POMPANO BEACH, Fla. (AP) — President Donald Trump has made a grim journey to a Florida neighborhood reeling from a lethal faculty taking pictures, assembly privately with victims and cheering the heroics of first responders.
However he prolonged few public phrases of comfort to these in deep mourning, nor did Trump handle the controversy over gun violence that has raged since a 19-year-old gunman killed 17 and injured 14 others.
Two days after the taking pictures, Trump visited Broward Well being North Hospital Friday, the place he noticed two victims and praised the medical doctors and nurses for his or her “unbelievable” job. Along with his spouse Melania, he additionally paid his respects to regulation enforcement officers in Fort Lauderdale, telling officers he hoped they have been “getting the credit score” they deserved.
“I used to be on the hospital with loads of mother and father and they’re actually grateful for the job you have completed,” Trump mentioned on the Broward County Sheriff’s Workplace, the place he was joined by Gov. Rick Scott, Sen. Marco Rubio and different Florida officers. He added that the younger victims have been in “actually nice form” contemplating what they’ve been by way of.
In a tweet Saturday, he mentioned that he and the primary girl “met such unbelievable folks final evening in Broward County, Florida. Will always remember them, or the night!” The president later positioned calls of condolence and assist to Parkland’s mayor, a Broward County commissioner and the college’s principal.
Trump did allude to gun legal guidelines in a special tweet Saturday, accusing congressional Democrats of not favoring new gun legal guidelines: “Similar to they do not wish to clear up the DACA drawback, why did not the Democrats go gun management laws once they had each the Home & Senate throughout the Obama Administration. As a result of they did not wish to, and now they simply speak!”
By no means a pure at comfort, the president appeared extra comfy extending hearty due to first responders, marveling on the velocity with which they rushed the wounded to the hospital and quipping that they deserved a elevate. He had much less to say to the grief and sorrow gripping a shocked neighborhood and nation after the deadliest faculty taking pictures since a gunman attacked an elementary faculty in Newtown, Connecticut.
Requested if he’d talked with victims of the taking pictures at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive Faculty in Parkland, Trump added: “I did certainly, and it’s extremely unhappy one thing like that would occur.”
Trump spoke privately with two victims, a boy and a lady, on the hospital. On the Sheriff’s Workplace, he additionally met Detective Richard Olson and his son, Will Olson, who was shot throughout the assault. Trump spoke concerning the woman he met with, saying she had been shot 4 occasions, and that first responders had helped save her life by getting her rapidly to the hospital.
Late Friday, he tweeted concerning the faculty taking pictures: “Our total Nation, w/one heavy coronary heart, continues to hope for the victims & their households in Parkland, FL. To lecturers, regulation enforcement, first responders & medical professionals who responded so bravely within the face of hazard: We THANK YOU on your braveness!” He included photos of the injured younger woman and her household that he and the primary girl visited.
Talking on to the uncooked feelings was Rubio, who instructed Trump, “This can be a neighborhood and a state that is in deep ache they usually need motion to verify this by no means occurs once more.”
Trump replied: “You possibly can rely on it.”
Nonetheless, the president made no coverage statements. An avid supporter of the Nationwide Rifle Affiliation, he didn’t point out the renewed debate over gun violence, ignoring a shouted query about gun legal guidelines. Trump tweeted earlier Friday that he was “working with Congress on many fronts,” although he provided no particulars.
Trump mentioned he initially deliberate to go to the Parkland space on Sunday or Monday, however determined he did not wish to wait. However as Trump arrived in Florida, among the mother and father, survivors and others affected by the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas Excessive Faculty mentioned they have been extra interested by agency motion to forestall future assaults than a presidential go to.
“I do not need Trump to come back, however we would like extra gun security,” mentioned 18-year-old Kevin Trejos, a senior on the faculty. “It is a dream. It hasn’t hit me but. After I see empty desks, I am going to really feel it. I am numb now.”
Greater than 1,000 folks had attended a candlelight vigil Thursday evening close to the college, and at one level some started chanting, “No extra weapons! No extra weapons!”
Thomas reported from Washington. AP writers Jon Lemire in New York, Zeke Miller in Washington and Josh Replogle in Parkland, Fla., contributed to this report.
Observe Lucey on Twitter at http://twitter.com/@catherine_lucey and Thomas at http://twitter.com/@KThomasDC
Hyperlink to Trump tweet on hospital go to: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/standing/964724390637244417