Trump Visits Florida Following School Massacre

DEERFIELD BEACH, FLA. (CNN) – President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, aiming to honor the victims of Wednesday’s school shooting in Parkland, Florida, visited Broward Health North Hospital on Friday, the hospital where many of the victims were treated.
After the hospital visit, the Trumps traveled to the nearby Broward County Sheriff’s Department headquarters and heralded the law enforcement officials who responded to the shooting.
“What a great job you’ve done, and we appreciate it very much,” Trump said. “Everybody is talking about it.”
He added: “I hope you are getting the credit for it because believe me, you deserve it. The job you have done is unparalleled.”
After a senior officer in the room joked about giving the officers a raise, Trump agreed. “Give them a raise,” he exclaimed.
The Trumps were joined at the headquarters by Florida’s Sen. Marco Rubio, Florida Gov. Rick Scott, Florida Attorney General Pam Bondi and White House chief of staff John Kelly.
Trump told reporters at the hospital that he spoke to victims of the shooting, adding that it is “very sad something like that could happen.”
The President, during the brief exchange, also heralded the efforts of hospital staff and first responders to save lives.
“It’s an incredible thing,” he said of the speed with which people were taken for treatment at the hospital after being wounded. “I want to congratulate them.”
A White House statement said that the Trumps were visiting “to pay their respects and thank the medical professionals for their life-saving assistance” in response to shooting.
The Wednesday shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School killed 17 people. Many of those injured were taken to Broward Health North Hospital, including the shooter in the attack.
The hospital, a level two trauma center, is nine miles from the high school.
The visit thrusts Trump into a role where he has previously struggled to strike the right tone: consoler in chief. The trip also could put the President face-to-face with people impacted by the shooting who have called on him to do something to curb that prevalence of guns in the United States.
Trump did not respond when asked at the hospital whether more gun laws were needed to prevent school shootings.
CNN’s Omar Jimenez Kevin Liptak, Dan Merica and Allie Malloy contributed to this report.