Andre and Jordan Anchondo stopped in a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, a few days ago to get back-to-school supplies for their 6-year-old daughter, as well as goods for a barbecue they were having at their new home later that day. Both were murdered trying to protect their infant son Paul.
Days later, Donald and Melania made their way to El Paso to “comfort” the survivors and first responders. Rep. Veronica Escobar says that she tried to speak with Trump ahead of the visit to talk about the impact of the racist language he uses, and that Trump refused to take the call. His staff said he was “too busy.” So Rep. Escobar refused to meet with Trump, saying, “I declined the invitation because I refuse to be an accessory to his visit. I refuse to join without a dialogue about the pain his racist and hateful words & actions have caused our community and country.”
The eight survivors who are still hospitalized must have felt the same, because they all refused to meet with Trump at the hospital. Instead, Donald and Melania walked around the hospital, where Trump cracked jokes, acting more like the stand-up comedian in chief than a president offering comfort in a time of national crisis.
In fact, the White House refused to let reporters tour the Dayton and El Paso hospitals with Trump. Officials told the White House press pool that they didn’t want the day to be about photo ops, that this was serious business, after all.
Except it was about photo ops for Donald Trump, and doesn’t appear to have been about much else. Hospital officials in El Paso told CNN’s Jim Acosta that the president had a “lack of empathy” and made staff feel uncomfortable when he kept disparaging Beto O’Rourke and bringing up the size of his crowd at an El Paso rally a few months ago. The White House team arranged for two survivors, who’d already been checked out of the hospital, to come back for that photo op. Incredibly, ghoulishly, one of those survivors was the infant son of Andre and Jordan Anchondo. Look at this man in the photo above, posing like this with a baby whose parents were murdered only days before.
Be best, Melania. This is not normal. This is indecent, grotesque, narcissistic. In a nutshell, it is classic Trump.