Overnight Defense: Four Marines killed in 'act of domestic terrorism'

THE TOPLINE: Four marines were killed Thursday when a gunman opened fire at two military facilities in Chattanooga, Tenn.

The shooter was also killed, according to police.

"We are treating this as an act of domestic terrorism," said U.S. Attorney Bill Killian. "This is a sad day for the United States."

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Law enforcement officials have identified the alleged gunman as 24-year-old Mohammad Youssuf Abdulazeez, a naturalized citizen from Kuwait, according to reports.

Without naming the suspect, FBI spokesman Ed Reinhold said the gunman first attacked a recruitment center on Lee Highway in Chattanooga before going to the U.S. Naval and Marine Reserve Center a few miles away on Amnicola Highway.

The shooter and all four victims, died at the second location, Reinhold said. He would not provide additional details.

Speaking to reporters in the Oval Office, President Obama said he was briefed on the shootings by FBI Director James Comey and that the bureau would lead the investigation.

"My main message right now is deepest sympathies of the American people to the four Marines that have been killed. It is a heartbreaking circumstance for these individuals who've served our country with great valor to be killed in this fashion," said Obama.

"Although the families are still in the process of being contacted, I want them to know that I speak for the American people in expressing our deepest condolences," he added. "We will be thorough and prompt in figuring out exactly what happened."

Defense Secretary Ash Carter also offered his condolences.

My thoughts and prayers - along with those of the men and women of the Department of Defense - are with the families of those killed in this senseless act of violence and with all those touched by this tragedy, including our Navy and Marine Corps family," he said in a statement.

"I am grateful to local law enforcement for their swift response. The department will continue to work with local law enforcement as they investigate this heinous crime and will support our military families in their time of grief."

Speaker John BoehnerJohn Andrew BoehnerJordan hits campaign trail amid bid for Speaker GOP senator says he 'regularly' considers leaving Republican Party Republicans mull new punishments for dissident lawmakers MORE (R-Ohio) condemned the "cowardly attack."

"I'm deeply saddened by this loss of life, and on behalf of the whole House, offer condolences to the families who lost loved ones today," he said in a statement.

House Armed Services Chairman Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) lamented the loss of the four military personnel.

"Our Marines don't flinch when they take on our enemies abroad," he said. "It is heartbreaking when they are attacked here at home."

Senate Foreign Relations chairman Bob CorkerRobert (Bob) Phillips CorkerMurkowski echoes calls for Kavanaugh, accuser to testify Kavanaugh, accuser to testify publicly on Monday Kavanaugh furor intensifies as calls for new testimony grow MORE (R-Tenn.) echoed those sentiments in his own remarks.

"I am heartbroken by the tragic shootings that have taken place in my hometown," said Corker, who served as mayor of Chattanooga from 2001 to 2005. "This is a difficult day for Tennesseans and our thoughts and prayers are with all affected by this tragedy."

SENATORS TO OBAMA: DELAY UN VOTE ON IRAN DEAL: Leaders of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee chafed Thursday at the idea of President Obama seeking United Nations support for an Iran deal before Congress acts.

"Acting on it at this stage is a confusing message to an independent review by Congress over these next 60 days," said the committee's top Democrat, Sen. Ben CardinBenjamin (Ben) Louis CardinMore Dems come out in public opposition to Kavanaugh Overnight Defense: Officials rush to deny writing anonymous op-ed | Lawmakers offer measure on naming NATO headquarters after McCain | US, India sign deal on sharing intel Lawmakers introduce resolution to back naming NATO headquarters after McCain MORE (D-Md.).

"So I think it would be far better to have that vote after the 60-day review, assuming that the agreement is not effectively rejected by Congress," Cardin said.

He made the comments after meeting with Vice President Joe BidenJoseph (Joe) Robinette BidenKavanaugh hires attorney amid sexual assault allegations: report Biden: Delay Kavanaugh vote to give accuser a fair, respectful hearing Bidens hint at taking on Trump: We want to 'pick a fight' with bullies MORE, who was on Capitol Hill to rally Democratic support.

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGrassley agrees to second Kavanaugh hearing after GOP members revolt FEC: Cruz campaign didn't violate rules with fundraising letter labeled ‘summons’ Cruz criticizes O'Rourke on Dallas shooting: Wish he wasn't 'so quick to always blame the police officer' MORE (R-Texas) also threatened to block State Department nominees, or halt department-related funding, unless President Obama blocks the U.N. from taking up the Iran nuclear deal until later this year.

Samantha PowerSamantha Jane PowerObama UN ambassador: I'm 'filled with optimism & determination' after McCain's funeral Whatever happened to the 'unmaskings' probe? Former UN envoys urge Pompeo to restore funding for Palestinian aid agency MORE, U.S. ambassador to the U.N., on Wednesday circulated a draft resolution that would end international sanctions on Iran once the International Atomic Energy Agency verifies its compliance with a deal curbing its nuclear program.

Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) said he told Power that action was inappropriate.

"I'm sorry, I look at that as an affront to the American people. I look at that as an affront to Congress and the House of Representatives," he said.

Corker and Cardin sent a letter to Obama Thursday urging him to postpone a U.N. vote.

Sen. Tim KaineTimothy (Tim) Michael KaineThe Hill's Morning Report — Sponsored by Better Medicare Alliance — Cuomo wins and Manafort plea deal Virginia reps urge Trump to declare federal emergency ahead of Hurricane Florence More Dems come out in public opposition to Kavanaugh MORE (Va.), a Democrat on the Foreign Relations Committee, defended the administration, arguing that Congress only has authority over sanctions it imposes through legislation.

Secretary of State John KerryJohn Forbes KerryPompeo doubles down on criticism of Kerry: The Iran deal failed, 'let it go' John Kerry: Trump has ‘the insecurity of a teenage girl’ Kerry: Trump should be worried about Manafort talking to Mueller, not me talking to Iranians MORE and two other senior administration officials will have a chance to testify on the deal to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee directly next Thursday.

Secretary of Energy Ernest MonizErnest Jeffrey MonizPompeo: Kerry's conversations with Iran 'unseemly and unprecedented' The Hill's 12:30 Report — Sponsored by Delta Air Lines — Mueller indicts 12 Russian officials for DNC hack | Trump does damage control after bombshell interview Pope to meet with oil execs to discuss climate change: report MORE, who joined Kerry for the negotiations, and Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewOvernight Finance: US reaches deal with ZTE | Lawmakers look to block it | Trump blasts Macron, Trudeau ahead of G-7 | Mexico files WTO complaint Obama-era Treasury secretary: Tax law will make bipartisan deficit-reduction talks harder GOP Senate report says Obama officials gave Iran access to US financial system MORE will also testify.

The officials will face skeptical members, including some of the fiercest critics of the Iran deal -- and two Republican presidential hopefuls.

One member of the panel, Sen. Chris MurphyChristopher (Chris) Scott MurphySituation in Yemen should lead us to return to a constitutional foreign policy Overnight Defense: Biden honors McCain at Phoenix memorial service | US considers sending captured ISIS fighters to Gitmo and Iraq | Senators press Trump on ending Yemen civil war Senators press Trump administration on Yemen civil war MORE (D-Conn.) warned that a congressional rejection of the Iran nuclear deal would be an "absolute blow" to presidential legitimacy on the world stage for years to come.

"This would be an absolute blow to the legitimacy of this president, and of any president to negotiate a diplomatic agreement," the Connecticut Democrat said Thursday on MSNBC's "Morning Joe."

Meanwhile, House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) on Thursday gave a full-throated endorsement of President Obama's nuclear deal with Iran.

"I've closely examined this document," Pelosi said, holding up the text to a room of reporters, "and it will have my strong support."

STILL NO PENTAGON PLAN FOR GITMO: Senate Armed Services Committee Chairman John McCainJohn Sidney McCainAnother recession could hit US in 2019, says credit union association chief R-E-S-P-E-C-T: One legacy of Franklin and McCain is up to us To cure Congress, elect more former military members MORE (R-Ariz.) said he hasn't "heard a word" from the Obama administration about a plan to close the U.S. prison in Guantánamo Bay, Cuba.

He said President Obama asked him in May to visit the White House to discuss the future of the controversial detention site.

"I said, 'Okay, give me a plan. Give me a plan, okay?' Three days later, both [Defense Secretary Ashton Carter and White House counterterrorism adviser Lisa Monaco] came to my office and sat there and said, 'Okay, we'll get you a plan,'" McCain told reporters Thursday.

"I have not heard a word since," he added.

McCain is deep into negotiations with House lawmakers over the annual defense policy bill. The Senate version gives the administration a path to close the prison but only if it can win congressional approval.

"I'm trying to address the issue of Guantánamo on the defense authorization bill and we haven't heard a word," McCain said. "What happened? They haven't even bothered to give me an explanation as to why they are not giving me the plan."

He said the lack of a strategy from the White House "makes it harder for me to negotiate" a final version of the policy bill.

BILL INCREASES MILITARY AID TO JORDAN: Sen. Marco RubioMarco Antonio RubioNYT says it was unfair on Haley curtain story Rubio defends Haley over curtains story: Example of media pushing bias House lawmakers urge top intel official to probe national security threat of doctored videos MORE (R-Fla.), a 2016 presidential contender, on Thursday introduced legislation that would ease weapon transfers to Jordan to aid in its fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS).

"A stronger relationship with our friends in Jordan is essential to preventing ISIL from gaining more territory and massacring tens of thousands of additional innocent people and key to our efforts to defeat this group," said Rubio, a member of the Foreign Relations Committee, using another name for the terror group.

The bill comes days after a nuclear agreement with Iran -- the regional rival of Sunni Arab Gulf countries -- was announced.

The bill, dubbed the "U.S.-Jordan Defense Cooperation Act of 2015," would also boost support to help Jordan handle the refugee crisis caused by the Syrian civil war and increase military ties between Washington and country's central government.

Since January, the U.S. has provided $467 million to Jordan to help with the 621,937 registered Syrian refugees in the country, the legislation noted. In February, Secretary of State JohnKerry signed a memo pledging to increase U.S. assistance from $660 million to $1 billion per year through 2017.

companion bill was passed in the House last week by unanimous consent. 

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