Many people across the nation who are disgusted with the presidency of Donald Trump and his administration have learned to stop being surprised by what they hear come out of the executive branch. But even this is beyond flabbergasting.
Aides within the White House have privately conceded to The Washington Post that the school shooting in Parkland, Florida, last week helped Trump in some ways. While the nation had been focused on an abuse scandal from one of his former staffers, and whether that scandal and several others would result in Trump firing his chief of staff, John Kelly, the deaths of 17 individuals at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School granted them a relief of sorts, some have said.
“For everyone, it was a distraction or a reprieve,” the anonymous staffer said. “A lot of people here felt like it was a reprieve from seven or eight days of just getting pummeled.”
That staffer was not alone in their assessment. A strategist who works close to the White House also echoed that the president and his closest advisers are likely using this moment to their advantage.
“The national tragedy in Florida has really, for now, turned the page on some of these crises,” Republican strategist Ron Bonjean said. “They’re going to come back, but what it does do is give the White House a chance to collect itself and, if they can, organize a communications strategy and get their ducks in a row.”
It is a disgusting and utterly inappropriate premise for the White House to believe as much. But it is not by any measure the only inappropriate thing that has been expressed. Trump made a suggestion that the victims themselves were to blame, tweeting the day after the shooting the community should have paid better attention to warning signs about shooter Nikolas Cruz’s mental health.
It may be an apt point to observe: The nation’s interests have shifted away from the controversy within the White House after the shooting last week in Florida. But to describe it as a “reprieve” showcases the heartlessness and indifference this administration has toward the citizenry.