President Trump was admonished on Friday for calling an armed cop who hid from the Parkland mass shooting a ‘coward’ by critics who reminded him how he dodged joining the army five times as a young man.
The president was speaking at CPAC in Maryland where he was cheered on by a crowd of Republicans as he called for teachers to be given guns and firearms training in the wake of the Parkland shooting last Wednesday.
He also used the opportunity to weigh in on the criticism of Scot Peterson, a uniformed community officer who was on the campus when the gunman opened fire but who hid behind a column outside as 17 students and teachers were slaughtered.
Twitter critics responded angrily and questioned how Trump, who avoided joining the military five times, once claiming bone spurs in his feet made him medically exempt, would have acted had he been there himself.
He used college as his excuse the other four times.
‘I’d love to see how well President Bone Spurs would react to the chaos of a mass school shooting, students & teachers getting slaughtered right next to him, while he was expected to dodge bullets from an AR-15 and successfully neutralize the shooter with a handgun,’ said one angry critic.
‘The president who did NOT run toward the sound of the guns in Vietnam 50 years ago, now labels an officer with a handgun a “coward” for not running toward the sound of an AR15,’ another said.
Trump made reference to being in Vietnam during his speech but it had nothing to do with the war.
President Trump spoke at CPAC in Maryland on Friday to give a combustive speech in which he called a cop who did not run into the Parkland massacre to help a ‘coward’
Trump was immediately slammed by critics who reminded him how he dodged the army draft five times including once because of ‘bone spurs’ in his heels
Instead, he was speaking about a recent trip in November.
He also found time to mention veteran John McCain, who was captured as a Prisoner of War during the conflict.
Trump did not mention his service but instead slammed him for voting against his ‘skinny’ healthcare plan in July.
“Remember, one person walked into a room when he was supposed to go this way (Trump enthusiastically gives a thumbs up) and he said he was going this way, and he walked in and he went this way (Trump throws his thumb down) and everyone said what happened?
Trump is pictured in 1964 when he was in the New York Military Academy as an 18-year-old. He never served in the military
‘What was that all about?I don’t want to be controversial so I won’t use his name. What a mess!’ he said.
Parkland cop Scot Peterson was armed on February 14 when the massacre took place but he hid outside
McCain has still not returned to Congress since he left last year to privately battle brain cancer.
His daughter Meghan reacted to Trump’s comments on Friday by calling them ‘potshots’.
One Twitter user connected the two issues.
‘Friendly reminder that John McCain endured torture for five years because he wouldn’t leave his fellow airmen behind, whereas Trump got out of Vietnam because his feet hurt,’ they said.
Trump’s avoidance of the draft was well-documented during his presidential campaign.
In 1968, Trump told military officials he could not enlist because bone spurs in his heels were a physical disadvantage.
He was 22 at the time and had just graduated. He got out of it the four previous times were for education.
Trump also took a swipe at Republican congressman John McCain (Above with his daughter Meghan in November) for not siding with his healthcare bill in July. McCain has not been in Washington DC for months as he is battling brain cancer
McCain did serve in Vietnam and was held as a prisoner of war for five years. He is pictured in 1967 after being rescued. Trump won his fifth military deferral the next year
One Twitter user reacted angrily as Trump slammed the military veteran and politician
Trump’s ‘coward’ remark was in reference to Scot Peterson whose lack of action in the Parkland shooting was only confirmed on Thursday by his old boss.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel revealed on Thursday that he had suspended Peterson after discovering how he stayed outside and hid behind a column as gumna Nikolas Cruz murdered students and teachers inside.
Three teachers inside died as they tried to shield the students from his bullets.
They did not have guns.
Sheriff Israel said Peterson’s actions made him ‘sick to his stomach’. After being suspended without pay, he resigned this week.
The Parkland shooting has reignited the national debate on gun reform and raised it to its most fever unignorable stage in Trump’s presidency.
On Thursday, the president shared his view that more firearms in schools were needed in order to end the violence.
It has been labeled a ‘colossally stupid’ approach to the issue by experts who say it will only lead to more bloodshed.