Trump 'Coming Here Is Absolutely Absurd'
On Thursday during his first speech commenting on a school shooting President Trump mentioned he will be visiting Broward County, where 17 people were shot dead at a Parkland, Florida high school. Friday morning, the president posted a carefully-worded tweet, suggesting he will be meeting with the victims and survivors of the massacre that took place just two days ago.
I will be leaving for Florida today to meet with some of the bravest people on earth - but people whose lives have been totally shattered. Am also working with Congress on many fronts.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 16, 2018
But a few facts are in the way of Trump's tweet.
First, he won't be arriving in Florida until early evening, and then is scheduled to head straight to Mar-a-Lago.
Second, when he says he is going "to meet with some of the bravest people on earth," he likely is referring to first responders, who might be more amenable to meeting with the president than with what appears to be a quickly growing movement of students, parents, and educators all of whom are demanding action on gun violence now.
But even some local officials don't want President Trump to visit.
The Vice Mayor of Broward County says Trump's upcoming visit is "absolutely absurd" https://t.co/pObIzn4SKy— Meg Wagner (@megwagner) February 16, 2018
"I can speak only as a Broward County commissioner and vice mayor, I speak for myself, and him coming here to me is absurd," Mark Bogen, vice mayor of Broward County, told CNN.
President Trump "coming here is absolutely absurd," Bogen continued. "And he's a hypocrite. How can you come here and talk about how horrible it is when you support these laws?"
"One year ago this month the president reversed a rule banning mentally ill people from purchasing a gun," Bogen said, referring to an Obama-era policy.
"This is a man who supports teenagers and other people to buy assault weapons," he added, "and then comes down here and wants to act as though this is horrible, this shouldn't happen, but goes back to Washington and supports it. It's hypocrisy, it is absolute hypocrisy."
Several survivors and members of the families of victims killed in Wednesday's mass shooting have had pointed words for the president, along with GOP lawmakers and Florida's Republican governor.
The White House has yet to say if the president will visit Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the scene of the shooting, which is just 45 minutes away from Mar-a-Lago. It would be an expected response – although not at this early date. No one in the administration has offered any details to explain Trump's claim he is "also working with Congress on many fronts." Those words are similarly hollow to his speech Thursday.
Trump's Florida trip is not unusual. He frequently heads to Mar-a-Lago on Fridays during the winter.