Photographer Catches Trump's Notes On How To Listen To Parkland Survivors

by Valerie Williams
Originally Published: 
Image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Trump had notes on how to respond to survivors and their families — the internet noticed

Yesterday, President Trump held a “listening session” with survivors, students, and families of victims of past school shootings, including last week’s at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. The idea was for them to share their stories with the president and ideas for improving student safety when it comes to gun violence. The event was held at the White House with Trump holding court — and a page of cheesy notes intended to give the impression that he has even one ounce of empathy.

Yes, America — our president needs an idea written down for him in order to convey proper notes of sympathy and caring to a room full of people who have been tragically affected by our nation’s school shooting epidemic. To be clear, I don’t knock the fact that the guy needs notes for something like this — it’s what the notes say that matters.

Trump made little effort to hide his empathy cheat sheet, so it was caught easily by photographers attending the session.

Image via Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Getty Images

A closer look:

The notes include things like, “What would you most want me to know about your experience?” and “What can we do to help you feel safe?”

But it’s item number five that has most people talking.

“I hear you.” Because whatever beleaguered soul in charge of cobbling together talking points for good old 45 (it’s on his cuff in case he forgets!) knew they’d have to literally write that down. His brain would not, if left to its own devices, say anything remotely appropriate to get across that he understands what these people are going through. If given the chance to speak off the (embroidered with his special president number) cuff, he would probably just talk about the crowd size in the room or make everyone praise his snazzy gold drapes.

Sadly, that’s only barely satirical. It’s absolutely plausible based on his past behavior.

As an American, I’m just wildly annoyed that the leader of the free world can’t remember on his own to not be a callous piece of shit when speaking with the survivors of horrific tragedies. He shouldn’t need a note to remind him to make an attempt at caring about what these students, grieving parents, and their families have been through.

Of course, Twitter lit up once photos emerged of the president’s talking points:

Before anyone tries to give Trump points for making even the smallest attempt at giving a shit, never forget that he blamed MSD students for the shooter committing his evil deed in the first place.

So presidential.

The thing is, our country depends on its leaders for comfort and reassurance during difficult times — and last week’s shooting in Parkland definitely qualifies. A president should naturally know that it’s on him to show support and caring for those affected by such events.

They shouldn’t need it written down for them to give a shit.

This article was originally published on