Twitter erupted in disgust after President Trump shared a campaign-style video Wednesday full of smiles, thumbs-ups, and dramatic music depicting his visits with mass-shooting victims in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.
Hours after reporters described not being allowed to gain access to Trump’s hospital visits and being told by the White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, that the visits were about the victims and not a “photo op,” Trump released this video:
My time spent in Dayton and El Paso with some of the greatest people on earth. Thank you for a job well done! pic.twitter.com/TNVDGhxOpo
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2019
Political scientist and Washington Post columnist Brian Klass ripped into Trump for turning his hospital visit after a massacre “Into a campaign ad starring himself.”
“It takes a truly sick person to try to turn a bloodbath into a campaign ad starring himself. Just revolting,” he tweeted.
It takes a truly sick person to try to turn a bloodbath into a campaign ad starring himself. Just revolting. https://t.co/AHijjwMpoF
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) August 8, 2019
When Trump flew from Dayton to El Paso Wednesday afternoon, none of the hospitalized survivors of the Saturday mass shooting wanted to meet with him, according to The Washington Post.
“This is a very sensitive time in their lives. Some of them said they didn’t want to meet with the president, some of them didn’t want any visitors,” University Medical Center spokesman Ryan Mielke told the Post, although he confirmed that two already-discharged victims returned to the hospital to meet with the president, which included a two-month-old orphan.
First Lady Melania Trump tweeted a photo from her official Twitter account showing her all-smiles — and the president inexplicably flashing a thumbs-up – while holding an injured two-month-old baby who lost both parents days earlier in the massacre.
Trump, who was widely-criticized on Thursday after video showed him attacking political rivals and bragging about his past rally crowd sizes in El Paso to hospital staff, reportedly requested that the orphaned baby be brought back to the hospital to meet with him.
According to ABC reporter David Alandete: “I interviewed the kid’s grandfather this afternoon and he confirmed that the White House sent two people to his home to ask him to be present during the visit. No one arranged for the photo beforehand but FLOTUS decided to hold the baby, who has a broken hand.”
The baby, who is currently staying with his grandparents, was reportedly brought back to the hospital by his uncle, a supporter of the president’s, for the visit, reports NPR.
Jordan Anchondo, the baby’s mother, died while protecting her son from the hail of bullets. The next day, her family confirmed her husband Andre had also died. The baby was treated for broken bones – the result of his mother’s fall, reports CBS News.
“From the baby’s injuries, they said that more than likely my sister was trying to shield him,” said the boy’s aunt, Leta Jamrowski. “So when she got shot she was holding him and she fell on him, so that’s why he broke some of his bones. So he pretty much lived because she gave her life.”
I interviewed the kid’s grandfather this afternoon and he confirmed that the White House sent two people to his home to ask him to be present during the visit. No one arranged for the photo beforehand but FLOTUS decided to hold the baby, who has a broken hand…
— David Alandete (@alandete) August 9, 2019
CNN White House correspondent Jim Acosta spoke with a hospital official that said Trump showed “an absence of empathy” during his visit to El Paso.
I can’t get over it. The lack of…well, everything human. https://t.co/YDKaZyHNHM
— kristen johnston (@thekjohnston) August 8, 2019