Remarks as prepared for delivery
Good afternoon and thank you all for being here.
We are here today to discuss the Justice Department’s response to the stunning and unconscionable terrorist attack in Orlando. Our hearts are broken for the unfathomable losses suffered and our thoughts and prayers are with the families and friends of the victims.
As Attorney General Lynch said yesterday, the full resources of the Department of Justice – including the FBI, the ATF, the National Security Division and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida – are supporting the ongoing investigation. Our agents and investigators have been on the ground and working around the clock since early yesterday and they will continue to do so in the days ahead. I want to thank our law enforcement colleagues and partners in Orlando for their extraordinary work so far and for their dedication to the ongoing effort and investigation. I have also been in contact with the Attorney General, who is currently on her way back from China and continues to monitor developments in this case.
Words cannot express the depth of our sorrow or the measure of our grief for all those whom we lost and all those whose lives have been changed forever. What happened in Orlando yesterday was a horrifying act of evil and of terror. For the LGBT community, Pulse was more than a place to celebrate and see friends. It was a place that promised safety, inclusion and the freedom for people to be themselves – the same promise our country has made to all of us. This was an attack on that promise. It was an attack on our values, on our country and on our national community. It was an attack on who we are as a nation and as a people. And our country as a whole stands united in its response to this cowardly and despicable act.
With that, I want to turn things over to Director [James] Comey, who will provide additional details on our investigation.