President Trump shared images from his visit to a Florida hospital where victims are still recovering after a gunman, armed with an AR-15 rifle, killed 14 students and three teachers Wednesday. In spite of the horrific tragedy, the photos show Trump smiling, happy, even giving a thumbs-up, while he posed with those injured, their families and first responders.
The president shared his thoughts in a tweet with several images with bedside survivors and hospital staff. He wrote, “Our entire Nation, w/one heavy heart, continues to pray for the victims & their families in Parkland, FL. To teachers, law enforcement, first responders & medical professionals who responded so bravely in the face of danger: We THANK YOU for your courage!”
But while the written message seemed heartfelt and appropriate, the Twitterverse can’t fathom why he looks so happy in the pictures.
Our entire Nation, w/one heavy heart, continues to pray for the victims & their families in Parkland, FL. To teachers, law enforcement, first responders & medical professionals who responded so bravely in the face of danger: We THANK YOU for your courage! https://t.co/3yJsrebZMG pic.twitter.com/ti791dENTy
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 17, 2018
People voiced their discomfort with the images POTUS, with wife Melania Trump, shared with the world. Some reacted to the images by calling them insincere and just a publicity stunt. Others tweeted that they found the president’s smile “creepy.”
Is this for real? Thumbs up, all smiles. Trump is so devoid of basic human empathy that he actually posts these creepy photos.
— Andrew Hoskins (@spectrum1) February 17, 2018
Why the hell are you doing a thumbs up!? Children were slaughtered in a gun massacre, it's a tragedy and you're grinning like a Cheshire Cat!!? What the fuck is wrong with you? Where's your dignity and respect for lives lost #UnfitForOffice #GunReformNow
— SarahⓋ (@slww8) February 17, 2018
Another Twitter user made a comparison with how former President George W. Bush privately visited the families affected by 9/11. He asked Trump, “Why would you make this a photo op?” Others agreed.
When Bush 43 visited the victims and families after 9-11, we didn't know anything about it until he left office. He wanted it kept private. No photos. No press. No recognition. He only wanted to comfort those in pain. Why would you make this a photo op?
— Rob Gorski (@The_Autism_Dad) February 17, 2018
Turning this into a photo op shows no class. The courage and eloquence of those FL HS students shows how small you are. Also for the love of God, stop smirking.
— Anita Creamer (@AnitaCreamer) February 17, 2018
Thumbs up? Big smile? This isn't a happy occasion and this isn't a photo op for you. You have no soul.
— DMZ (@grassrootsyaya) February 17, 2018
However, other users on the service thanked the president for his visit.
Pray for the families who were impacted in Florida. Thank you for being a great leader President Trump.
— CoreyJones (@CoreyLMJones) February 17, 2018
One commented that perhaps the visit had cheered the victims and their families.
MR PRESIDENT YOU PUT A SMILE ON THAT FAMILYS FACES IF IT WAS ONLY FOR A MOMENT “THAT WAS A BEAUTIFUL THING YOU DID “SO MUSH PAIN & SUFFERING THESE FAMILIES WILL BE GOING THROUGH ” THE AMERICAN PEOPLE THANK YOU AND THE FIRST LADY FOR COMING FOR A PAINFUL TRAGEDY “
— EDWARD ASHTON (@EdwardAshton30) February 17, 2018
Finally, some pointed out that despite the pressure to reconsider gun laws, the president has yet to address or comment on gun violence in the United States.
Staged photo ops and worthless words won’t stop gun violence. So easy for you to walk away and not take action to prevent Americans from killing Americans with automatic weapons.
— Dr.Pulaski2017 (@DrPulaski2017) February 17, 2018
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