- Christine Stapleton Palm Beach Post Staff Writer
President Donald Trump skipped golf Saturday but kept busy with tweets about Russian interference in the 2016 election and phone calls to officials about the deadly mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, including one to the school’s principal.
The president and first lady Melania Trump arrived at Palm Beach International Airport Friday evening and went directly to Broward Health North hospital, where he met with victims of the shooting and medical personnel who treated the victims. They then traveled to the Broward County Sheriff’s Office where they thanked police and first-responders.
The president’s motorcade returned to Mar-a-Lago about 9:30 p.m. Shortly before midnight, he tweeted four photos of his visit with a wounded student in her hospital bed, surrounded by her family, and three other photos of himself and the first lady with hospital staff who treated the wounded. The president skipped golf on Saturday out of respect for the victims, according to Bloomberg News. Funerals for several victims were held Friday and Saturday.
The president also called Parkland Mayor Christine Hunschofsky, Broward County Commissioner Michael Udine, and Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Principal Ty Thompson to express condolences and offer support to the students, families and community.
The president made no mention of tightening gun control laws in shooting’s aftermath until a tweet he posted at 6:45 p.m.
“Just like they don’t want to solve the DACA problem, why didn’t the Democrats pass gun control legislation when they had both the House & Senate during the Obama Administration. Because they didn’t want to, and now they just talk!”
The president shifted his attention to Russian interference in the November 2016 presidential election, confirmed on Friday in a 37-page indictment against 13 Russian nationals. All are accused of an extensive misinformation campaign on social media designed to sow discord among American voters.
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In the span of 45 minutes on Saturday afternoon, the president posted five tweets about the Russians - claiming the indictments prove there was no collusion between his campaign and the Russians and that the efforts did not sway the election. In two tweets, the president retweeted Rob Goldman, the vice president of Facebook ads. In his tweets, Goldman said he had seen all the Russian ads and that “swaying the election was *NOT* the main goal.”
“The Fake News Media never fails,” Trump tweeted. “Hard to ignore this fact from the Vice President of Facebook ads, Rob Goldman!”
Melania Trump also tweeted on Saturday - steering clear of politics and urging Americans to “test the power of kindness on #RandomActsofKindnessDay.”
“It’s an opportunity to teach our children the importance of taking care of one another,” the first lady tweeted.
FULL COVERAGE: Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting
On Sunday, the president will meet with Speaker of the House Paul Ryan at Mar-a-Lago to discuss their legislative agenda, according to the White House.