The baby’s parents were both killed during the El Paso mass shooting
As the world is still in shock over the horrific mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, mourning the innocent lives lost, folks are understandably upset by a recent picture posted on Twitter by the FLOTUS showing her and Donald Trump smiling and giving a thumbs-up as they held a baby orphaned by the El Paso massacre.
On a visit to El Paso this week, the president met with some of the families and victims and, when posing with the two-month-old — whose parents Andre and Jordan Anchondo — were shot dead last Saturday protecting their son, smiled and gave a thumbs-up. The baby was injured, breaking his fingers when his mother fell on top of him and father dove to try to protect the infant and his mother.
— Melania Trump (@FLOTUS) August 8, 2019
The orphaned child, named Paul, was requested to return to the El Paso University Medical Center Trump was visiting on Wednesday by the White House when the photo op took place. The baby’s uncle, Tito Anchondo (also pictured), is reportedly a Trump supporter, as was Paul’s father, Salon reported.
People were understandably shocked and angered at the inappropriateness of such a pose during what is a devastating situation for the baby boy and his family:
This is a photo of Trump grinning while Melania holds a baby orphaned by the shooting. A baby who was taken from home and forced to serve as a prop at a photo-op for the very monster whose hate killed her/his parents.
I would need 280,000 characters to say how furious I am. pic.twitter.com/4umSc9BQHu
— Greg Pinelo (@gregpinelo) August 9, 2019
— Jules Morgan (@glamelegance) August 8, 2019
— Maggie May (@Maggie19951) August 9, 2019
This is absolutely one of the most disgusting things I have ever seen! How dare the #WhiteSupremacistInChief and his wife take a photo op with a baby who's just lost both parents! How dare they!
— Andrew Hsieh #JS4PM 🇪🇺🇬🇧🇭🇰🔶 (@AndrewOnSeeAIR) August 9, 2019
I am genuinely confused and horrified by this image. Am I taking this the wrong way?
Why is Trump and Melania posing, GRINNING, and giving a thumbs up with the infant who’s parents were murdered by the shooter in El Paso.
Seriously… WTH is going on? pic.twitter.com/0YA2hIQeP3
— Bryan William Jones (@BWJones) August 9, 2019
This wasn’t the only concern raised about Trump’s visit. He also managed to bash 2020 Democratic contender and former local congressman, Beto O’Rourke, who he insulted about — of all things — the crowd size from their visits months earlier.
This is viewer video of President @realDonaldTrump and @FLOTUS at @umcelpaso meeting with victims and medical staff. Send us any photos/videos of president Trump's visit to #ElPaso and we may show it on TV. Upload here: https://t.co/UHa4MdGOH4 pic.twitter.com/DD5otJtYEg
— CBS4Local (@CBS4Local) August 8, 2019
While visiting the hospital, Trump joked to medical staff about his February rally crowd sizes according to a video obtained by CBS affiliate KDBC, comparing his to O’Rourke’s, saying, “I was here three months ago. That place was packed … That was some crowd. And we had twice the number outside. And then you had this crazy Beto. Beto had like 400 people in a parking lot, they said his crowd was wonderful.”
Anchondo told NPR his family has always been Republican conservatives and he’d welcome a sit-down with Trump to discuss the tragedy in more detail. “My brother [Paul’s father] was very supportive of Trump. I want to see his reaction in person,” he said. “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.”
After 31 people were gunned down just last week in America, it seems a sit-down would be the least one victim’s family should receive.