A pummeled White House faces more pummeling after an official described the recent Parkland school shooting a “reprieve” from the scandals plaguing the administration, according to the Washington Post.
Last week’s Parkland shooting, which saw suspect 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz gun down 17 people and injure 14 others, has refocused the media attention away from a seemingly troubled White House reportedly collapsing under the weight of its own errors. Domestic allegations of abuse against one of its senior staffers, Rob Porter, forced him to resign, but the White House continued to stand by him in light of possible evidence from the FBI and multiple media outlets. Later, it was revealed that White House Chief of Staff John Kelly knew about Porter’s history of abuse but decided not to act, putting him straight into the firing zone. Kelly was supposed to meet the media last Wednesday for a briefing where he would have been subjected to tough questions about his role in the alleged cover-up, but it was scuttled as news of another school shooting tore through the news media.
Another member of the White House, EPA administrator Scott Pruitt, was facing blow-back for using taxpayer money to fund his luxury air travels. Reports claiming that Pruitt had spent $1,600 on a single air ticket from Washington to New York — a distance of 226 miles — had brought renewed attention on the likes of Rick Perry and Ryan Zinke, Trump staff members who also may indulge in luxury flights. Such indulges have already cost former Health Secretary Tom Price his job, who was forced to resign last September, as reported by the New York Times.
Then there was renewed attention on Donald Trump himself after former playmate Karen McDougal told the New Yorker that she had an affair with him around the same time that he was reportedly having another extra-marital affair with adult star Stormy Daniels (real name: Stephanie Clifford). Melania’s relationship with him was reportedly on tenterhooks as the story of a new affair broke last week.
All of this in addition to the intensifying Russia investigation, which saw Robert Mueller bring charges against 13 Russian individuals and three companies, debunking President Trump’s previous claims that Russian meddling was a “hoax” concocted by the Democratic establishment to excuse their loss in the election.
Such continued errors and the resulting backlash had created a tense atmosphere at the White House, which was struggling to fend off the growing scrutiny. Amidst all this came the terrible news of another mass shooting in Florida. While White House staffers grieved for the Parkland victims publicly, staffers acknowledged that it came as somewhat of a breather in private meetings.
“For everyone, it was a distraction or a reprieve. A lot of people here felt like it was a reprieve from seven or eight days of just getting pummeled.”
As expected, terming the Parkland shooting a “reprieve” from the constant scrutiny facing the White House because of its own alleged missteps and blunders, is not something that went down well with the American public. The statement drew widespread indignation and ire against a White House already somewhat unpopular for its lack of sensitivity and compassion.