By now, we all know Donald Trump is not the warm-and-fuzzy type. However, it would’ve been fair to expect a little more warmth—nay, humanity—from the president in his attempts to comfort families affected by the May 18 shooting in a Houston-area high school that left 10 dead. That expectation would have led to nothing, however, as Trump’s hour-long meeting with the families Thursday left many feeling icy, the Associated Press reports.
Eight of the ten victims were students, one of whom was 14-year-old Kimberly Vaughn. According to the AP, Trump spoke with Vaughn’s mother, Rhonda Hart, and repeatedly referred to the shooter and his attire as “wacky” throughout the duration of their conversation.
“It was like talking to a toddler,” Vaughn said of their discussion.
Vaughn, an army veteran, also took a stab at Trump’s administration during their conversation, adding, “Maybe if everyone had access to mental health care, we wouldn’t be in the situation.” She also suggested stationing veterans as preventative guards at schools, to which Trump reportedly replied, “And arm them?” Vaughn said no, but apparently Trump “kept mentioning” the idea of arming teachers. As previously stated: ice.
Trump met with more than 20 mourners during the meeting, which was closed to reporters. But maybe it wasn’t entirely a display of apathy on Trump’s part: Pamela Stanich, who lost her 17-year-old son in the attack, told the AP that Trump showed “sincerity, compassion and concern” during their conversation, leaving her hopeful.
While Stanich’s statement marks the potential silver linings of Trump’s meeting, the discomfort felt by many after the discussions isn’t out-of-the-blue, nor is it new. After the shooting in Parkland, Fla., Trump spoke to a victim over the phone who said, “I’ve never been so unimpressed by a person in my life,” per the New York Times reports. Before that, he reportedly told a sergeant’s widow that her fallen husband “must’ve known what he signed up for.”