Donald Trump has been meeting with and making phone calls to the survivors and families of the victims of the Parkland, Florida school shooting, but not everyone is thrilled to have received a call from the 45th president.
Speaking to The New York Times, Samantha Fuentes, a senior at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, who suffered severe injuries in the shooting, says she got a phone call from Donald Trump, and she was not impressed.
“Talking to the president, I’ve never been so unimpressed by a person in my life.”
According to Samantha’s account of the phone call, Trump started by invoking himself.
“He said he heard that I was a big fan of his, and then he said, ‘I’m a big fan of yours too.’ I’m pretty sure he made that up.”
She went on to say that Trump called the gunman a “sick puppy” and said “‘oh boy, oh boy, oh boy,’ like, seven times.'”
Samantha was shot twice, with one piece of shrapnel lodging permanently behind her right eye.
Another Parkland survivor, 18-year-old Samuel Zeif, offered a similar account of Trump’s apparently disinterested and half-hearted visit with him.
“Half the time during that meeting, his arms were crossed — I kept wanting to say, ‘Mr. President, uncross your arms.’ To me, that is the international sign for closemindedness; it’s really just a big ‘no.'”
Zeif also noted that Trump had carried a note card with him throughout the meeting, onto which the words “I hear you” had been written. Those words were an apparent reminder to Trump to keep repeating the phrase to the survivors.
Zeif was taken aback.
“Everything I said was directly from the heart, and he had to write down ‘I hear you.'”
Samantha’s and Samuel’s accounts of their interactions with Trump stand in sharp contrast to the account of a Trump visit enjoyed by a Parkland parent, Andrew Pollack, whose 18-year-old daughter, Meadow, was one of the 17 people killed in the shooting.
Survivors of the Florida school shooting have come under a different kind of assault, this time from online trolls who threatened the students as they seek tighter gun laws. https://t.co/NytjNZpjlQ pic.twitter.com/rO2k85hMIU
— ABC News (@ABC) February 23, 2018
Pollack, who came to Washington bearing his son’s white and gold “Make America Great Again” hat, said that Trump met privately on Friday night with him, his sons, his wife, and Meadow’s boyfriend.
“He showed us nothing but love. The guy really cared, you know? He flew us in, he had a bus waiting for us, he made time for us.”
In the week or so that has passed since the Parkland shooting, Trump has made some moves that suggest he may be on board with some forms of gun control. As Vox reported, Trump has publicly put his support behind a bill that would strengthen background checks, and has signed a memo directing the Justice Department to propose regulations that “ban all devices that turn legal weapons into machine guns.” He also supports raising the minimum age to buy an assault weapon from 18 to 21.