But he only spent about 35 minutes at the Broward North Health hospital, and he directed much of his attention congratulating the first responders. As the Washington Post noted, Trump paid homage to police officers, fire officials, and doctors.
“Incredible job, and everybody is talking about it,” Trump told reporters.
Trump also said the officers deserved a raise, but he apparently didn’t spend much time talking about the 17 victims who were killed or those who were being treated at the hospital.
Asked by a reporter in the hospital if he had seen any victims, Trump said, “Yes, I did. Yes, I did. It’s very sad that something like that could happen.” Trump reportedly visited only two victims at the hospital. Then, he went back to praising the doctors and first responders.
Here’s how Trump spent his time before departing for his Mar-a-Lago club.
— Maggie Haberman (@maggieNYT) February 17, 2018
And Twitter found it hard to believe.
The visual difference between Trump and Obama when talking about or visiting the aftermath of a school shooting is striking. Did anyone tell Trump it’s not a celebration? pic.twitter.com/cgwy32ql8S
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) February 17, 2018
The thumbs up move is belittling the whole purpose of visiting the victims and their caregivers. It is if you are celebrating the reason why the victims are in the hospital being treated. More evidence of your inability to show pure care and empathy. #Trump
— Michael Leegan (@Mleegan) February 17, 2018
Trump is the NRA’s top bitch — more than $30 million in donations from the gun lobby. He visits the hospital for 10 minutes and shows no emotion. Parkland and South Florida wants him to go far away. https://t.co/VSdiwC0CPm
— Andrew Abramson (@AbramsonFL) February 17, 2018
President Trump has very little situational awareness. A campaign-style thumbs up in the FL hospital where kids are recovering from gunshot wounds seems wildly inappropriate. Our greatest presidents – like Reagan – knew how to grieve with people. Trump just doesn't have "it." https://t.co/xulRMCqtss
— Jim Heath (@JimHeathTV) February 17, 2018
Less than 48 hours after 17 people were murdered at a high school in Parkland, Florida, Donald Trump pays a visit to a local hospital and is thumbs up and all smiles. MAGA! pic.twitter.com/jUs0JnfNB4
— Perez (@ThePerezHilton) February 17, 2018
It’s not the first time Trump hasn’t appeared to show much sympathy for the victims of a crime or of a natural disaster.
As the Post wrote, “Instead, he followed a tried-and-true playbook for responding to crises, as he has a mass shooting in Las Vegas and a hurricane in Texas: leaning on praise of the responders—casting their response in hyperbolic terms—while making quick and choreographed stops that do not draw protesters or detractors or large crowds.”
On Friday, the FBI revealed it had received a tip in January, warning the organization about shooter Nikolas Cruz. The FBI admitted it had not followed protocol in following up on the tip.
Despite Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s opinion that FBI Director Christopher Wray should resign, Trump was complimentary of the FBI on Friday.
“Great job. Really great job,” Trump told an FBI agent after his hospital visit, via the Hill. “We had a lot of FBI guys down here quickly. So great job, thank you very much.”