President Donald Trump made a brief visit to the hospital where surviving victims of the Florida school shooting were recovering, and many are criticizing his demeanor at the stop.
Rep. Mark Pocan (D-Wisc.) wrote on Twitter, “How can you stand there smiling and give a thumbs up when 17 Americans were killed in one of the nation?s deadliest school shootings?”
A number of prominent social media personalities and left-leaning reporters echoed Pocan’s remarks:
Trump spent most of his time at the Florida hospital praising the work of the first responders and doctors, according to The Washington Post. In a conversation with the doctors and police officers, Trump said, “Incredible job, and everybody is talking about it.” When the police officer who arrested shooter Nikolas Cruz spoke slowly and solemnly about the event, Trump grinned and quipped, “That was so modest; I would have told it much differently. I would have said, without me, they never would have found him.”
Broward County Mayor Mark Bogen called Trump’s visit to Florida “absolutely absurd.”
President Trump’s ginning demeanor was a stark contrast to his predecessor’s reaction to the school shooting at Sandy Hook. When speaking about that tragedy, Obama was unable to hold back tears, saying “Every time I think about those kids, it gets me mad.”
After his brief visit to the hospital, Trump took off for Mar-a-Lago where he had no events on his schedule on Saturday, instead spending part of the day firing off tweets about the Russia collusion narrative. On Saturday night, he’s expected to host a fundraiser with the Christian Broadcasting Network–one of the few media outlets that has been overwhelmingly kind to the president.
The calls for gun control and attacks on Republican lawmakers have been particularly widespread after the Florida shooting, especially when we learned that shooter Nikolas Cruz legally obtained the assault rifle that he used. On Friday night, a few protesters showed up at a Paul Ryan fundraiser where they were thrown out after one of them told the Speaker of the House, “You’re here celebrating the deaths of 17 children.”