Trump and his aides apparently view his post-shootings visit to Dayton and El Paso as 'something of a debacle'

Trump meets the press aboard Air Force One
(Image credit: Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images)

As President Trump prepares for a 10-day stay at his golf resort in New Jersey starting Friday, punctuated early on with a big-dollar fundraiser in New York's Hamptons, nobody in the White House seems happy with Trump's visit Wednesday to Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, the cities where two back-to-back shootings over the weekend left 31 victims dead. Trump and some of his aides publicly called the visits a big success, but privately, aides "conceded Thursday that his visits to two cities in mourning did not go as planned," CNN reported Thursday evening. That was already clear by Thursday morning, as New York Times reporter Maggie Haberman told CNN.

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The perception got worse as video emerged of Trump bragging falsely about his crowd sizes while visiting victims in the El Paso hospital. "White House officials blocked reporters and their cameras from entering the two hospitals," fearing "a moment like the one that is now going viral," CNN reports, but Trump's social media team released glowing photos and a campaign-style video of the hospital visits afterward, after Trump "lashed out at his staff for keeping the cameras away from him, complaining that he wasn't receiving enough credit."

And on Thursday, reporters confirmed that some of the recovering victims — including an infant whose parents died saving him at the El Paso Walmart — were brought back after being discharged so they could be photographed with Trump, after other patients said they didn't want to meet with the president.

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"Multiple staffers agreed behind the scenes that [the trip] wasn't successful from the administration's viewpoint," CNN reports. But "Trump was also unhappy with the visit. He fumed about the coverage on the long flight back to Washington, one person said." Trump "was particularly upset by excerpts from a news conference in Ohio" in which Sen. Sherrod Brown (D), while taking "a mostly respectful tone toward the president," had also said "some people at the hospital had privately said they do not support Mr. Trump," the Times reports. "Trump reacted with fury. As his plane soared toward a restive El Paso, he shouted at aides that no one was defending him."

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