Thursday 22 August 2019

Trump attacked for condolence tweet he used in earlier shooting

US President Donald Trump has angered relatives of victims of the California gun attack. Photo: Bloomberg
US President Donald Trump has angered relatives of victims of the California gun attack. Photo: Bloomberg

Elena Horton

Donald Trump has been accused of copying and pasting his condolence Twitter messages to the victims of mass shootings after posting about the wrong massacre.

The US president tweeted on Tuesday evening: "May God be with the people of Sutherland Springs, Texas. The FBI and Law Enforcement has arrived."

However, this tweet appears to refer to the church shooting which occurred last week - as news broke that multiple people were shot in California as a gunman opened fire on multiple locations, including a school.

It was also nearly word-for-word the same as the tweet he had posted about the Sutherland Springs shooting shortly after it happened.

Television presenter Piers Morgan tweeted: "At least get your mass shootings right, Mr President. This was last week. The new one is in California."

Another Twitter user wrote: "He's mixed up mass shootings, confusing the one last week in Texas with the one in California today. This is so disrespectful to the victims."

Accusations: Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore. Photo: AP
Accusations: Republican Senate candidate Roy Moore. Photo: AP

The tweet was still up some hours after he posted it.

Four people were killed in California yesterday after a shooter carried out an attack on the rural community of Rancho Tehama, about 200km from Sacramento.

Police shot and killed the gunman, and believe the rampage began as a "domestic violence" incident.

Seven people, including some children, were being treated for gunshot wounds.

At least one child was wounded at the school. Another child was shot while driving with a woman, who also was wounded, Tehama County assistant sheriff Phil Johnston said.

Police didn't have a firm count of the wounded late last night because of how many different locations the gunman attacked before being shot dead.

Mr Trump returned to Washington after a five-day trip to Asia to find his party in convulsions over the sexual misconduct accusations surrounding GOP Senate candidate Roy Moore.

Having pushed publicly and privately for Mr Moore to get out of the race, Republicans believe their last best shot is Mr Trump, who they hope can persuade his fellow political rebel to fall in line.

Mr Trump has given little indication of whether he's interested in playing the role of party heavy. Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders has echoed other Republican leaders, saying that Mr Moore should step aside if the allegations are true.

But as other Republicans began to call for Mr Moore to quit the race, Mr Trump was notably silent in public. Yesterday, he didn't address the issue when he spoke with reporters aboard Air Force One as he flew back to Washington, nor did he respond to shouted questions about Mr Moore as he entered the White House that night.

For Mr Trump and Republicans, there are no good options. If Mr Moore wins, they can either spend an already harrowing mid-term election cycle defending their new colleague, or overturn the will of Alabama voters by casting him out of the Senate.

If Mr Moore loses and the seat flips to Democratic control, the party loses a critical vote in its razor-thin Senate majority, with many key issues to be considered in the coming months.

Irish Independent

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