Trump criticized for ‘patronizing’ praise of hero in El Paso shooting: ‘You could be a movie star the way you look’

President Trump told Army hero Glendon Oakley, who rescued multiple children during the El Paso mass shooting, "You could be a movie star, the way you look." (Photo: Getty Images)

President Trump’s compliment — “You could be a movie star, the way you look” — to an Army soldier who saved children during the El Paso shooting, wasn’t universally flattering.

On Wednesday, the president and first lady Melania Trump flew to Dayton, Ohio where 9 people were shot and killed Sunday, and El Paso, Texas where 22 died after a gunman’s spree at Walmart, to congratulate first responders.

Fort Bliss U.S. Army specialist Glendon Oakley, who scooped up as many children as he could carry during the gunfire, met Trump.

"We run towards Dillard's, and it's like a play pen over there. I see a whole bunch of kids like, without their parents running around screaming and crying, so I grab as many as possible," Oakley previously told WMAZ-TV. He also told CBS4, "...I just did what I would want another person to do for my children.”

While thanking first responders at the Emergency Operations Center in El Paso, Trump turned to Oakley. “And, by the way, here is a great hero,” he said. “This man — the job he did. You all know who it is. Everybody — the whole world knows who you are now, right?”

“Yes, Mr. President,” answered Oakley, prompting this from Trump: “So you’ll be a movie star, the way you look. That’ll be — hey, that’ll be next. Who knows, right?”

“Yes, sir,” said Oakley.

Twitter said the out-of-place praise was “weird” and asked why Trump did not address Oakley by name.

Trump’s morning was controversial as well— after landing in Dayton, Ohio, the first couple visited recovering victims at the Miami Valley Hospital, where the president took selfies and grinned while giving the thumbs-up sign in photos.

The moment mimicked a Hollywood signing, people tweeted.

Afterward, Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, who were at the hospital, gave a press conference and Brown stated that he wanted the president and Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to support background checks for gun purchases.

Brown also disagreed that poor mental health was singularly responsible for gun violence, which Trump has argued. “...If he cares about mental health, the important thing is not to repeal the Affordable Care Act and not to cut Medicaid..” said Brown, then slammed Republicans for lying “in bed with the gun lobby.”

A president who “divides” and has “racist” rhetoric is troublesome, said Brown. However, according to CNN, Brown also said that Trump was "received well by the patients” and "did the right things” at the hospital.

After Trump left Dayton, he tweeted about the “fraud” press conference, accusing Brown and Whaley of “totally misrepresenting” his hospital visit.

However, when Whaley read Trump’s tweets on camera, she said, “I’m really confused — we said he was treated very well. Oh well, he lives in his world of Twitter.”


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