Trump Is Using Parkland Victims in Speeches - Majority of Families Say He Hasn't Bothered to Call Them
After Donald Trump invoked the mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida, high school during last week’s speech to the nation's largest domestic terrorism lobby (aka the National Rifle Association), BuzzFeed sought out some of the families who lost loved ones in that shooting to ask whether they had, to this day, ever been contacted by Trump. The answer is no—most haven't.
BuzzFeed News spoke to nine families of Parkland victims. Of them, eight have not heard from the president since the shooting nearly three months ago. One told BuzzFeed News they have heard from and met with Trump. The other eight families of victims declined to comment or didn’t respond.
“Our president has been very successful in kind of making people like me just say, ‘That’s who he is and so, I guess it doesn’t matter, because that’s who he is,’” Fred Guttenberg, whose daughter Jaime died in the shooting, told BuzzFeed News.
“But yeah, it ticks me off for this reason— I’m at a point where it’s like, you know what, if he doesn’t want to reach out to me, nobody has the obligation to offer condolence. To me, in his position, it would have been the right thing to do, but no one’s obligated.
“However,” Guttenberg said, “don’t use my daughter’s life for a political moment, and that’s what he did, and that pisses me off.”
To be honest, Trump has been so bad at these interactions in the past that fielding a phone call from Donald so that he can interrupt your grieving family with tales of his electoral win and how his television set pissed him off that morning is not something you'd want to wish on anybody. If we want to drop the tradition of presidents meeting with the victims of national tragedies, this would be the time to do it. At least for a few years.
But in exchange: Yeah. Don't use a man's daughter's death as fodder for your gun-toting political event if you don't even have the guts to talk to him, you blustering coward.