Trump tweets about Orlando massacre anniversary, continues silence on LGBT rights
President Trump sent a tweet to acknowledge the anniversary of the Orlando Massacre, in lieu of any formal event.
The Republican billionaire was widely criticised last year for his appalling response to the horrific attack, in which 49 LGBT people lost their lives.
While Hillary Clinton sent condolences to the families and visited Orlando to meet with survivors, Trump wrote: “Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.”
The leader later exploited the tragedy at a rally to claim that there would be mass killings of gay people if he lost the election.
He acknowledged the first anniversary of the attack today, with a less offensive tweet.
The leader wrote: “We will NEVER FORGET the victims who lost their lives one year ago today in the horrific #PulseNightClub shooting. #OrlandoUnitedDay”.
The use of a photo attachment and appropriate hashtags is indicative of the tweet being sent via White House staff rather than the President himself.
The acknowledgement comes as the White House continues to ignore June’s Pride Month.
Trump has abolished the annual Pride Month proclamation which was issued by Barack Obama, and has shelved the Pride festivities at the White House.
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The Republican leader released proclamations marking June as “National Homeownership Month”, “National Ocean Month”, “African-American Music Appreciation Month” and “Great Outdoors Month” – but no such Proclamation was released for LGBT Pride Month.
His previous response to the Orlando Massacre received widespread condemnation.
In a speech directly after the massacre he rallied against “politically-correct special interests”, adding: “Ask yourself, who is really the friend of women and the L-G-B-T community, Donald Trump with his actions, or Hillary Clinton with her words?
“Clinton wants to allow Radical Islamic terrorists to pour into our country—they enslave women, and murder gays.”
Even though the attacker was a US citizen, he used the incident to call for a ban on Muslims visiting the US, claiming: “Hillary Clinton can never claim to be a friend of the gay community as long as she continues to support immigration policies that bring Islamic extremists to our country who suppress women, gays and anyone who doesn’t share their views.”
He has followed through on his pledge to be a “friend of the L-G-B-T community” by axing protections for transgender children and proposing massive cuts to HIV prevention funding.