President TrumpDonald John TrumpMSNBC’s Geist presses Castro on sharing Trump donors names: These people ‘are already being harassed’ Marianne Williamson: Message of love ‘absolutely’ extends to Trump Hickenlooper says Democrats are falling for ‘Trump’s execrable politics of distraction’ MORE on Wednesday lashed out at two Ohio Democrats who joined him at a Dayton hospital to meet with first responders and victims of the weekend’s mass shooting, accusing them of mischaracterizing the visit.
Trump and other White House officials spent the afternoon slamming Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownSherrod Brown now says he’ll join Trump during Dayton trip Sherrod Brown says he has no plans to meet with Trump during Dayton visit Democrats point to Trump rhetoric on immigration in wake of two mass shootings MORE (D-Ohio) and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley (D) over comments they made at a press conference following Trump’s visit.
But it’s unclear what specifically they took issue with, as both Brown and Whaley said they felt medical personnel and victims’ families appreciated his presence.
The president described the visit as “warm & wonderful” with “tremendous enthusiasm & even Love.”
“Then I saw failed Presidential Candidate (0%) Sherrod Brown & Mayor Whaley totally misrepresenting what took place inside of the hospital,” he continued. “Their news conference after I left for El Paso was a fraud. It bore no resemblance to what took place with those incredible people that I was so lucky to meet and spend time with.”
….misrepresenting what took place inside of the hospital. Their news conference after I left for El Paso was a fraud. 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!o
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2019
Brown weighed a presidential bid earlier this year but opted against joining the 2020 race.
The president tore into Brown and Whaley as he landed in El Paso, Texas, where he was meeting with those affected by a mass shooting that took place Saturday, just hours before the Dayton massacre.
White House press secretary Stephanie GrishamStephanie GrishamTrump visits Dayton, El Paso amid protests calling for gun control Trump names horse that was gift from Mongolia ‘Victory’ White House calls trade talks with China ‘constructive’ MORE and social media director Dan Scavino issued similar tweets complaining about the press conference. Scavino insisted Trump had been treated like a “Rock Star” during the hospital visit.
..The President was treated like a Rock Star inside the hospital, which was all caught on video. They all loved seeing their great President!
— Dan Scavino Jr. (@Scavino45) August 7, 2019
Brown and Whaley told reporters that they urged Trump to support background checks for gun purchases, “red flag” laws and government programs that provide access to mental health resources.
They were critical of inaction on gun violence in Washington and noted Trump had previously backed off of stronger reforms but were complimentary of the hospital visit itself.
“He was received as well as you can expect by the patients,” Brown said of Trump. “They are hurting. He was comforting. He and Melania did the right things. It’s his job in part to comfort people. I’m glad he did it.”
“I think the victims and the first responders were grateful that the president of the United States came to Dayton,” Whaley added.
Whaley expressed uncertainty over Trump’s criticisms in response to the president’s tweet.
“Not sure what the President thinks @SenSherrodBrown and I misrepresented,” Whaley tweeted. “As we said, the victims and first responders were comforted by his presence. Let’s hope he’s not one of these all talk, no action politicians and actually does something on gun control.”
Prior to leaving for Dayton, Trump told reporters he felt his opponents were politicizing the recent mass shootings and that he “would like to stay out of the political fray.”
Trump spent more than an hour at Miami Valley Hospital meeting privately with medical personnel, victims and families affected by a shooting that killed nine people and wounded more than 20 others early Sunday morning.
The hospital was Trump’s lone stop in Dayton. He did not speak publicly and avoided the dozens of protesters who had gathered roughly a mile away, near the site of the massacre. Additional demonstrators had gathered near the hospital, a mix of supporters and protesters.
Updated at 4:38 p.m.