Using a photo of a hospitalized Parkland teen and her grieving family to raise money for the Trump re-election campaign is a new low.
Conducting a master class in how not to respond to a national crisis, the Trump team added to its list of failures by using an image of a hospitalized student from Parkland while soliciting re-election campaign donations from GOP supporters.
That drew an engaged condemnation from Morgan Williams, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School:
Don’t you fucking dare use a photo of one of my best friends for your benefit. If you truly cared, maybe you would have stayed at the hospital longer than 20 minutes. https://t.co/BOI6VbiJIk
— Morgan Williams (@morganw_44) February 25, 2018
Trump’s ghoulish move of using an image of a student wrapped in bandages to raise campaign funds adds to the growing list of insensitive and unsightly missteps, including blaming the community itself for the shooting, and having aides call the tragedy a “relief” from the administration’s other mounting scandals.
Trump himself was reduced to using empathy Cliffs notes at a White House “listening session” with survivors of gun violence so he could fake a connection with them.
But Trump clearly didn’t listen to their concerns, because after their heartfelt pleas to address gun violence, he simply launched into his NRA talking points about flooding American schools with more guns.
It’s no wonder that only one-third of Americans approve of how Trump handled the gun rampage in Parkland, Florida, which claimed 17 lives. And it’s why a strong majority disapproves of his gun policy.
As part of its money pitch, which co-opted the image of a hospitalized student, the GOP campaign bragged, “Trump is taking steps toward banning gun bump stocks and strengthening background checks for gun purchasers.”
In truth, Trump has taken no concrete steps to strengthen background checks for gun purchasers in recent days. And there’s no indication that the Republican Party is willing to pass any such legislation through Congress.
More importantly, prior to the Florida massacre, the NRA had completely dictated Trump’s radical gun agenda.
Last year, Trump’s Justice Department purged tens of thousands of people who had previously been labeled fugitives from the FBI’s background check system.
Meanwhile, Republicans in Congress are trying to make it easier for consumers to buy silencers for their guns. And last year, they voted for an NRA-sanctioned and Trump-approved bill that would allow people to carry concealed weapons across any state line, even if local state law forbids carrying concealed guns.
And the White House’s latest so-called budget proposal from earlier this year cuts millions of dollars from the country’s background check system.
Not only was the Trump campaign being tasteless by blasting out an image of a wounded student while it trolled for election cash, but the campaign also lied about Trump and guns.