Sen. Chuck Schumer, the minority leader, called Trump’s exchange with the Pittsburgh residents “a disgrace.”
“The president has chosen a bizarre and juvenile way to explain this terrible attack,” Schumer said. “It is clear he is insensitive and uncaring about what happened in Pittsburgh, even if he could not be in Pittsburgh to face it personally.”
Speaking in the House chamber, House Speaker Paul Ryan recalled being in a car when he heard the news from his “command center” — that is, the basement office of the speaker, where a reporter’s notes can get his attention quickly.
“Fortunately, it was a lot sooner than the attack in Charlottesville,” Ryan said. “I love that way of life. The world is full of hate. We’re all different. But the only thing that separates us is the courage of our convictions.”
John Kelly, the president’s chief of staff, was asked if the president was “being held accountable for his anti-Muslim bias.” Kelly replied: “No, I would not say that. He’s going to meet with the families. He’s going to talk to representatives from the community and talk about what’s coming, and I think that’s what matters.”