President Trump’s re-election campaign used a photo of the president with a Parkland, Florida, shooting survivor in its weekly newsletter about the administration on Sunday. The same email also asked its recipients to donate funds to Trump’s campaign.
The newsletter focused on Trump’s response to the shooting and used a photo of him consoling 17-year-old Madeleine Wilford in a hospital bed. Trump and Melania both visited Wilford on Feb. 16, two days after the shooting at her high school that left 17 people dead. The photo was also used on Trump’s Instagram.
“The nation has turned its attention to the senseless school shooting in Parkland, Florida,” the email said. “Trump is taking steps toward banning gun bump stocks and strengthening background checks for gun purchasers. The President has made his intent very clear: ‘making our schools and our children safer will be our top priority.’”
The email made no mention of Trump’s suggestion to give bonuses to teachers who elect to carry concealed weapons. Near the end of the message, there’s a link to the campaign’s donations page.
Some recipients of the email said on Twitter they felt the use of the photo was in poor taste. It’s unclear if Wilford and her family gave permission for the photo usage.
Unbelievable: the Trump campaign just sent out an email using the Parkland shooting, including photos of survivors, to raise money for his reelection campaign. pic.twitter.com/2WInImvsIA
— Matt McDermott (@mattmfm) February 24, 2018
Here is the latest Fund Raising Ad for the Trump Re-election Campaign. It uses a photo of 17-year-old Madeleine Wilford, a survivor of the Parkland, Florida, shooting in an email that asks its recipients to donate. Didn't see: "I'm Madeleine Wilford, and I approved this message." pic.twitter.com/idJmXzzoce
— Just can't stay silent (@sortaskeptical) February 25, 2018
I cannot believe that Madeleine Wilford and her parents gave Donald Trump rights to this photo to be used in a campaign ad. If not they should immediately file suit against him.
— Bill Webb (@WPfishman) February 26, 2018
Wilford spoke to the press for the first time Monday morning, according to CNN, and said she just feels “grateful to be here.” While she thanked first responders, her doctors, and anyone who expressed support for her, she did not comment about Trump’s visit to her hospital room.