Soon after news emerged that a lone gunman had burst into a Passover service and opened fire at a San Diego-area synagogue, President Donald Trump was facing reporters. While one would have expected Trump to rally behind those affected in the synagogue shooting and to spend some time for the bereaved, the president was quick to move on to other matters.
As reported earlier by The Inquisitr, a gunman who had posted a hate-filled manifesto online carried out an attack at the synagogue during a service which left one person dead and another three injured. Although the president did briefly mention the shooting, he quickly moved on to discuss how he had attracted a large crowd and boasted about a “great” golf game — matters on which he spent much more time — according to The New York Daily News.
“My deepest sympathies go to the people that were affected, the families, the loved ones. Obviously, it looks right now, based on my last conversations, looks like a hate crime. Hard to believe,” Trump said, before moving on to matters probably of more significance to him.
The president went on to explain at length that a large crowd had been waiting at Green Bay “since yesterday” to meet him and that he was soon going to board the plane to go there. Trump then went to talk about how he had a “great game” of golf with Japanese leader Shinzo Abe during which the two leaders also talked about trade.
— Mediaite (@Mediaite) April 27, 2019
Then, a few hours after the synagogue shooting, Donald Trump told his supporters at the rally about Democrats wanting to take away their guns. Vox’s Aaron Rupar called out the president’s intention on Twitter.
Hours after a gunman opened fire with an AR-15-style weapon at a synagogue, Trump fear-mongers about Democrats wanting "to take your guns away." pic.twitter.com/HgPFS6llXi
— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) April 28, 2019
As reported by The New York Daily News, Trump’s behavior on Twitter was similar. After tweeting a quick condemnation of the attack, Trump pivoted to talking about his rally and how a “very large crowd” was waiting in Wisconsin for him. Shortly afterward, the president tweeted about enjoying a “great” game of golf with Japanese PM Shinzo Abe.
Great day with Prime Minister @AbeShinzo of Japan. We played a quick round of golf by the beautiful Potomac River while talking Trade and many other subjects. He has now left for Japan and I am on my way to Wisconsin where a very large crowd of friends await! pic.twitter.com/ZvyxJ8sIw2
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) April 27, 2019
Critics argue that Donald Trump’s indignation is selective. When white supremacists carry out hate crimes, the president steers away from calling them out. Trump’s brief condemnation minutes after the synagogue shooting, and his comments at the rally late, attest to the fact that the president expresses outrage depending on who perpetrated the crime. The New York Daily News was blatant in its denunciation of Trump’s behavior.
“When faced with major news events, most leaders try to focus on that issue alone and not switch gears to other subjects. It’s common to cancel or delay overtly political events like the Wisconsin rally. But not Trump. It’s not even the first time he has displayed a lack of political tact when faced with a tragic attack on Jews,” the report read.