President Donald Trump has been lambasted online after photos of his “crib sheet” for a discussion with survivors of school shootings went viral.
The White House audience was attended by survivors of the recent massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, as well as “parents of children killed in shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary and Columbine High School”, Sky News reports.
The handwritten side of paper, which was clearly visible to cameras, contained a list of five bullet points seemingly intended to guide the commander-in-chief through his meeting with students, parents and teachers affected by gun violence in schools.
Subscribe to The Week
Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.
Prompts on the sheet included "What would you most want me to know about your experience?” and “What can we do to help you feel safe?”.
The final pointer read, simply, “I hear you”.
The image quickly spread on social media, where critics accused the president of “feigning compassion”, says Sky News.
Although some saw a (limited) bright side:
However, speaking without notes or autocue, the president “cast a tender tone” in his address to attendees, CNN reports.
“I just grieve for you... to me, there could be nothing worse than what you've gone through,” Trump said.
“Thank you for pouring out your hearts because the world is watching and we're going to come up with a solution.”
Continue reading for free
We hope you're enjoying The Week's refreshingly open-minded journalism.
Subscribed to The Week? Register your account with the same email as your subscription.