Trump visits Las Vegas on ‘sad day’ after mass shooting
By CATHERINE LUCEY
LAS VEGAS — Declaring it a “very, very sad day” for himself and the nation, President Donald Trump traveled Wednesday to the city where a gunman killed 59 people at a concert. He is meeting with survivors and law enforcement officials in the aftermath of the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
Air Force One landed at the airport near the famed Las Vegas strip on a bright, sunny morning just days after a gunman on the 32nd floor of a hotel and casino opened fire on people at an outdoor country music festival below. The Sunday night rampage killed at least 59 people and injured 527, some from gunfire and some from a chaotic escape.
“It’s a very sad thing. We are going to pay our respects and to see the police who have done really a fantastic job in a very short time,” Trump told reporters before departing the White House. He said that authorities were “learning a lot more” about the shooter, Stephen Craig Paddock, and that more details would be “announced at an appropriate time.”
“It’s a very, very sad day for me personally,” he said.
Trump’s trip to Las Vegas follows his Tuesday travel to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico — a pair of back-to-back episodes that are testing his ability to unite and lift the nation in times of strife. Trump, a leader who excels at political provocation and prides himself on commanding strength, has sometimes struggled to project empathy.
During Tuesday’s trip, he highlighted Puerto Rico’s relatively low death toll compared with “a real catastrophe like Katrina,” when as many as 1,800 people died in 2005 as levees protecting New Orleans broke. He also pointed repeatedly to praise his administration had received for its efforts, despite criticism on the island of a sluggish response.
Trump has a long […]