- Twitter/Melania Trump
- President Donald Trump gave a thumbs-up in a photo with a baby whose parents were killed protecting him during the recent mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, which left at least 22 people dead.
- The photo, posted by first lady Melania Trump, prompted criticism on social media.
- The baby’s uncle, Tito Anchondo, can be seen next to the president in the photo and is a Trump supporter.
- He told NPR that his brother, Andre, also supported the president: “I think people are misconstruing President Trump’s ideas. My brother was very supportive of Trump.”
- Local leaders have accused Trump of using El Paso as a prop and photo-op with his visit to the traumatized community this week.
- Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.
President Donald Trump on Wednesday gave a thumbs-up as he smiled for a photo with a baby orphaned by a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, last weekend.
The baby was reportedly brought back to the hospital at the request of the White House before the photo was taken.
First lady Melania Trump, who’s holding the baby in the image, posted the photo to her Twitter account. The image prompted widespread criticism on social media.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) August 8, 2019
This baby was recently orphaned by a terrorist who parroted some of Trump’s rhetoric. His parents died trying to shield him. I’ve don’t think I’ve ever met anyone who would think the appropriate response would be flashing a smile and thumbs up. Something is wrong with him. pic.twitter.com/xSIGyIZ4tg
— Brian Klaas (@brianklaas) August 9, 2019
The baby’s parents, Jordan and Andre Anchondo, died protecting him from harm during the shooting in an El Paso Walmart.
The baby, whose name is Paul, reportedly suffered broken fingers from the shooting, an injury he apparently sustained as his mother collapsed on his body while shielding him from bullets.
The baby’s uncle, Tito Anchondo, can be seen next to the president in the photo and is a Trump supporter. He told NPR that his brother, Andre, also supported the president: “I think people are misconstruing President Trump’s ideas. My brother was very supportive of Trump.”
“I want to see [Trump’s] reaction in person,” Tito added. “I want to see if he’s genuine and see if my political views are right or wrong. And see if he feels maybe some kind of remorse for statements that he’s made. I just want to have a human-to-human talk with him and see how he feels.”
Local leaders have accused Trump of using El Paso as a prop and photo-op with his visit to the traumatized community this week. The White House did not allow press to accompany Trump during his hospital visits, telling reporters it wasn’t meant to be a “photo-op.”
None of the still-hospitalized victims in El Paso wanted to meet with Trump while he visited the Texas city on Wednesday. One hospital official told CNN that Trump showed “an absence of empathy” during his visit to El Paso.
The shootings have ignited a nationwide discussion on white nationalist terrorism and gun violence. Trump has signaled he’s open to supporting the expansion of background checks.
The president has also condemned “white supremacy” and any other kind of “supremacy” after the shootings, though because of his history of equivocating on the subject many of his critics have found his words unconvincing.