Donald Trump made time this week for two closed-door meetings with the NRA but did not have time to attend any of the funerals for victims killed in the school shooting that claimed 17 lives.
The disparity in time spent with the gun lobby and with victims of gun violence was not lost on Trump’s critics, with many taking to social media in an attempt to shame Trump about his failure to comfort victims of the massacre while making plenty of time for the gun lobby.
The NRA has been in the crosshairs after the Florida shooting, with activists leading a boycott of companies that do business with the gun lobbyist group and leading several major companies to sever ties. But the NRA still has a direct line to Donald Trump, who in the last five days had two private meetings with the top brass of the NRA.
Trump met on Thursday with representatives from the NRA, one day after Trump appeared to support gun control measures during a televised meeting with lawmakers. But Trump emerged from the NRA meeting with his mind changed, CNBC noted. After the meeting, NRA lobbyist Chris Cox noted that Trump is in support of the Second Amendment and does not want gun control.
I had a great meeting tonight with @realDonaldTrump & @VP. We all want safe schools, mental health reform and to keep guns away from dangerous people. POTUS & VPOTUS support the Second Amendment, support strong due process and don’t want gun control. #NRA #MAGA
— Chris Cox (@ChrisCoxNRA) March 2, 2018
The series of meetings with the NRA angered critics who believe Trump is not serious about finding a solution to gun violence. Many pointed out that Trump had time for the closed-door meetings with the NRA but did not make time to attend any of the funerals for students killed in last month’s massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
Trump has had two private meetings with the NRA in 5 days.
He has attended ZERO #Parkland funerals.
— Dane (@SeeDaneRun) March 2, 2018
Trump hails 'great' meeting with NRA lobbyist. The funerals are barely over and the NRA money goes to work. And the @GOP solution in Florida is to make schools armed, locked down compounds. I’m sure that’ll be a great learning environment. Morons. https://t.co/yjblYQWhWg
— Douglas Williams (@biotechdoug) March 2, 2018
Donald Trump has faced other accusations that he was insensitive to victims of the school shooting. In the days after the massacre, Trump met with police and paramedics who first responded to the shooting, and appeared to treat the visit like a campaign stop. Trump took pictures with the first responders where the president was smiling and giving a thumbs-up, which irked his critics.
Donald Trump has also been accused of trying to benefit off the tragedy. Last weekend, his campaign sent a fundraising letter that used a picture of Trump visiting school shooting victim Madeleine Wilford in the hospital as part of the pitch.