A photo of Donald Trump fist pumping and scrunching his face at supporters while on his way to a 9/11 memorial has drawn controversy, with many accusing the president of treating his appearance as a campaign event rather than a solemn memorial.
The picture was taken as Trump was traveling to an event in Johnson, Pennsylvania, where one of the hijacked planes crashed on 9/11 after passengers fought back against the terrorists who had turned the plane toward Washington, D.C. Trump was set to make remarks at the event, but when he arrived at the site he made sure to acknowledge supporters who greeted them.
A picture showed Trump with a two-handed fist pump, scrunching his face as he greeted his supporters. The gesture drew plenty of criticism, with the Independent noting that the photo spread quickly across social media.
“The commander-in-chief can be seen in the photo arriving in Johnstown with First Lady Melania Trump, as he’s raising both fists in the air and clenching his jaw,” the report noted. “Mr. Trump was on his way to pay respects for the fallen heroes of United Airlines Flight 93. The plane crashed as passengers and flight crew to regain control after an attempted hijacking by a group of terrorists.”
“The picture was shared by reporters instantly, quickly going viral across social media as the president’s critics condemned his conduct ahead of the memorial event.”
— Kevin M. Kruse (@KevinMKruse) September 11, 2018
Many who shared the picture on Twitter accused Donald Trump of failing to recognize the gravity of the event and instead indulging in his own ego.
“He does not deserve to set foot in Johnson, PA,” one Twitter user wrote. “We honor those lost.”
This is not the first time that Donald Trump has been accused of turning a solemn event into a chance to bask in the adoration of his supporters. In June, he hosted families of people killed by illegal immigrants at an event at the White House, which came amid the controversial policy of separating children from their parents at the U.S. border.
At the event, Donald Trump personally autographed pictures of the deceased that family members had brought to hold during the press conference.
“Autographing the photos was an unusual decision, in that it appeared to combine the celebrity element of an autograph with the solemn image of a dead loved one,” NBC News noted.
Donald Trump was also blasted earlier on 9/11 for his decision to tweet about his disdain for the Russia investigation before he acknowledged those lost in the attacks.