Trump and his aides go on bizarre attack after hospital visit over something that didn't happen
President Donald Trump and the White House are outraged — but it's not actually clear what is fueling their anger.
On his visit to Dayton, Ohio, on Wednesday, the president visited a hospital without the press to meet with workers and victims of the weekend's mass shooting. After leaving the state — headed to El Paso, Texas, the site of another massacre — the president's aides went on the attack against Democratic Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley.
Very SAD to see Ohio Senator Brown, & Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley - LYING & completely mischaracterizing what took plac… https://t.co/15BeJCPsFr— Dan Scavino Jr.🇺🇸 (@Dan Scavino Jr.🇺🇸)1565202735.0
..The President was treated like a Rock Star inside the hospital, which was all caught on video. They all loved see… https://t.co/SNGxcbpb8Z— Dan Scavino Jr.🇺🇸 (@Dan Scavino Jr.🇺🇸)1565202736.0
President @realDonaldTrump graciously asked Sen Brown & Mayor Whaley to join as he and the First Lady visited victi… https://t.co/04Etw3LWUk— Kayleigh McEnany (@Kayleigh McEnany)1565203761.0
While it's not unusual for Trump and his team to lash out at critics, these remarks were particularly bizarre, because Brown and Whaley didn't say anything that contradicted Scavino's claims.
"He was received well by the patients, as you’d expect," Brown said. "They were hurting, he was comforting. He did the right things, Melania did the right things."
Whaley herself said: "I think the victims and the first responders were grateful that the President of the United States came to Dayton."
Trump, too, jumped on the bandwagon in the attack on Brown and Whaley:
Just left Dayton, Ohio, where I met with the Victims & families, Law Enforcement, Medical Staff & First Responders.… https://t.co/6wNWXBLhUX— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1565207307.0
....misrepresenting what took place inside of the hospital. Their news conference after I left for El Paso was a fr… https://t.co/mZ4usW2PvJ— Donald J. Trump (@Donald J. Trump)1565207308.0
(While Brown considered running for president this year, he declined to get in the race, so Trump's claim that he is a "failed" candidate is flatly false.)
Whaley and Brown have both been critical of the president, so it's not too surprising that the White House would target them. But they did not criticize him for his actual appearance in the hospital, which is what Trump and aides are now bizarrely fixated on.
On Monday, Trump said in a speech reacting to the mass shootings: "Now is the time to set destructive partisanship aside — so destructive — and find the courage to answer hatred with unity, devotion, and love."
Seems like the plan for "unity" has already been derailed.