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President Donald Trump was criticized by people online on Thursday and Friday after First Lady Melania Trump posted a photo of him flashing a thumbs up and grinning next to a baby orphaned in the deadly shooting in El Paso, Texas earlier in the week.
Trump visited the victims of the shooting on Thursday, but the photo posted by the first lady caught the attention of a number of Twitter users. The baby’s parents, Andre and Jordan Anchondo, were killed trying to protect him amid the shooting in a Walmart that left more than 20 people dead.
The baby’s uncle told NPR that the victim’s family was supportive of Trump, adding that he wanted to meet the president.
“I want to see his reaction in person,” he told the news outlet. “I want to see if he’s genuine and see if my political views are right or wrong. And see if he feels maybe some kind of remorse for statements that he’s made. I just want to have a human-to-human talk with him and see how he feels.”
The baby’s grandfather also told a reporter that Trump was sympathetic while meeting him and the family was happy with the visit.
The baby is with grandparents and was brought back to the Children’s Hospital for the visit. The grandfather says POTUS was kind and sympathetic. He said the family was very happy with Trump’s visit.— David Alandete (@alandete) August 9, 2019
However, the photo, and Trump’s expression in it, were criticized by many on Twitter.
AIDE: The baby’s parents were murdered in the El Paso shooting.— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) August 9, 2019
TRUMP: Got it.
AIDE: This has to be a solemn photo.
TRUMP: Of course.
AIDE: No smiling and NO THUM—
TRUMP: Would you relax? I get it.
This baby’s parents were both murdered in the El Paso shooting. Authorities brought the baby back for this creepy smiling (happy?) propaganda photo opportunity. pic.twitter.com/bSZXNIQFeo— JCrongeyer (@JCrongeyer) August 9, 2019
Trump giving the thumbs up with a baby that lost both parents to the El Paso terror attack is peak Trump. pic.twitter.com/egZXLqHZqZ— Gissur Simonarson (@GissiSim) August 9, 2019
I am genuinely confused and horrified by this image. Am I taking this the wrong way?— Bryan William Jones (@BWJones) August 9, 2019
Why is Trump and Melania posing, GRINNING, and giving a thumbs up with the infant who’s parents were murdered by the shooter in El Paso.
Seriously… WTH is going on? pic.twitter.com/0YA2hIQeP3
During the visit, Trump also bragged about the size of a crowd that came to see him at a past rally in Texas.
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Andrew Wyrich is a politics staff writer for the Daily Dot, covering the intersection of politics and the internet. Andrew has written for USA Today, NorthJersey.com, and other newspapers and websites. His work has been recognized by the Society of the Silurians, Investigative Reporters & Editors (IRE), and the Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ).