US President Donald Trump claimed that he would have run into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida to stop the gunman that killed 17 people earlier this month, even without a weapon. Trump's assertion came following reports that an armed sheriff's deputy waited outside the school for minutes as the shooter Nikolas Cruz opened fire on students and teachers with an AR-15.
"They weren't exactly Medal of Honor winners, alright?" Trump told a gathering of governors at the White House on Monday (26 February). "The way they performed was frankly disgusting."
"You know, I really believe — you don't know until you test it — but I really believe I'd run in there, even if I didn't have a weapon," he continued. "And I think most of the people in this room would have done that, too, because I know most of you. But the way they performed was really a disgrace."
His remarks also come after pushing the controversial idea of training and arming teachers to defend students in school against potential shooters.
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders later clarified Trump's statement that he would have "run in" to confront the gunman.
"I think he was stating that as a leader he would have stepped in and hopefully been able to help, as a number of the individuals that were in the school," Sanders said. "The coach and other adults, and even a lot of the students stepped up and helped protect other students. I think the point he was making was that he would have wanted to play a role in that as well."
Twitter, on the other hand, couldn't stop snickering at the notion that Trump would rush to stop a school shooting unarmed. Many pointed to his multiple deferments from the military draft during the Vietnam War - four due to educational purposes and one for alleged bone spurs in his feet. One person questioned whether he was going to "kill the shooter with arrogance."
"Trump said he would have run into that school building unarmed to stop the shooter. And he really would have— if it weren't for those bone spurs," Star Trek's George Takei tweeted.
"I would pay to see Trump run," one person said.
"Trump wouldn't run into the rain to get Melania an umbrella much less into a school to confront a gunman," another Twitter user wrote.