Trump Insisted Staff Release Propaganda Video of Hospital Visits Because He Was Furious About Coverage
Donald Trump shared a campaign-style video Wednesday full of smiles, thumbs-ups, and dramatic music depicting his visits with mass-shooting victims in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.
It was practically propaganda.
Trump went to Dayton and El Paso after the mass shootings that have left both communities reeling and the nation palpably traumatized. He faced protests and sharp criticism from local leaders along the way, and he lashed out at critics by tweeting attacks at his political opponents throughout the day.
But you wouldn’t know that from the cheerful video Trump released in a tweet in which the president thanked citizens of the two cities for “a job well done!”
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Some local leaders went on to accuse Trump of using them and their cities as props for a photo op.
Initially, that did not seem to be the case, as reporters described not being allowed to gain access to Trump’s hospital visits and being told by the White House press secretary, Stephanie Grisham, that the visits were about the victims and not a “photo op.” Hours later, however, Trump released this video:
My time spent in Dayton and El Paso with some of the greatest people on earth. Thank you for a job well done! pic.twitter.com/TNVDGhxOpo
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 8, 2019
Trump did not visit the district in Dayton where at least nine people were killed and more than two dozen were wounded by a gunman early Sunday, and Mayor Nan Whaley said it was a “good decision” because of what she said was Trump’s tendency to be “divisive.”
When Trump went to El Paso later in the day, none of the hospitalized survivors of the Saturday mass shooting wanted to meet with him, according to The Washington Post.
And according to WashPo’s Josh Dawsey, Trump was furious about the news coverage he was receiving, and forced the photos and videos to be released ASAP.
Trump was upset with aides on Air Force One that news cameras were not with him in hospital and TV was dominated by his critics while he was not getting credit for hospital visits. He wanted footage released ASAP. Aides had blocked cameras due to privacy. https://t.co/QJgiNIPByL
— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) August 8, 2019