Oh well: Dayton mayor confused by Trumps criticism of how she described his visit
An ex-girlfriend and former classmates have spoken out about Connor Betts, the 24-year-old who killed nine people and wounded others in Dayton, Ohio. USA TODAY
WASHINGTON – Hours after visiting with victims and first responders from the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, the White House said President Donald Trump was treated like a “rock star” and criticized several Ohio lawmakers for “mischaracterizing” the visit.
Dan Scavino, White House director of social media and assistant to the president, in several posts on Twitter criticized what he says were mischaracterizations” of Trump’s visit to Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton. Reporters were held in a holding room during Trump’s visit.
“Very SAD to see Ohio Senator Brown, & Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley – LYING & completely mischaracterizing what took place w/ the President’s visit to Miami Valley Hospital today,” Scavino wrote in a tweet. “They are disgraceful politicians, doing nothing but politicizing a mass shooting, at every turn they can.”
“The President was treated like a Rock Star inside the hospital, which was all caught on video,” he continued. “They all loved seeing their great President!”
Trump in his own tweet also criticized Brown and Whaley, saying that they are “misrepresenting what took place inside of the hospital.”
“Just left Dayton, Ohio, where I met with the Victims & families, Law Enforcement, Medical Staff & First Responders. It was a warm & wonderful visit. Tremendous enthusiasm & even Love,” Trump wrote on Twitter.
“Their news conference after I left for El Paso was a fraud,” Trump continued on the two lawmakers. “It bore no resemblance to what took place with those incredible people that I was so lucky to meet and spend time with. They were all amazing!”
The Cincinnati Enquirer, a member of the USA TODAY Network, was with Whaley when she found out about the tweets from an aide as she sat in a booth in a local restaurant talking to reporters, with a cup of coffee and soda in front of her to give her an energy boost.
“Where is it, I don’t see it,” Whaley said looking at her phone. “I’m confused. We said he was treated very well. I don’t know what he’s talking about misrepresenting.”
“Oh well. He lives in his world of Twitter,” she added.
Dayton mayor reacts to Trump’s tweet about her, Sen. Brown calling their news conference “a fraud.” Meg Vogel, Cincinnati
In a follow-up Tweet, Scavino tweeted photos from the president’s visit, adding: “Some extremely powerful moments throughout the entire visit, with so much enthusiasm and love, contrary to what the Trump Hating Dems would ever share or say.”
However, the White House’s characterization seems to be at odds with what Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Whaley said of Trump’s visit. Both politicians accompanied Trump on his visit.
During a press conference after Trump’s visit to the hospital, the two officials said that they believe the victims and first responders appreciated the president’s visit.
“He was received well by the patients as you’d expect,” Brown said. “They’re hurting. He was comforting and he did the right things. Melania did the right things. It’s his job in part to comfort people.”
“I’m glad he did it in those hospital rooms,” Brown continued.
“I think the victims and the first responders were grateful that the President of the United States came to Dayton,” Whaley said.
Brown also discussed his own meeting with Trump, saying that he called on Trump to ask Republicans to open a special session in the Senate so the chamber could vote on a gun background check bill that the House of Representatives passed earlier this year.
“He only said ‘we will get things done,'” Brown said. He added that he also called on Trump to not repeal the Affordable Care Act if the president cares about mental health. Throughout his tenure, Trump has tried to repeal the ACA.
Brown also said that during Trump’s visit with first responders, the president offered to give the police officers awards. Police responded to the shooter in less than 30 seconds. Nine people were killed and several others were injured.
However, Brown said he responded with: ‘Mr. President, respectfully … the most important thing you can do for these police officers is take assault weapons off the street so they don’t have to go up against those assault weapons.”
“I think it was a good decision for him not to stop in the Oregon District,” Mayor @nanwhaley says about Pres. Trump not visiting the site of the mass shooting. “A lot of the time his talk can be very divisive, and that’s the last thing we need in Dayton.” https://t.co/Jyfd6eKzJUpic.twitter.com/Om1UbuU9Tj
Whaley said that during a “pretty brief” meeting with Trump, she told him that “the people of Dayton are waiting for action from Washington, D.C.”
She also noted that she was grateful that the president did not go to the Oregon District of Dayton, where the shooting took place. Whaley ahead of Trump’s visit said that the president’s “rhetoric has been painful for many in our community.”
“A lot of the time his talk can be very divisive, and that’s the last thing we need in Dayton,” Whaley said Wednesday afternoon following the hospital visit.