One day after President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump visited with victims of the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, Twitter erupted in disgust at an image Tweeted out by the @FLOTUS account that showed the pair broadly grinning — and with Trump inexplicably flashing a thumbs-up — while holding a two-month-old baby who lost both parents in the massacre.
Trump has already endured an onslaught of criticism for making political attacks amidst his consolation visits, bragging about his past rally sizes in El Paso to hospital staff, as well as creating a glowing, campaign-style video from footage taken during his visit.
I interviewed the kid’s grandfather this afternoon and he confirmed that the White House sent two people to his home to ask him to be present during the visit. No one arranged for the photo beforehand but FLOTUS decided to hold the baby, who has a broken hand…
— David Alandete (@alandete) August 9, 2019
A hospital official tells CNN Trump showed “an absence of empathy” during his visit to El Paso. Also, Trump and FLOTUS both met baby who was shielded by parents who died in the shooting. The baby was brought back to the hospital to see the president. More on @CNNSitRoom tonight.
— Jim Acosta (@Acosta) August 8, 2019
There will be tons of ‘think pieces’ written this weekend about if you should or should not cancel Equinox and SoulCycle and probably almost nothing writtten about Melania Trump using an orphaned child in a photo-op.
— Roland Scahill (@rolandscahill) August 9, 2019
This is a photo of Trump grinning while Melania holds a baby orphaned by the shooting. A baby who was taken from home and forced to serve as a prop at a photo-op for the very monster whose hate killed her/his parents.
I would need 280,000 characters to say how furious I am. pic.twitter.com/4umSc9BQHu
— Greg Pinelo (@gregpinelo) August 9, 2019
AIDE: The baby’s parents were murdered in the El Paso shooting.
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.
— Brian Tyler Cohen (@briantylercohen) August 9, 2019