President says he would’ve entered Florida high school without a gun

President Donald Trump on Monday was meeting with most of the nation’s governors as he discussed gun control, world trade and North Korea.

Trump criticized the Florida deputies who didn’t confront the shooter at the massacre that left at least 17 dead, saying they “weren’t exactly Medal of Honor winners,” according to the Associated Press.

“I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon,” added Trump, who avoided serving in the Vietnam War by saying he had bone spurs.

At the meeting, Trump suggested he might have to break with the National Rifle Association, which has opposed the president’s call for a minimum age on rifle purchases. “If the NRA is not with you, you have fight them once in a while,” he said. He did disclose he had lunch with NRA CEO Wayne LaPierre.

He blamed the governors in the room for closing mental-health institutions. “In the old days” it was easier to commit people who acted “like a boiler ready to explode,” Trump said.


Senior Trump adviser Stephen Miller appears to fall asleep during White House meet on school safety

Stephen Miller apparently finds school safety exhausting.

Photographers caught the senior White House adviser rubbing his eyes, yawning and nodding off during an hour-long Monday meeting called in response to the Florida high school shooting that left 17 people dead.

Miller, who has become one of President Trump’s most trusted advisers, appeared to be fully asleep in one of the photos.

The White House did not respond to a request for comment from the Daily News.

The 32-year-old adviser’s hard-right stance on immigration has landed him in trouble with both Democrats and Republicans, many of whom blame him for blocking bipartisan policy proposals.

Trump hosted the White House meet with 35 governors from across the country to discuss how the nation’s schools can become safer and less susceptible to gun violence.

Echoing talking points from the National Rifle Association, Trump has proposed arming teachers as a way to deter school shooters. Trump’s proposal has drawn condemnation from politicians on both sides of the aisle, who say more weapons in schools will exacerbate the problem.

During Monday’s sit-down, Trump lambasted a sheriff’s deputy who didn’t enter the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as 19-year-old gunman Nikolas Cruz walked through the corridors, methodically killing his former classmates and teachers with an AR-15 assault rifle. Contrary to the deputy, Trump said he would have rushed into the school even if he was unarmed.

“You don’t know until you test it, but I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon,” Trump said. “And I think most of the people in this room would have done that, too.”

[New York Daily News]

Trump Campaign Uses Photo of Parkland Shooting Survivor in Email Asking For Donations

On Saturday, President Donald Trump‘s reelection campaign sent an email soliciting donations — and in that email was a photo of the president visiting a Parkland, FL shooting survivor.

“The nation has turned its attention to the senseless school shooting in Parkland, Florida. Trump is taking steps toward banning gun bump stocks and strengthening background checks for gun purchasers,” the email — first reported by CNN — reads. “The President has made his intent very clear: ‘making our schools and our children safer will be our top priority.’”

A little further down, the email links to the campaign’s donations page.

The photo was also publicized on the president’s Instagram, but it did not accompany a plea for money:

Pictured in the photo is Madeleine Wilford, 17, who was shot four times by shooter Nikolas Cruz. Surrounding her are the president, the first lady, and her family.


Donald Trump Boldly Suggests Movies, Video Games Should Get a “Rating System”

In a Thursday meeting to discuss school safety in the wake of the Parkland shooting, Donald Trump suggested that movies and video games are influencing the youth’s perception of violence—and because of that, there should be a “rating system” in place, according to The Hollywood Reporter. He did not acknowledge the fact that explicit ratings systems for movies and video games have existed for decades.

“We have to look at the Internet, because a lot of bad things are happening to young kids and young minds, and their minds are being formed. And we have to do something about maybe what they’re seeing and how they’re seeing it,” Trump said. “And also video games. I’m hearing more and more people say the level of violence in video games is really shaping young people’s thoughts. And then you go the further step and that’s the movies. You see these movies, they’re so violent and yet a kid is able to see a movie if sex isn’t involved, but killing is involved. Maybe they have to put a rating system for that.”

Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Health and Human Services Secretary Alex Azar, Domestic Policy Council Director Andrew Bremberg, White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos, and adviser Kellyanne Conway also attended the meeting Thursday, in addition to local officials.

His puzzling call for a ratings system aside, Trump echoed a common debate that is often stirred up after mass school shootings, one that places the blame on pop culture. As T.H.R. points out, he’s far from the first politician to voice concerns over violent video games. In the past week, Republican Kentucky Governor Matt Bevin and Republican Rhode Island Representative Robert “Bobby” Nardolillo mentioned video games, with the latter proposing a tax on games rated “M” for mature or above. (Because, again: the games already get ratings based on their violent content.) Back in 2005, even Hillary Clinton spoke out against increasingly violent games, saying they are “stealing the innocence from our children” and should be monitored like “tobacco, alcohol, and pornography.”

The vocal students of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where the Parkland shooting occurred, do not agree. Rather than blaming violent video games and films, they have instead made waves by calling out inactive politicians and the N.R.A. In a stirring Wednesday night town hall meeting hosted by CNN, the students—as well as parents, teachers, and other locals—took Senator Marco Rubio and N.R.A. spokeswoman Dana Loesch to task, demanding gun-control reform. Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jamie was killed in the shooting, told Rubio outright that both his comments, as well as Trump’s comments, have been “pathetically weak.”

[Vanity Fair]

Trump says armed school officer in Parkland didn’t ‘love the children’

President Donald Trump continued to criticize the armed school resource officer in Parkland, Florida, who stayed outside of the school during the shooting, saying during a White House news conference conference that Scot Peterson “doesn’t love the children, probably doesn’t know the children.”

The comments tie into Trump’s push to arm some educators, including teachers, to deter school shootings. Trump has argued that officers outside the school don’t care about the students the same way teachers do.

“We need offensive capability and we are going to be doing something about it,” Trump said.

He added that it is “very, very important that we have offensive capability, as well as defensive capability, within the schools. You really are inviting people to come in and do whatever” without arming educators.

The armed school resource deputy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School waited outside the school building as the shooting unfolded last week, officials said earlier this week. Peterson never went in after taking a position on the west side of the building, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said at a news conference.

Peterson resigned after he was suspended without pay by Israel pending an internal investigation into his actions during the shooting that left 17 people dead, Israel said. Peterson was eligible for retirement.

Trump has seized on the story, slamming Peterson by name in an attempt to prove that more people inside schools needs to be armed in case of a shooting.
Trump told reporters earlier on Friday that Peterson “certainly did a poor job” and was a “coward.”

“He trained his whole life,” Trump said on the South Lawn of the White House. “But when it came time to get in there and do something he didn’t have the courage or something happened. But he certainly did a poor job. There’s no question about that.”

The Peterson story, however, undercuts Trump’s point that an armed official with gun training could have stopped the deadly shooting. Scott was armed and failed to do so.

Trump, asked during his news conference for specific proposals he would push on guns after the Florida shooting, listed improving background checks, getting rid of bump stocks and thwarting the mentally ill from buying weapons.

One thing Trump did not mention: Raising the age limit to buy certain types of weapons, something he has previously proposed. The NRA is against any change to age limits for buying weapons.

Trump also said that he talked to House Speaker Paul Ryan on Friday morning and mentioned speaking to Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell.


Trump hits CNN as ‘fake news’ over Florida student’s claim network gave him scripted question

President Trump went after CNN over a Florida school shooting survivor’s claim that he didn’t participate in a CNN town hall because the network wouldn’t let him ask his original question and replaced it with a scripted one.

“Just like so much of CNN, Fake News. That’s why their ratings are so bad! MSNBC may be worse,” Trump tweeted Thursday.

CNN quickly replied to Trump’s tweet, reiterating its past denial of the student’s account.

“There is absolutely no truth to this story — and we can prove that. CNN did not provide or script questions for anyone in last night’s town hall, nor have we ever. Those are the facts,” the network tweeted at the president.

Trump appeared to have been responding to a segment on Fox News’ “Tucker Carlson Tonight” featuring the student, who reiterated his previous claims.

Colton Haab, a survivor of the mass shooting at a Parkland, Fla., high school last week, said earlier Thursday that CNN had initially asked him to “write a speech and ask questions” for the town hall but that the event “ended up being all scripted.”

He said his question was about using veterans as armed security guards at schools.

“I expected to be able to ask my questions and give my opinion on my questions,” Haab said.

“I don’t think that it’s going get anything accomplished,” he added. “It’s not gonna ask the true questions that all the parents and teachers and students have.”

CNN disputed Haab’s account.

“There is absolutely no truth to this,” Richard Hudock, CNN’s senior manager of public relations, said in a statement provided to The Hill. “CNN did not provide or script questions for anyone in last night’s town hall, nor have we ever.”

“After seeing an interview with Colton Haab, we invited him to participate in our town hall along with other students and administrators from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School,” Hudock said. “Colton’s father withdrew his name from participation before the forum began, which we regretted but respected.”

Trump has repeatedly attacked CNN and other networks, including MSNBC, since his presidential campaign and into his administration.

[The Hill]




Donald Trump Argues He Never Said ‘Give Teachers Guns’ Before Pushing To Give Some Teachers Guns

President Donald Trump elaborated on his proposal to arm 20 percent of teaching staff at schools in a series of tweets Thursday.

Trump first made the proposal during a listening session with students and parents affected by mass shootings, including some from Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed last week.

Trump denied he ever suggested giving teachers guns, before arguing “only the best” teachers ― like ones with military experience ― should be given guns.

Since Trump first mentioned the idea Wednesday, some teachers have taken to Twitter to push back, arguing they don’t want the responsibility of keeping a gun in their classrooms. But Trump continued to push the idea Thursday morning.

Trump argued a “sicko shooter” wouldn’t try to stage an attack on a school known for having armed teachers.

Trump again said he’d push for improvements to the federal background check system. Earlier this week, the White House signaled support for the Fix NICS Act, a bill that seeks to address flaws in the national criminal background check database. The bill has the support of both gun control advocates and the National Rifle Association, but has yet to receive a vote in the Senate.

[Huffington Post]




Donald Trump Jr. Liked Tweets Promoting A Conspiracy Theory About A Florida Shooting Survivor

Donald Trump Jr. liked two tweets on Tuesday that peddled a conspiracy theory about a 17-year-old survivor of the Parkland school shooting, suggesting that he was “coached” to propagate an anti-Trump narrative by his father who is a retired FBI agent.

Both tweets attacked David Hogg, one of the students who documented the horror felt by his peers during the Parkland school shooting, and who has since been outspoken in his call for lawmakers and politicians to take action against guns.

Hogg had referred to President Trump’s tweet blaming the FBI for the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as “disgusting” and told CNN that his father was a retired FBI agent.

“The FBI are some of the hardest-working individuals I’ve ever seen in my life,” Hogg said.

In an interview with NBC, Hogg also urged Trump to take gun reform action, saying, “You’re the president. You’re supposed to bring this nation together, not divide us. How dare you? Children are dying, and their blood is on your hands because of that. Please take action. Stop going on vacation in Mar-a-Lago. Take action. Work with Congress. Your party controls both the House and Senate. Take action, get some bills passed, and for God’s sake, let’s save some lives.”

Trump Jr. liked a tweet from conservative TV show host Graham Ledger that linked to a story by far-right, pro-Trump website, Gateway Pundit, suggesting that Hogg’s father had “coached” his son in propagating “anti-Trump rhetoric and anti-gun legislation.”

Trump Jr. also liked a tweet linking to a story by True Pundit — a far-right website that has published several false stories — which referred to Hogg as “the kid who has been running his mouth about how Donald Trump and the GOP are teaming to help murder high school kids by upholding the Second Amendment.”

The piece blamed “the Deep State media” for giving Hogg a platform and appeared to express doubt that he was a survivor of the shooting.

Hogg told BuzzFeed News on Tuesday that Trump Jr.’s peddling of conspiracy theories was “immature, rude, and inhuman.”

“I just think it’s a testament to the sick immaturity and broken state of our government when these people feel the need to pedal conspiracy theories about people that were in a school shooting where 17 people died and it just makes me sick,” Hogg told BuzzFeed News via text. “It’s immature, rude, and inhuman for these people to destroy the people trying to prevent the death of the future of America because they won’t,” he said.

One of his classmates also pointed out on Twitter that the idea of Hogg being a professional actor was, well, laughable.

BuzzFeed News has reached out to Trump Jr. and the White House for comment.


Trump blames Florida school shooting on Russia investigation

President Donald Trump’s attacks on the FBI hit a new low on Saturday evening, when the president suggested in a tweet that the bureau had failed to prevent Wednesday’s mass shooting at a Florida high school because of its ongoing investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election. While it’s true that the FBI had been alerted about Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old who killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday, there’s absolutely no evidence that the bureau missed anything because of its investigation into the Trump team’s possible collusion with Russia.

“Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable,” Trump wrote. “They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign — there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!”

The FBI acknowledged on Friday that a person close to Cruz contacted their tip line on January 5, a month before the shooting, to provide information about his gun ownership, desire to kill people, and his disturbing behavior. FBI Director Christopher Wray said in a statement that he is investigating what happened. The GOP, however, isn’t happy. Rep. Bob Goodlatte (R-VA), chair of the House Judiciary Committee, and Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC), chair of the House Oversight Committee, sent a letter to Wray asking the bureau brief their committees on why the FBI didn’t act on the tip, and Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA), chair of the Senate Judiciary Committee, also asked the agency to brief his staffers. Florida Gov. Rick Scott this week went so far as to call for Wray’s resignation over the matter. “We constantly promote ‘see something, say something,’ and a courageous person did just that to the FBI. And the FBI failed to act,” Scott said.

On Saturday, At a rally in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, Emma Gonzalez, a student who survived the shooting, delivered an impassioned speech and addressed the president directly. (Beyond blaming the FBI, Trump on Thursday tweeted that neighbors and classmates knew Cruz “was a big problem” and should have reported him to authorities — which they did.) “How about we stop blaming the victims for something that was the shooter’s fault?” she asked. “If the president wants to come up to me and tell me to my face that it was a terrible tragedy and how it should never have happened and maintain telling us how nothing is going to be done about it, I’m going to happily ask him how much money he received from the National Rifle Association.”



Before the start of his big Russia tweetstorm, President Trump reportedly dined with Geraldo Rivera.

The reality is, the FBI employs 35,000 people, only as small handful, about 36 people, are working on the Russia investigation

Trump Says Florida Students Should Have Done More To Prevent Deadly Shooting

President Donald Trump on Thursday responded to the massacre at a South Florida high school by suggesting students and the surrounding community could have done more to prevent the attack.

At least 17 people were killed and 15 injured after a troubled former student opened fire on Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, on Wednesday, police said. Nikolas Cruz, 19, had been expelled from the school the previous year for “disciplinary reasons,” and many of his former classmates told media on Wednesday that he displayed problematic behavior.

“Honestly a lot of people were saying it was going to be him,” one student told CBS Miami. “We actually, a lot of kids threw jokes around like that, saying that he’s the one to shoot up the school, but it turns out everyone predicted it. It’s crazy.”

A former teacher, Jim Gard, told the Miami Herald that Cruz reportedly wasn’t allowed to carry a backpack on the school campus, and that “there were problems with him last year threatening students.”

Contrary to Trump’s tweet, it does appear that authorities were aware of Cruz’s behavior before the attack. A former neighbor told The New York Times that Cruz’s late mother called the police on her two sons on multiple occasions, though she stressed that she didn’t think the boys were violent. Broward County Mayor Beam Furr told CNN that Cruz had been treated at a mental health clinic in the past and  was somewhat on officials’ radar.

“It wasn’t like there wasn’t concern for him,” Furr said.

Trump’s tweet failed to acknowledge the role that Florida’s lax gun laws played in the shooting. Barring institutionalization, it’s extremely difficult to keep someone with a history of mental illness from buying a gun in Florida. The accused killer legally purchased the AR-15-style rifle used in the slaughter, his family’s attorney said.
The president also ignored the fact that he actually made it easier for people with mental health issues to buy guns by revoking an Obama-era gun regulation last year.

[Huffington Post]