Sherrod Brown, Dayton Mayor Politicize Trump Visit with Shooting Victims

AP Photo/Evan Vucci
AP Photo/Evan Vucci

Democrat Senator Sherrod Brown and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley immediately criticized the president on camera Wednesday after joining him for a visit with victims of the Ohio mass shooting.

The seemingly bipartisan healing moment blew up as they both criticized Trump for blocking gun control, rushing to the cameras after the meeting.

Brown signaled his frustration with the failure to pass gun control.

“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 said to reporters. “Guns is a big big part of this.”

Brown recounted his visit at the hospital with the president with police officers, during which he said he lectured Trump about assault weapons.

I said, ‘Mr. President, respectfully, the most important thing you can do for these police officers is take these assault weapons off the streets so they don’t have to go up against those assault weapons,” he recounted.

Brown also said he asked Trump to endorse the Democrat background check expansion bill and asked him to press Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to bring the bill to the floor in the Senate.

He said he also demanded that Trump support mental health by stop trying to repeal Obamacare.

Whaley said that they both told Trump about the importance of passing more gun control in Washington, D.C.

“We reiterated to the president the importance of action around these issues and guns and that the people of Dayton are waiting for action from Washington, D.C.,” she said.

Brown said he was “very concerned” about Trump’s rhetoric, which he described as “racist” but said that he did not discuss it directly.

Both Brown and Waley failed to mention the shooter who killed nine people in Dayton on Sunday was aligned ideologically with Democrats and leftists.

Trump did not speak to the press during the meeting or afterward, as the White House kept reporters out of the event.

But the president broke his silence to condemn the pair of Ohio Democrats after Brown and Whaley turned the bipartisan visit political.

“Their news conference after I left for El Paso was a fraud,” Trump wrote. “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 president also shared a video of the hospital visit on Twitter.

But Whaley and Brown’s comments also drew fire from White House aides who were furious that the two Democrats turned the visit political.

“President Donald Trump graciously asked Sen Brown & Mayor Whaley to join as he and the First Lady visited victims, medical staff & first responders,” White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham wrote on Twitter after their press conference. “It is genuinely sad to see them immediately hold such a dishonest press conference in the name of partisan politics.”

Trump’s social media director Dan Scavino also criticized the two Democrats.

“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,” he wrote on Twitter. “They are disgraceful politicians, doing nothing but politicizing a mass shooting, at every turn they can.”

Scavino said that Trump was well received by the victims that he visited at the hospital.

“The President was treated like a Rock Star inside the hospital, which was all caught on video,” he wrote. “They all loved seeing their great President!”

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