President Trump blasted Democratic Sen. Sherrod Brown and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley on Wednesday after he visited with victims of the weekend shooting massacre in Ohio, accusing the politicians of "misrepresenting what took place inside of the hospital."
The president didn't specifically say what he believed was misrepresented. But Trump tweeted that Brown and Whaley's description, in a news conference afterward, of his visit to meet hospital staff and victims of last weekend’s mass shooting was “a fraud” that “bore no resemblance to what took place with those incredible people.” The president added the visit was “warm and wonderful.”
Reporters were not given access to Trump’s visit to the hospital. Instead, the White House released its own photos, tweeted out by the president and his staff.
The president’s tweets came after Dan Scavino, the White House director of social media, tweeted that Brown and Whaley were “LYING and mischaracterizing” the president’s visit to the hospital.
“They are disgraceful politicians, doing nothing but politicizing a mass shooting, at every turn they can,” Scavino said. “The President was treated like a Rock Star inside the hospital, which was all caught on video.”
It is unclear what part of the news conference Trump and Scavino are referring to as Brown made clear during his time speaking to the press that the president “did the right things” during his stop at the hospital.
“They were hurting,” Brown said of the patients in the hospital. “[Trump] was comforting. He did the right things, Melania did the right things. And it’s his job in part to comfort people. I’m glad he did it in those hospital rooms.”
Both Brown and Whaley, however, were critical of Trump’s past statements on issues like race and immigration. Brown called them “racist” and compared Trump’s response following last weekend’s two mass shooting to that of President George W. Bush following the 9/11 terror attacks and President Barack Obama’s following the mass shootings in Sandy Hook, Connecticut and Charleston, South Carolina.
Brown, who met with Trump earlier in the day, said that he pushed the president to not repeal the Affordable Care Act and to make strides toward enacting stricter gun control laws. The Ohio senator added, however, that he believes it’s unlikely that any meaningful gun control legislation will become law given the current make-up of Congress.
"Republicans for years now have dug in and done the bidding of the NRA. The National Rifle Association, the gun lobby, gives millions of dollars to Republican candidates and spends millions and millions against Democrats like me that have stood up to the NRA," Brown said. "We can’t get anything done in the Senate because Mitch McConnell and the president of the United States are in bed with the gun lobby."
Brown added that he and Whaley also opposed an idea by Trump to award medals to the police officers who responded to Sunday morning’s shooting in downtown Dayton, saying the best way to honor the law enforcement members was to pass gun control legislation.
“The city of Dayton and the people of Dayton really are looking forward to some action,” Whaley said of speaking to Trump. “That’s what you can do to help us is to get some action on common-sense gun legislation.”