Donald Trump’s visit to El Paso was packaged with slick videos and pictures of a grinning Trump posing with medical staff. But one thing the White House will not be releasing pictures of is Trump with the shooting victims still being treated at University Medical Center—because none of the eight patients was willing to meet with him.
“This is a very sensitive time in their lives,” a hospital spokesman said. “Some of them said they didn’t want to meet with the president. Some of them didn’t want any visitors.”
During this sensitive time in their lives, some have been willing to meet with elected officials, including Reps. Veronica Escobar and Jesús “Chuy” García, the latter of whom is from Illinois. But the president of these United States of America, not so much. Or maybe the objection was to meeting the man whose hateful rhetoric played a role in inspiring the shooter that put these people in the hospital to begin with.
Two shooting victims who had been released from the hospital did return to meet with Trump.
JUST NOW: WH insiders “will privately admit this was something of a debacle, these are not the headlines they wanted to see.”@maggieNYT on insider reaction to @realDonaldTrump trip to Dayton and El Paso.@NewDay pic.twitter.com/WxVTo6HGRv— John Berman (@JohnBerman) August 8, 2019
Trump bragged about his rally crowd size and called Beto O’Rourke crazy while visiting with El Paso hospital staff pic.twitter.com/m0YTf7UJYp— NowThis (@nowthisnews) August 8, 2019
Bad video. But Trump apparently would have wanted it…
Trump was upset with aides on Air Force One that news cameras were not with him in hospital and TV was dominated by his critics while he was not getting credit for hospital visits. He wanted footage released ASAP. Aides had blocked cameras due to privacy. https://t.co/QJgiNIPByL— Josh Dawsey (@jdawsey1) August 8, 2019
The overwhelming majority of patients at *two* El Paso hospitals the White House had reached out to in preparation for the president's Wednesday visit said that they did not want to meet the president, a source briefed on the matter tells CNN. 1/— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) August 8, 2019
7/ "…but by the many members of medical staff who lined the hallways to meet them. It was a moving visit for all involved.” — @PressSec— Jake Tapper (@jaketapper) August 8, 2019