Monday, June 18, 2018
News Roundup

Donald Trump sticks to standard pro-Israel positions in speech to lobbying group

WASHINGTON — Standing in the midst of a vast arena in downtown Washington, Donald Trump stared into the two small screens before him and read the words he had come to deliver to a skeptical audience at the American Israel Public Affairs Committee's annual meeting.

"I didn't come here tonight to pander to you about Israel," Trump said carefully, as the words rolled across the screen. "That's what politicians do, all talk no action."

But while Trump's past statements have caused concern among pro-Israel advocates, including his promise to be "neutral" in negotiations between Israel and Palestinians, he offered promises Monday very much in line with what the audience had hoped to hear. At times, he brought the crowd to its feet.

He lambasted the Iran nuclear deal negotiated by President Barack Obama, who he noted was "in his final year, yay." He pledged to relocate the American Embassy to the "eternal capital of the Jewish people, Jerusalem." And he seemed to paper over his past statements about neutrality, promising that in any negotiation, "we will send a clear signal that there is no daylight between America and our most reliable ally, the state of Israel."

It was an unusual scene for Trump, who has largely eschewed scripts and tends to speak in front of adoring crowds at raucous rallies. Trump, appearing more subdued than usual, stuck closely to his message, and on several occasions, his own words appeared to contradict his past statements — including some he had made just hours earlier.

Earlier in the day, Trump was attacked by Democratic presidential front-runner and former Secretary of State Hillary Clinton for suggesting in past interviews that he would remain neutral in negotiating the conflict between Israel and Palestine.

"We need steady hands," Clinton told AIPAC, referencing the business mogul without naming him. "Not a president who says he's neutral on Monday, pro-Israel on Tuesday and who knows what on Wednesday because everything is negotiable.

"Well, my friends, Israel's security is nonnegotiable!" Clinton added. Clinton — who has at times been at the center of foreign policy decisions opposed by Israel — set a hawkish tone, but saved much of her most forceful rhetoric for Trump.

"You'll get a glimpse of a potential U.S. foreign policy that would insult our allies, not engage them, and embolden our adversaries, not defeat them," Clinton said. "For the security of Israel and the world, we need America to remain a respected global leader, committed to defending and advancing the international order."

In the days before Trump's scheduled appearance at AIPAC, a group of rabbis called for a boycott of Trump's speech, and the prominent Jewish civil rights organization the Anti-Defamation League strongly denounced Trump's rhetoric and said it would "redirect" all of his past donations to its organization.

But as Trump denounced Iran's missile tests and pledged to confront murders at the hands of "knife-wielding Palestinians," many in the audience appeared to warm to his message, and any walkouts were either called off or left unnoticed.

Earlier in the day, Trump told the Washington Post editorial board that he supported a non-interventionist foreign policy philosophy, focusing on reducing the United States's engagement in conflicts abroad in order to focus on rebuilding infrastructure and the economy at home.

At AIPAC, however, Trump focused on reiterating positions largely in line with the United States' current policies and acceptable to the most prominent pro-Israel advocates.

Two other Republican presidential candidates — Texas Sen. Ted Cruz and Ohio Gov. John Kasich — also spoke at the group's annual conference on Monday and made their support for Israel and opposition to the Iran deal a centerpiece of their remarks. Clinton's chief Democratic rival, Sen. Bernie Sanders of Vermont, was the only major candidate who skipped the AIPAC meeting.

Comments
Fatherís Day on the water

Fatherís Day on the water

Luis Santana | TimesBoaters take advantage of the calm seas and warm weather to enjoy the waters near the Dunedin Causeway on Fatherís Day. Dozens of boats were beached along the shores of Caladesi Island and Honeymoon Island State Park.
Updated: 7 hours ago
FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says heís willing to testify before Congress

FBI agent removed from Russia probe for anti-Trump texts says heís willing to testify before Congress

The FBI agent who was removed from the investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election for sending anti-Trump texts intends to testify before the House Judiciary Committee and any other congressional committee that asks, his attorney sai...
Updated: 9 hours ago
Erosion of immigrant protections began with Trump inaugural

Erosion of immigrant protections began with Trump inaugural

The Trump administrationís move to separate immigrant parents from their children on the U.S.-Mexico border has grabbed attention around the world, drawn scorn from human-rights organizations and overtaken the immigration debate in Congress.Itís also...
Published: 06/17/18
Motorcyclist and pedestrian die in Pasco crash

Motorcyclist and pedestrian die in Pasco crash

NEW PORT RICHEY ó A motorcyclist and pedestrian both died in a crash Saturday night near Palmetto Road and U.S. 19, police reported.About 10:30 p.m., a St. Petersburg man, 41, was riding a 2012 Honda motorcycle north on the highway, according to the ...
Published: 06/17/18
For starters: Rays at Yankees, looking to avoid a four-game sweep

For starters: Rays at Yankees, looking to avoid a four-game sweep

UPDATE, 11:37: Interesting decision by the Rays to move Adames to 2B today and reinstall Hechavarria at SS as he came off DL following Arroyo injury.Here is the Rays lineup:Duffy 3bBauers 1bRamos cCron dhAdames 2bHechavarria ssGomez rfRefsnyder lfFie...
Published: 06/17/18
Chicago soldier killed in Korea finally being laid to rest

Chicago soldier killed in Korea finally being laid to rest

CHICAGO — Not long after her father went missing during the Korean War, Carol Elkin spotted then-Gen. Dwight Eisenhower in downtown Chicago and did what any kid might do when coming face to face with the nation’s most famous soldier: She ...
Published: 06/17/18
1 dead, 20 injured in New Jersey arts festival shooting

1 dead, 20 injured in New Jersey arts festival shooting

TRENTON, N.J ó Shooting broke out at an all-night art festival in Trenton, New Jersey, early Sunday, sending people stampeding from the scene and leaving one suspect dead and 20 people injured, a local prosecutor said. Many of the 20 injured were tre...
Published: 06/17/18

spain600 migrants allowed off ships after rescueAbout 600 migrants disembarked from three ships Sunday in the port of Valencia, more than a week after they had been rescued at sea only to be turned away by Italy and Malta. Arriving separately, the Aq...
Updated: 5 hours ago

Lottery resultsNumbers drawn after 9 p.m. are no longer available by our deadlines. For results, please go to tampabay.com/lottery.Pick 2, 3, 4, 5Sun., June 17, midday:87 662 6806e_SRit48442Sun., June 17, evening:66 701 0866e_SRit27697Fantasy 5Sunday...
Updated: 5 hours ago
Gunfire erupts at festival; 22 hurt

Gunfire erupts at festival; 22 hurt

TRENTON, N.J. ó Gunmen opened fire at an all-night arts and music festival early Sunday morning, sending people running over each other in the scramble to safety, authorities said. One suspect was killed and 22 people, including two suspects, were in...
Updated: 7 hours ago