President TrumpDonald TrumpJan. 6 panel faces double-edged sword with Alex Jones, Roger Stone Trump goes after Woodward, Costa over China Republicans seem set to win the midterms — unless they defeat themselves 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.
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 TrumpRNC pushes back against call for chair's resignation over LGBT outreach Trump Tower bar selling presidential cocktail with side of Diet Coke, beef sliders Cheney knocks Ted Cruz: 'A real man would be defending his wife' 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.