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 BoehnerBoehner reveals portrait done by George W. Bush Meadows to be replaced by Biggs as Freedom Caucus leader Scaramucci compares Trump to Jonestown cult leader: 'It's like a hostage crisis inside the White House' 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 CorkerTrump announces, endorses ambassador to Japan's Tennessee Senate bid Meet the key Senate player in GOP fight over Saudi Arabia Trump says he's 'very happy' some GOP senators have 'gone on to greener pastures' 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 CardinSenate confirms two Treasury nominees over Democratic objections Congress passes bill to begin scenic byways renaissance GOP lawmaker: 'Dangerous' abuse of Interpol by Russia, China, Venezuela 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 BidenJoe BidenBiden lead shrinks, Sanders and Warren close gap: poll Biden allies: Warren is taking a bite out of his electability argument Budowsky: Donald, Boris, Bibi — The right in retreat MORE, who was on Capitol Hill to rally Democratic support.

Sen. Ted CruzRafael (Ted) Edward CruzGOP signals unease with Barr's gun plan NRA says Trump administration memo a 'non-starter' Barr fails to persuade Cruz on expanded background checks 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 PowerWe've lost sight of the real scandal Congress should defy Dan Coats' last request on phone surveillance Sunday shows preview: Democratic candidates make the rounds after debate 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 KaineSen. Kaine: No reason for US to 'engage in military action to protect Saudi oil' Bolton exit provokes questions about Trump shift on Iran Overnight Defense: Dems grill Trump Army, Air Force picks | House chair subpoenas Trump Afghanistan negotiator | Trump officials release military aid to Ukraine 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 KerryLet's not play Charlie Brown to Iran's Lucy The Memo: Democrats struggle to find the strongest swing-state candidate 2020 caucuses pose biggest challenge yet for Iowa's top pollster 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 MonizTwo years after Harvey's devastation, the wake-up call has not been heeded Biden under pressure from environmentalists on climate plan Pelosi, Clinton among attendees at memorial reception for Ellen Tauscher MORE, who joined Kerry for the negotiations, and Treasury Secretary Jack LewJacob (Jack) Joseph LewHogan urges Mnuchin to reconsider delay of Harriet Tubman bill Mnuchin says new Harriet Tubman bill delayed until 2028 Overnight Finance: US reaches deal with ZTE | Lawmakers look to block it | Trump blasts Macron, Trudeau ahead of G-7 | Mexico files WTO complaint 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 MurphyGOP signals unease with Barr's gun plan Trump administration floats background check proposal to Senate GOP Senate confirms two Treasury nominees over Democratic objections 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 McCainCan the presidential candidates please talk about our debt crisis? Michelle Malkin knocks Cokie Roberts shortly after her death: 'One of the first guilty culprits of fake news' Arizona Democratic Party will hold vote to censure Sinema 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 RubioTrump faces difficult balancing act with reelection campaign Republicans wary of US action on Iran California poll: Biden, Sanders lead Democratic field; Harris takes fifth 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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