Trump used cue card to remind him to show empathy for school shooting survivors
Prompt: I hear you.
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23 September 2017 - 25 March 2018, -
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“I hear you.”
This was the last point written on the briefing note the President of the United States held during a Feb. 21 listening session with school shooting survivors who visited the White House.
It was also the point that attracted the most criticism, as it implied that President Donald Trump was unable to show sympathy towards those affected by the latest school shooting in Florida.
The shooting occurred on Feb. 14.
Trump thanked the attendees
Close-up pictures of the note have since gone viral. They revealed that the note had five points.
It included prompts to ask questions about individuals’ experiences and what his administration could do to help people feel safe.
While Trump did not appear to directly use any of the questions or phrases on the card at the meeting, he did thank those who attended the session:
“Thank you for pouring out your hearts, because the world is watching and we’re going to come up with a solution.”
Trump mocked and criticised
While the briefing notes are a reminder of Trump’s possible discomfort in these intense situations, they show an attempt to connect with the grieving families, according to Vox.
However, critics say that the note simply proves his inability to empathise with others, and that it’s not surprising for a president who has repeatedly shown a lack of empathy in his reactions.
The Washington Post summed it up by saying:
“This photo of Trump’s notes captures his empathy deficit better than anything.”
Some thought that the “45” stitched on his cuffs was more newsworthy instead (Trump is the 45th President of the United States):
Trump’s notes seem fine. Having “45” stitched onto his cuffs is deranged.
— Matthew Yglesias (@mattyglesias) February 22, 2018
Trump’s proposal met with widespread disapproval
Critics have also argued that Trump didn’t even heed his own “I hear you” note.
After several survivors pleaded for gun control reform, he called for arming teachers with concealed weapons.
This was in spite of him tweeting before during the election campaign in 2016 that he’d never put more guns in schools.
Crooked Hillary said that I want guns brought into the school classroom. Wrong!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 22, 2016
While the proposal was met with swift backlash from educators nationwide, Trump’s other proposal of hiring veterans to serve as security guards at schools was met with mixed reactions.
It was revealed that the armed guard at Florida high school where a gunman massacred 17 people stood outside the building as the shooting occurred and never went in to engage the shooter.
Top image via Chip Somodevilla/ Getty Images