the campaign trail today.

It’s Presidents Day, and two ex-presidents will be on the campaign trail today to boost their favorite candidates.


In Riviera Beach, former President Bill Clinton will appear at an afternoon rally for Hillary Clinton at the Port of Palm Beach. Hillary Clinton was originally scheduled to appear at the rally and at a Palm Beach fundraiser, but she’s campaigning in Nevada instead in response to a stronger-than-expected  Democratic challenge from Bernie Sanders.


Republican Party of Florida invokes "Animal House" in response to Clinton event.
Republican Party of Florida invokes “Animal House” in response to Clinton event.

The Republican Party of Florida is circulating this classic movie clip to suggest Hillary Clinton’s decision to skip the Riviera Beach event is a sign of panic by her campaign.


Follow, and @gbennettpost on Twitter today for coverage of the Bill Clinton event. Doors open at 12:30 p.m. and the rally itself is scheduled for 2 p.m.


In Charleston, S.C., former President George W. Bush will appear at an evening rally for Jeb Bush. Jeb Bush, the former Florida governor who began the race as the Republican establishment favorite, has floundered as a candidate for months but is newly optimistic after a fourth place finish in last week’s New Hampshire primary.