Donald Trump spent some touching moments this week with 17-year-old Madeleine Wilford, a student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School who was shot in last week’s attack and remains in the hospital.
Now, Trump is trying to use that hospital room visit as a way to fill his campaign coffers.
This weekend, Trump sent an email to followers showing a picture of the president meeting with Wilford in her hospital bed, CNN noted. The letter made note of the efforts Trump is now taking to ban bump stocks and strengthen background checks for gun purchases, then gave a link to the donation page for this 2020 presidential campaign.
The picture was met with controversy, with some accusing Trump of trying to capitalize off the school massacre to boost his own campaign.
This is not the first time that Trump has been criticized for a lack of tact in the wake of the school shooting. Last week, Trump met with police and medical officials who were first to respond to the scene of the shooting. Trump was effusive in his praise of the first responders, and later took a picture where he was smiling and giving a thumbs-up sign.
The picture drew plenty of critics that said Trump was failing to show the proper respect to the situation given that 17 people had been killed, most of them children.
Others victims have also said that Trump failed to show any real empathy in his interactions with them. Samantha Fuentes, a student who was shot during the incident, told CNN that she did not feel “consoled or helped” during a phone call with Trump and that he did not express any empathy in his conversation with her.
And Donald Trump has also been criticized for his focus on campaigning with more than two years until the next presidential election. Throughout his first year, Trump often left Washington to make campaign stops before cheering crowds, even as critics on both sides of the aisle have called for him to focus on more pressing matters facing the nation. Trump has been building a war chest of funding heading into 2020 as well, drawing millions of dollars in donations.