Trump condemns terrorists, calls them “losers”

Tuesday, May 23, 2017
A billboard welcoming President Trump is seen in Bethlehem Tuesday. Credit: Hazem Bader/AFP/Getty Images
Trump Condemns Terrorists: Calls them “losers” after Manchester attack

Music Industry Responds: Condolences from musicians, and Ariana Grande’s manager and label

Underwood Does D.C. IRL: “House of Cards” star has Washington buzzing

Kate Bennett

What the White House is Talking About:
President Trump departed Israel en route to his next stop: Rome. 

What the White House Press Corps is Talking About:
Trump’s budget plan dropped at 11 a.m. this morning, loaded with cuts. And back home, the Russia investigation intensifies; the press corps is hot on the story about Trump asking intel chiefs to deny evidence of a connection.  

Trump Condemns Terrorists, Calls Them “Losers”:
Denouncing the horrific attack in Manchester, England, this morning, the President said he wouldn’t call the terrorists “monsters,” and instead went with “evil losers.” 

Trump’s Guest Book Signing is Different: 
Earlier today, Trump and first lady Melania Trump signed the guest book at Yad Vashem Holocaust Memorial Museum in Jerusalem, as is tradition. Here’s what he wrote: 
Credit: Debbie Hill/Getty Images

People are saying it’s a little too simple for the place, and for the occasion. Like, it’s maybe more what you would put in a friend’s high school yearbook. 

For comparison, here’s what Barack Obama wrote in 2013 when he visited: 

Credit: @RaoulWootliff/Twitter

The Hand Slap Seen ‘Round the World: 
A lot of people analyzed this moment on the tarmac yesterday, when Trump reaches for his wife’s hand and she appears to slap it away. The clip went viral in about a hot minute. Today, the scene as the couple walked from Marine One to Air Force One, on their way to Rome, was different. 

Credit: Mandel Ngan/Getty Images

But if the first couple looked cozier in the moment, about two minutes later he was back to leaving her behind as he walked up the steps to the plane,
so ¯_(ツ)_/¯

Credit: Jack Guez/Getty Images

Dress Like the First Lady: 
Today at the wreath-laying, Melania wore this $2,730 Roksanda dress, with cream stripes. Fun fact: Roksanda was the same designer she wore last summer at the Republican National Convention when she delivered her keynote speech. 

Credit: (l) Mandel Ngan/Getty Images; (r)

Or the Former First Lady: 
Michelle Obama was also in the mood for white yesterday, in this pretty skin-baring, $159.50 “Jamia” top by Club Monaco. Michelle is in Siena, Italy, with Barack Obama; they were sightseeing. 

Credit: @clubmonaco/Instagram

White House is Hot New Place to Propose Marriage:
Last week, photographers captured the proposal moments of Tommy Schultz and Ashley Harvey, on the White House grounds during a tour. This weekend, it was Justin Sykes and Bridget Haley’s turn. Sykes, who works at a non-profit, set up a faux “work reception” at the White House, luring to the spot his now-fiancée, Haley, a nurse at Lombardi Cancer Center at Georgetown University Hospital. Haley’s cousin, who works in the West Wing, served as Sykes’ co-conspirator, arranging a tour for before the “reception,” and helping to arrange the arrival of a professional photographer. “Won’t it be amazing to tell our children one day that we got engaged at the White House?” asked Sykes, getting down on one knee. They toasted with Champagne in plastic WH cups, because Washington’s gonna Washington. Cheers to the happy couple!

Credit: Michael Kennedy Photography

Hunter Schwarz

What Washington is Talking About:
Former CIA Director John Brennan is testifying today before the House Select Committee on Intelligence about Russian meddling in the 2016 campaign. 

What America is Talking About:
The attack at an Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, UK, last night that killed at least 22.

How the Music Industry Responded:
The Manchester attack has been especially unsettling for many; everyone’s been to a concert like that or sent their kids to one or had friends at one, and they’re a place where people come together, thousands of strangers in an arena, young and old, male and female, gay and straight, conservative and liberal, a community for one night, singing their favorite songs, dancing, and making memories together.

That sense of community is something musicians encourage whenever they address the crowd by the name of the city they’re playing, or put the spotlight back on the audience, thanking them for singing and screaming. At female pop stars’ shows in particular, there’s usually a monologue she’ll deliver on loving yourself, loving others, and never giving up on your dreams. These shows were places people could feel themselves and feel safe.

Ariana summed up the devastation in a tweet last night:

Credit: @ArianaGrande/Twitter

Other musicians, Ariana’s manager Scooter Braun, and her label Republic Records have all shared their condolences. On Instagram, Drake wrote about the concerns about similar attacks his team had during his recent Europe tour, writing, “We just left from touring in Europe and this was such a real fear we discussed frequently. I was crushed today to hear it became a reality.”

The remainder of Ariana’s tour has been suspended, a source told CNN. Organizers for the Manchester festival Parklife, set for June 10-11, announced it will go on as planned, saying in a statement, “we will not be defeated by such cowardice.”

Source: Mueller Briefed on Comey Memos: 
Robert Mueller, the former FBI director tapped to head the Justice Department’s investigation into Russian meddling into the 2016 campaign, is doing his homework. A source told CNN Mueller’s been briefed on some of the contents of fired FBI Director James Comey’s memos and met with agents who’ve been working on the case since last year.

The Race for Chaffetz Seat is One to Watch:
The race to fill Utah Republican Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s House seat is getting interesting. Tanner Ainge, the son of Mormon basketball legend and Boston Celtics General Manager Danny Ainge, is being encouraged by his father to run, and a third party group, the United Utah Party, is racing to become a registered party in time to get a candidate on the ballot.

Frank Underwood Does D.C. IRL:
Former Obama photographer Pete Souza shot “House of Cards” star Kevin Spacey yesterday around Washington. They made stops at Union Station, in front of the White House, and Ben’s Chilli Bowl. Check his Instagram and the official House of Cards account for more shots, but this from the Foggy Bottom-GWU Metro stop was my fav:

Credit: @petesouza/Instagram

How D.C. Does Pot:
The Post is out with a look at how entrepreneurs are getting around Washington’s marijuana laws that allow owning, using, and growing cannabis, but prohibit selling it. Basically, they sell shirts, juice, cookies, clothing, or art, and offer a customers a ~complimentary gift~.

Street Art Sighting:
As seen on Abbot Kinney Blvd., in Venice, California: Trump in a Russian nesting doll.

Credit: @JuliaArciga/Twitter

Send me your pics of political street art to, tweet me @hunterschwarz, or tag @cnncoverline on Instagram.

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COVER/LINE is where politics meets pop culture. From CNN’s Hunter Schwarz and Kate Bennett, this daily newsletter is the must-read lunch date in Washington and beyond.
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