On Friday afternoon, Donald and Melania Trump visited the Broward Health North hospital in Pompano Beach, Florida, where many victims of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School are currently being treated. Their visit, which many pointed out seemed like a glorified photo op, was not well received by those critical of the president — who addressed the tragedy on Thursday without mentioning the word “gun” a single time.
The Washington Post delivered an especially scathing diatribe to the Trumps visit, as reporter Josh Dawsey noted in his opening paragraph that — as Trump as wont to do when responding to tragedies and natural disasters, “spent much of his time congratulating the responders instead of memorializing the victims.” The piece was praised by Dawsey’s colleague, WaPo White House Bureau Chief Philip Rucker, who tweeted that Trump’s visit was “not as comforter in chief, but as congratulator in chief,” adding a note to keep reading to the end.
The kicker he was referring to reads as follows:
At the end, Michael Leonard, the officer who found the gunman and handcuffed him, spent 15 seconds explaining his actions.
The president was not satisfied, so he elaborated for the officer:
“That was so modest; I would have told it much differently,” Trump said. “I would have said, without me, they never would have found him.”
Suffice to say, the remarks did not sit well with excuse-maker for the president, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders, who angrily responded to Rucker that the piece of reporting was “not nice” and “misleading.”
Interesting, as usual her words contradict with her boss, who himself posted several beaming photos of himself posing with victims, giving a big “thumbs up” gesture in a few. The president also tweeted Saturday afternoon that he and the first lady “met such incredible people last night in Broward County, Florida.” He added, “Will never forget them, or the evening!”