At a White House “listening session” on Wednesday, President Trump needed a handwritten cue card to help him appear more sympathetic while talking with student survivors and family members involved in last week’s Parkland, Florida school shooting.
The palmed note, written on White House stationery, included prompts that the president could use to make him seem like he was listening and engaged as attendees shared their grief.
On the other side of the note, which cameras couldn’t see, was written: “Sit up straight. Don’t fart. Smile occasionally.”
At one point, the president strayed from his cheat sheet to suggest that the solution to preventing future school shootings was to arm teachers in their classrooms:
“If you had a teacher with, who was adept at firearms, they could very well end the attack very quickly,” Mr. Trump offered. “And the good thing about a suggestion like that, and we’re going to be looking at it very strongly, I think a lot of people are going to be opposed to it, I think a lot of people are going to like it. But the good thing is you’ll have a lot of people with that.”
That tone-deaf gobbledygook from the president, which he read off a second cheat sheet apparently written by the N.R.A., was met with harsh criticism by almost everyone in the room and on the planet, as the idea of more guns in schools would certainly increase the incidence of gun violence on campuses and not make schools safer.
The listening session ended with President Trump telling those in attendance that he owned a nice home in Florida where he liked to play golf. After waiting briefly for a round of applause, the president rose and left the room.
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