The Navy is faulting a junior officer and a senior enlisted for failing to defend their patrol boats and then for surrendering them at gunpoint to Iranian paramilitaries, after they blundered into Iranian waters in January.
Navy officials also ruled that some in the crew violated the conduct guidelines for captured service members.
“The investigation also found some crewmembers did not meet code of conduct standards while in custody,” Vice Adm. John Aquilino said in the Pentagon press briefing, adding that the specific violation was making statements that were either harmful or disloyal to the United States.
Aquilino and Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson declined to cite any specific examples in the briefing on the findings of the Navy’s five-month-long review. The comments bring renewed scrutiny to the lieutenant in charge of the riverine command boat transit, who appeared to apologize to his captors for entering Iranian waters, where the Revolutionary Guard Corps arrested them and detained them for 16 hours on Farsi Island.
The investigation found the lieutenant spoke to the Iranian film crew as part of a condition of release, which the investigator ruled a violation of the code of conduct.
“It was a mistake,” the lieutenant said in the video. “That was our fault. We apologize for our mistake.”
The lieutenant initially resisted their demands but gave in to the pressure from his captors so as to deescalate the situation, the report said.
Some crew members did resist. Several refused to provide more than their name, rank and social, and some refused to eat the food their captors presented. During the meals, they were instructed to eat and act happy for pictures, which were later used for propaganda. A female sailor was asked to cover her hair but was not mistreated, the report found.
The investigation also found the lieutenant and his counterpart in the other boat didn’t do enough to avoid capture or defend the boats from capture, and surrendered the boats during the initial encounter with the Iranians. It is unclear whether the surrender was a violation under the circumstances, since the U.S. is not at war with Iran.
When the Iranians initially approached, the sailors were repairing one of the broken down riverine command boats and did not man their weapons despite being within two miles of Farsi Island, an Iranian Revolutionary Guard Corps base in the Persian Gulf.
When the Iranian commandos approached, the U.S. crews were not in a position to defend themselves and by the time they were completely surrounded, the only options were to fight or surrender. The lieutenant ordered his coxswain to attempt to steer the boat through the Iranian vessels, but the ordered was ignored and the two boat captains ordered crews to drop their weapons.
The investigation does not specifically say the crews should have opened fire, but does fault them for failing to take more defensive actions to evade capture and set up a defensive posturep.
Both boat captains failed in their “obligation to exercise unit self-defense when [they] failed to take appropriate action to defend [the RCBs] when the Iranian vessels demonstrated hostile intent,” the report said.
The lieutenant — whose identity the Navy declined to provide out of privacy concerns, along with other enlisted and officers not in command posts — took full responsibility for the surrender of the boats, the investigation found.
“So at that point and time, if I had decided to start a firefight, I know a lot of my guys would be dead,” the lieutenant told investigators. “We might all be dead at that point … I didn’t want to start a war with Iran either. I didn’t want to start a war that would get people killed … that was also on my mind. … In allowing us to be captured — that was my decision and my decision alone.”
He also said he thought about the administration’s recently negotiated nuclear deal as well, calculating that they would be released promptly.
“I made the gamble that they were not going to kill us,” he said. “I made the gamble that they’re not going to take us to Tehran and parade us around like prisoners of war. Because they want this deal to go through.
“I thought, ‘OK, what’s the commanders intent, the highest commander’s intent, the Commander in Chief would not want me to start a war over a mistake, over a misunderstanding.”
Other crew members were also knocked for code of conduct violations.
When an Iranian interrogator expressed doubt that their boats would be sent on a 250-nautical mile transit from Kuwait to Bahrain, unnamed crewmembers laughed and replied: “Yeah I wish you could tell my people that because we told them these boats can’t do that.”
The lighthearted moment didn’t go over well with investigators.
“While crewmembers may have believed this statement was a source of camaraderie under difficult circumstances, Code of Conduct guidance and training caution against these types of statements because they can be misused as propaganda,” the investigation said.
Some of the apologies from crew members for entering Iranian waters were not violations so much as they demonstrated insufficient knowledge of their rights as mariners — specifically the right of innocent passage that confers the safe passage through territorial waters — the investigation found.
“Had the crew been armed with a full understanding of this right under international law, they could have used this knowledge as a source of strength and a tool of resistance in their responses,” the investigation found.
When asked repeatedly about his views on the code of conduct violations, Richardson said he would not answer because he did not want to prejudice ongoing disciplinary actions.
Michigan’s summer satellite camp tour will be ending one stop sooner than expected over concerns about the Zika virus, a school athletics department official confirmed.
Wolverines coach Jim Harbaugh was supposed to be among a group of staffers finishing up a monthlong tour with a trip to American Samoa on Thursday. Instead, the camp has been canceled.
John Raynar, communications director for the Republican Party of American Samoa, wrote on Facebook on Wednesday that Harbaugh was advised by a family doctor to skip the trip because of potential health risks to pregnant women. Harbaugh’s wife, Sarah, is pregnant.
A school official later confirmed Harbaugh would not be participating due to Zika virus fears. The trip would have marked the second time this month that Michigan staffers worked a camp in American Samoa. Six of Harbaugh’s staffers participated in a June 1 camp there as part of a four-week whirlwind that was to include 38 camps in 21 states and two countries, with roughly 50,000 miles of travel. Harbaugh attended many of the camps himself and wrapped up the tour this week in Hawaii.
Several high-profile athletes have pulled out of the Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro because of Zika virus concerns, most recently golfer Jason Day, the No. 1-ranked player in the world.
ESPN.com’s Dan Murphy contributed to this report.
CLEVELAND — After all the champagne corks had been popped, cigars had been lit and hugs had been shared,stood in the center of the visitors locker room at Oracle Arena and turned an eye toward the future.
“We know it’s going to be an interesting offseason,” James told ESPN.com after the‘ Game 7 win in the NBA Finals. “We got some guys, got some free agents and things of that nature, and I’ll probably be a free agent as well. But if we can hold this thing together, we can do some special things.
“We’re built. We’re built for longevity.”
James is, indeed, a free agent afterwith the Cavs this week. It’s not a matter of if he will re-sign with Cleveland — he has made his intention to return quite clear — but when he’ll come to terms with the team and how many years the agreement will cover.
James, 31, stands to earn a significant raise — $27.5 million for next season instead of the $24 million he was slated for — just by opting out and taking advantage of the escalating salary cap. Perhaps he signs another one-year deal with a player option, allowing him to opt out again next summer — at which point he could becomeby signing a max deal.
He also could go for a two-year contract this summer that would net him approximately $64 million.
None of the aforementioned scenarios are stress-inducing. James will sign when he signs and the Cavs will retain the most dominant player in the game, surrounded by a core of impact players —, and — already under contract.
The only drama for the Cavs’ summer, if you want to even call it that, exists in the margins.
Other than James, six members of the championship team —, , , , and — are set to hit the free-agent market Friday. Their importance ranges from priceless to replaceable, depending on your perspective.
Smith, who exercised an option to become a free agent, tested free agency last summer to his detriment, eventually signing with the Cavs for $5 million in August when he originally had a deal worth $6.4 million. He has since helped Cleveland win a title with a steady Finals, been named the Cavs’ best defensive player by coach Tyronn Lue and signed with Klutch Sports Group — the agency that represents James and Thompson.
Cleveland, already well over the cap with only a $3.5 millionat its disposal to try to attract an outside free agent, would be best served to work something out with Smith. And if last summer’s tepid response for his services is any indication, Smith’s true value is in Cleveland and Cleveland alone. James can keep him in check and Smith can play off the Big Three, shooting 3s to his heart’s content.
The biggest question with Smith, who turns 31 in September, is how many years the team will want to commit to him.
Dellavedova had an underwhelming Finals, but he has established himself as a 3-and-D player in his three years in the league. Just 25 years old, he is still on the ascent. After coming into the league undrafted, he has yet to really cash in, earning just about $3 million for his career so far. That can all change this summer.
With teams such as New York, Brooklyn, Philadelphia and Detroit all in the hunt for a point guard and equipped with money to spend, there will be a robust market for Dellavedova. Fortunately for the Cavs, Dellavedova is a restricted free agent, so that could deter the competition from getting into a bidding war for the Aussie, only to see Cleveland match.
The Cavaliers want Jefferson and James Jones back and it’s understood that they will fetch the veterans minimum. Jefferson, 36, has publicly flip-flopped on retirement already. If he plays anywhere next season, it will be in Cleveland.
LeBron James hasfor James Jones, saying in December: “I told J.J., as long as I’m playing, he’s going to be around. He’s not allowed to stop playing basketball. So, I’m going to make sure I got a roster spot for him.”
Jones will turn 36 in October, but he remains in impeccable shape. There will be a place for him with the Cavs.
The final pair is harder to determine. Mozgov, coming off a poor campaign in what he hoped would be a showcase year, will still command interest and offers by his sheer size alone. San Antonio, Houston, Miami and Golden State are all expected to court the 7-footer, according to league sources.
If Mozgov walks, Cleveland will either go into next season withas the primary backup center behind Thompson or have to use its mini midlevel exception to find a replacement. That could hurt, especially if Jefferson retires, because the MMLE would come in handy in finding a viable wing to add to the mix.
Dahntay Jones, who was in the D-League before Cleveland picked him up on the last day of the regular season, “will be talking to a number of teams,” according to his agent, Mark Bartelstein. Jones had a couple of key playoff contributions, but he will turn 36 in December. Still, the Cavs could certainly do worse than having him at the end of their bench.
The X factor the Cavs will have on their side — other than James — is the fact that, for the first time in franchise history, they can say they’re the best team around. The appeal of playing for a winner is what could really achieve the longevity that James referred to.
Jim Trotter says Johnny Manziel is subject to even more suspensions moving forward and that football is the furthest thing from his mind right now. (1:02)
ESPN.com news services
Quarterbackhas been suspended four games, the NFL announced Thursday.
The NFL did not specify the reason for the suspension, but a source confirmed to ESPN that it was for violating the NFL’s substance abuse policy.
TMZ Sports first reported news on Manziel’s suspension.
Manziel, 23, is a free agent after being released by theearlier this year. His four-game suspension becomes effective immediately. If he signs with a team, Manziel would be suspended for the first four games of the 2016 season and conceivably could play in Week 5.
The NFL stated that Manziel was eligible to sign and participate in all preseason activities, including games.
Manziel could face additional discipline under the personal conduct policy for other transgressions, including being charged with assaulting his girlfriend, sources told ESPN.
Manzielthis summer, a source close to the quarterback said Wednesday.
“I do believe he’s serious,” the source told ESPN. “He’s talked for a while about knuckling down, getting ready and working out. It’s more about health and having options and feeling good. If that works out for this season, great. But if not, that’s OK too.”
When asked whether that turn to sobriety would require treatment, the source wasn’t sure.
Though the source said Manziel seems to be partying too much, he sounds “mostly OK” when the two talk.
Last week, Manziel’s father, Paul,by telling ESPN’s Josina Anderson that Manziel is a “druggie” and that a stint in jail might save his life.
Paul Manziel added that he checked his son into a rehab clinic earlier this year, but Manziel “escaped.”
Manziel faces misdemeanor assault charges for allegedly rupturing the eardrum of former girlfriend Colleen Crowley during a January dispute in Texas.
Manziel is pleading not guilty. On Monday, attorneyafter accidentally texting The Associated Press about his client, expressing concern Manziel would have difficulty passing a drug test. Jim Darnell remains Manziel’s lead attorney.
Manziel also faces a lawsuit for his part in the trashing of a Los Angeles rental home.
ESPN’s Adam Caplan and Jeremy Fowler contributed to this report.
Keith Thurman defeats Shawn Porter in a back-and-fourth contest to retain his 147-pound belt. (0:41)
NEW YORK — For many boxers, pay-per-view is the promised land they hope to reach because of the potential riches they can reap if they have the popularity to sell on the platform. The more pay-per-views you sell, the more you can make.
But while welterweight titleholder Keith Thurman certainly wants to make a lot money, pay-per-view is not the end all be all to him, and it’s a refreshing attitude.
After Thurman won a close unanimous decision — 115-113 on all three scorecards — to retain his 147-pound belt against friend and former titlist Shawn Porter in their terrific rumble at Barclays Center in Brooklyn on Saturday night in a fight live on CBS in prime time, Thurman said he hoped to continue boxing on network television.
Pay-per-view can wait, he said.
“I don’t want pay-per-view,” Thurman said during the post-fight news conference. “I don’t want you to pay for this entertainment. There’s too much world class athletic entertainment [available] for free. I want all of America to see [me fight].”
Thurman echoed the sentiment of many boxing fans fed up with having to fork over another $70 or so on top of a premium cable subscription to Showtime or HBO in order to see the best fights and biggest names.
“I didn’t have HBO growing up,” Thurman said. “I didn’t have Showtime growing up, and if you have HBO and you have Showtime, and they make it pay-per-view, now you’ve got to come out of your pocket some more [money]. I’m not trying to gouge the American people and the American public. I want to get everybody on my side. I want everybody to have an opportunity to witness ‘One Time’ and I want boxing to come back to the forefront of network television.”
The 27-year-old Thurman (27-0, 22 KOs), of Clearwater, Florida, retained his title for the third time and is in his prime. With his exciting style and outgoing personality, a few more wide exposure fights on network television could someday make him a bona fide pay-per-view attraction. But he’s not interested just yet and neither is Lou DiBella, who promoted the card.
“Who wants to have to pay $70 when you can get something for free? You’ve got to be a moron,” DiBella said. “You know what I mean? Now, could [a rematch] be pay-per-view? Yeah. People would pay for it. It could be. But you know what? If I’m Showtime and CBS, I’m finding a way to get it on the network and, by the way, everything’s bigger on [network] TV. More people see it.”
Donald Trump’s campaign has begun formally vetting possible running mates, with former House speaker Newt Gingrich emerging as the leading candidate followed by New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie. But there are more than a half-dozen others being discussed as possibilities, according to several people with knowledge of the process.
Given Trump’s unpredictability, campaign associates caution that the presumptive Republican nominee could still shake up his shortlist. But with little more than two weeks before the start of the Republican National Convention, Gingrich and Christie have been asked to submit documents and are being cast as favorites for the post inside the campaign. Gingrich in particular is the beneficiary of a drumbeat of support from Trump confidants like Ben Carson.
A number of senators — including Jeff Sessions (Ala.) and Bob Corker (Tenn.) — are also being reviewed as viable picks, although the extent to which they are being vetted is unclear. A longer shot on Trump’s radar is Indiana Gov. Mike Pence, a heavyweight on the right who could bolster his tepid support among some conservative activists.
But Pence is immersed in his reelection race and Trump is said to want a more electric politician at his side rather than a low-profile lawmaker. Most of his primary rivals are reluctant to sign on and tensions with Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Sen. Ted Cruz (Texas) remain raw.
Details of the running-mate search were provided by five people with knowledge of the process, who requested anonymity to discuss private conversations with campaign officials.
Gingrich, who said on “Fox News Sunday” over the weekend that “nobody has called me” from the Trump campaign about the possibility of being vice president, declined to comment. Campaign spokeswoman Hope Hicks also declined to comment. Christie’s office did not respond to an inquiry.
The contenders under the most serious consideration, such as Gingrich and Christie, have been asked by attorney Arthur B. Culvahouse Jr. to answer more than 100 questions and to provide reams of personal and professional files that include tax records and any article or book they have published.
Culvahouse, a former White House counsel who is managing the vetting for Trump, was the lawyer who vetted former Alaska governor Sarah Palin for the GOP vice-presidential nomination during the 2008 campaign.
The narrowing list of running-mate possibilities comes at the end of a turbulent period for Trump, who has struggled to raise money since clinching the GOP nomination and has stumbled through a series of self-inflicted controversies, including a racially charged attack on a sitting federal judge and continuing outcry over his rhetoric against Muslims and other minorities.
The presumptive Republican nominee continues to indicate that he will likely choose someone who could balance his brash populist persona with a political profile that includes deep experience in Washington or ties to the party establishment, the people familiar with the search said.
Their experience in both facing down and cutting deals with Democrats has also drawn the interest of Trump, who has acknowledged that he would be a novice at working directly with lawmakers.
Other names for vice president mentioned by people who have spoken with Trump officials include Sessions and Corker. Sessions, a conservative populist who was the first senator to endorse Trump last year, has seen many of his trusted aides take on high-ranking roles on the Trump campaign. Corker, the chairman of the Foreign Relations Committee, has voiced support for some of Trump’s views.
Sens. Richard Burr (N.C.), Tom Cotton (Ark.), and John Thune (S.D.) have also been bandied about in Trump Tower as options. Sen. Joni Ernst (Iowa) and Oklahoma Gov. Mary Fallin, who previously served in the House, are two of the leading women in the mix.
But shortcomings for many of these candidates have made their chances seem less likely to Trump advisers. Pence, Thune, and Burr would bring heft and have held leadership positions, but they are focused on their reelection bids. Corker is well-liked by campaign chairman Paul Manafort, but his recent public criticisms of Trump’s tone and statements have not been welcomed by the candidate.
Cruz is seen as someone Trump himself would like to bring into the fold, due to his political capital with the conservative movement. But their bitter clashes during the primary have left a mark and Cruz has so far declined to endorse Trump. That has not stopped members of Trump’s team from reaching out to members of Cruz’s circle and trying for a reconciliation.
Trump’s desire for a governing partner is not the only factor that has been mentioned in discussions among aides. Contenders’ rapport with the mogul and their ability to comfortably communicate and defend his non-traditional platform are also crucial, the people familiar with the process said.
Less central have been the candidates’ home states or regional influence, given that Trump sees the campaign as a nationalized political war that is largely being fought on television.
Trump’s inclination toward naming a seasoned figure has been encouraged by Manafort, the longtime GOP insider who has taken full control of the process following Trump’s firing of Corey Lewandowski, who had been campaign manager.
Yet even as Manafort steers the selection and members of Trump’s orbit — especially his children and son-in-law Jared Kushner — informally weigh in, there is a collective understanding within the campaign that Trump’s voice is the only voice that matters. One person involved in the process suggested the ultimate decision will come down to a committee of one: Trump. “This is in his head,” the person said. “It’s up to him.”
Robert Jeffress, a Dallas pastor who has become close with Trump during the campaign, said in an interview that while he has not spoken to Trump about the vice-presidential slot, Trump has made clear that he “wants someone who can help get his legislative agenda through Congress.”
“I think that is how he is going,” Jeffress said. “He’d be coming in as an outsider and that has fueled his popularity. But he is the first to admit that he doesn’t know all the ways of Washington. So to actually push what he wants through, he’s willing to reach out and get somebody to lend a hand.”
WASHINGTON —and the team planning his life after the White House have selected Tod Williams and Billie Tsien, a New York-based husband-and-wife architectural duo, to design his presidential library in Chicago, tapping two modernists who are known for their refined work creating cultural and academic institutions.
Mr. Obama and his wife,, who spent months poring over proposals for the project and meeting with prospective architects at the White House, chose the team because their vision for the center came closest to theirs, said Martin Nesbitt, a close friend of Mr. Obama’s who is the chairman the Barack Obama Foundation.
The Obamas also admired the work of Mr. Williams and Ms. Tsien, both of whom the president awarded the 2013 National Medal of the Arts, on buildings such as the Barnes Foundation art museum in Philadelphia and the Reva and David Logan Center for the Arts at the University of Chicago, he added.
“Their proposal and approach resonated deeply with the president and Mrs. Obama, with their recognition that the building alone is not the point here, but it is what happens and will happen in the center,” Mr. Nesbitt said during a conference call to announce the selection.
He said the pair would collaborate with Interactive Design Architects, a Chicago-based firm run by Dina Griffin, one of the relatively few African-American women in the field and a resident of Chicago’s South Side. They will ultimately oversee a design and engineering team that will comprise as many as 20 firms, the foundation said.
Mr. Obama’s plans for his presidential center are ambitious and expensive. His foundation last year released a global “request for qualifications” for architects who could design what it described as a high-technology take on the traditional archival presidential library, including space for innovation laboratories, a community garden and sports. The president has begun raising funds for the enterprise, for which he plans to collect as much as $1 billion.
Mr. Williams and Ms. Tsien’s firm was selected from among 144 architects who responded to last year’s call. The list was narrowed in December to a group of seven renowned contenders that included Renzo Piano Building Workshop; Diller Scofidio + Renfro, designers of the High Line in Manhattan; and Adjaye Associates, currently at work on the African-American History Museum in Washington.
Ms. Griffin was not one of the 144, Mr. Nesbitt said, but was “broadly recognized and respected” among the respondents as someone with whom they would like to work on the project.
Paul Goldberger, the architecture critic who is advising the Obamas, called Mr. Williams and Ms. Tsien “among the most respected practitioners not just in New York but in the United States,” adding that their buildings have “a combination of dignity, beauty and understatement” that will be needed to execute the president’s ambitious plans.
“The president and first lady were involved throughout and set the tone from the beginning for an architect who could design a building of serious architectural ambition that would be a meaningful and important building for the 21st century,” Mr. Goldberger said.
Obama Foundation officials said they had yet to choose the site on the South Side of Chicago where the center will be. The Obamas have been torn for months between two parks designed by Frederick Law Olmsted and Calvert Vaux: Jackson Park, the site of the 1893 World’s Fair that includes the Museum of Science and Industry, and Washington Park, which includes the DuSable Museum of African American History.
Mr. Nesbitt said the foundation hoped to have a decision on the site by the end of the year, but it might be as long as two years until a building design emerges.
“This process was intended to select an architect, not a design,” Mr. Goldberger said.
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — The Illinois House approved a partial spending plan Thursday that would ensure schools stay open another year and give colleges and human service programs funding for six months, a rare bipartisan accomplishment but one that won’t end the yearlong gridlock on a full budget.
The Senate still needs to pass the plan, but it’s expected to clear the chamber and get the signature of Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner on the last day of the fiscal year.
Democratic leaders and Rauner crafted the plan after days of negotiations amid increased public pressure to avoid entering a second fiscal year without spending certainty. About a dozen Illinois newspapers used their front pages Wednesday to publish editorials demanding that the two sides strike a deal.
Before the 105-4 House vote, Republican House Leader Barbara Flynn Currie acknowledged the plan doesn’t solve that state’s fiscal mess.
“It is meant to keep the lights on,” she said.
Illinois is the only state in the country without a full budget for this year.
In all, lawmakers are agreeing to spend $25 billion in state and federal funds for the current budget year, and another $50 billion for the upcoming fiscal year, which begins Friday. Schools will get just over $11 billion to stay open for a full year.
The agreement also provides Chicago some relief on pension payments for teachers, an idea Rauner had resisted until Democratic lawmakers agreed to lower the amount they wanted.
But while schools and cash-strapped colleges and social service providers can breathe a sigh of relief, the partial spending plan also means both parties will face high-stakes elections in November to influence budget discussions in January when a new legislative session begins and money starts to running out.
Republican House Leader Jim Durkin said it would’ve been “atrocious” and likely spur a public revolt if lawmakers finished another fiscal year without a budget. He noted that even with the compromise, the ongoing budget standoff between Rauner and Democrats who control the Legislature will be an election-year issue.
“Mark my word that it will be articulated in the fall by various entities,” he said.
For 18 months, Rauner has demanded business-friendly, union-weakening laws as a condition for agreeing to a spending plan that would include a tax hike. Democrats say the governor’s initiatives would hurt middle-class families and have nothing to do with the budget. The partial budget won’t solve that ideological divide.
Under the plan, schools are getting over $500 million more in state aid than they did last year. There will also be a $250 million “equity” grant to help schools with low-income students. Chicago would get $100 million of that.
Part of the deal includes passing legislation to allow Chicago to raise $250 million in property taxes to help with teacher pension payments. A companion proposal will have the state cover $215 million in future pension costs beginning in June, like it does for all other Illinois school districts, but only if lawmakers pass legislation to reform the overall pension system.
Democrats initially wanted $700 million in pension help for Chicago.
The emerging plan calls for a $673 million increase for human services programs, including $20 million to restore programs that Rauner suggested eliminating.
There is also $1 billion for colleges and universities — about 85 percent of what they received the last time the state approved higher-education funding.
The House will move next week on an anti-terrorism package that will have a provision to stop terrorists from buying guns, a source who participated in a House GOP conference call on Thursday morning tells NBC News.
The specifics of the legislation are unclear, however, the terrorism package will likely include measures to help prevent radicalization and recruitment of potential terrorists and a provision to prevent suspected terrorists from buying guns. The full House will also take up Pennsylvania Republican Rep. Tim Murphy’s committee-passed bill which seeks to prevent gun violence by providing improved care for mental illness.
Republican leadership is looking to move preemptively to block House Democrats from doing another floor protest. House Speaker Paul Ryan said leadership is gathering all the facts, evaluating options and getting recommendations from the sergeant-at-arms and the parliamentarians.
Ryan said they are prepared to take any steps they deem necessary.
Last week, civil rights icon and Georgia Rep. John Lewis led House Democrats in a 26-hour sit-in over gun policy reform in the Capitol. The protest failed to convince Republicans to vote on two controversial gun control measures, but gained national attention.
Ryan, during Thursday’s call, reportedly said Democrats are desperate to change the narrative from terrorism to guns because they cannot stand on their terrorism record. He added that whether it was attacks in Paris, Brussels, Orlando, or Istanbul this week, there is an evolution in terrorist tactics.
Ryan also criticized the administration’s response.
In the immediate aftermath of the Orlando terror attack, the House took swift action on anti-terrorism efforts aimed at thwarting terrorists’ attempts to radicalize Americans and incite attacks on U.S. soil. The House approved the previously passed package of provisions, but the Senate never took up the measures.
A GOP terrorism task force was also charged with looking at additional legislative options.
One of the issues discussed at the time was efforts aimed at keeping guns away from suspected terrorists. On Thursday, Ryan reiterated that it’s important to make sure suspected terrorists can’t get guns, but also stressed then need to take a measured approach in crafting legislation.
A spokesman for House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer told NBC News that the lawmaker looks forward to seeing the details of Ryan’s proposal.
“It remains to be seen whether the legislation is a bipartisan proposal that will address gun violence by keeping guns out of the hands of suspected terrorists, or if this is a partisan package that includes poison pill provisions — such as the Cornyn or Johnson proposals,” said Mariel Saez, a Hoyer spokesperson.
The reference was to an amendment by Senate Majority Whip John Cornyn that would have allowed the Attorney General to delay a purchase of a gun for up to 72-hours for a suspected terrorist or an individual investigated for terrorism in the last five years and also seek a court order to prevent the sale. Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wisconsin, had a measure that would have required a hearing before a judge before stopping a gun sale.
“We will also be urging the Speaker to allow for an open process that provides House Democrats with a chance to file amendments and have a vote on the bipartisan ‘No Fly, No Buy’ bill introduced by Rep. (Peter) King,” Saez said.