Trump to visit Parkland, site of Florida school shooting

Trump to visit Parkland, site of Florida school shooting
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President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse Dems demand Barr cancel 'inappropriate' press conference on Mueller report DOJ plans to release 'lightly redacted' version of Mueller report Thursday: WaPo Nadler accuses Barr of 'unprecedented steps' to 'spin' Mueller report MORE said he will make a Friday visit to Parkland, Fla., where a gunman killed 17 people at a high school in the latest mass shooting that has stunned the nation.

“I will be leaving for Florida today to meet with some of the bravest people on earth — but people whose lives have been totally shattered. Am also working with Congress on many fronts,” the president tweeted. 

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The stop comes two days after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and during a previously scheduled visit to Florida for Presidents Day weekend.

Trump on Thursday had said that he planned to meet with families and local officials and “continue coordinating the federal response.”

The president urged Americans to “answer hate with love; answer cruelty with kindness” after a 19-year-old former pupil shot and killed students and faculty at the school. 

But Trump is facing mounting pressure to address calls to tighten the nation’s gun laws following the deadliest U.S. school shooting in five years.

The president made no mention of the topic Thursday during his first public remarks on the shooting, though he did pledge to address mental health issues and school security. 

The suspected shooter legally purchased the high-powered AR-15 rifle used in the attack, his family said. He reportedly had a history of making threatening social media posts and was expelled from the high school last year for fighting.

Wednesday’s massacre has again forced Trump to assume the role of consoler-in-chief, an agonizing duty that the past three presidents have had to carry out with increasing frequency.

The president and first lady Melania TrumpMelania TrumpOvernight Health Care: CEO of largest private health insurer slams 'Medicare for All' plans | Dem bill targets youth tobacco use | CVS fined over fake painkiller prescriptions | Trump, first lady to discuss opioid crisis at summit Melania Trump, Karen Pence say they're ready to serve four more years in White House Trump, first lady to discuss opioid crisis at Atlanta conference MORE visited a Las Vegas hospital last October to console victims and first responders who were caught in the worst mass shooting in U.S. history, which occurred when a gunman cut down 58 people at an open-air concert. 

The Florida shooting caused the White House to scramble the president’s schedule. 

Trump scrapped a planned trip to Orlando, Fla., on Friday to tout his infrastructure plan and will no longer attend a campaign rally next Wednesday in Pennsylvania. 

But the president is still planning to spend the weekend at his Mar-a-Lago club in Palm Beach, Fla., following the school visit.