Donald Trump had spent Wednesday essentially hiding from real people.
His visits to the sites of two mass shootings were almost illicit: he avoided public places in favor of hospitals, where he met mostly with people who were on duty and therefore unlikely to make a scene. He saw few actual shooting victims, and, evidently fearing that some might confront him with his own culpability in spreading the toxic anti-immigrant hysteria that infected one of the shooters, he didn’t let journalists come along.
Some observers were not impressed.
Trump conducts stealth visits to Dayton and El Paso–out of sight of crowds and press–totally managed visits with only photos from White House flacks. Shuffled in and out of back doors. He is so despised he can't appear in public anymore.
— David Rothkopf (@djrothkopf) August 7, 2019
White House press officials had insisted that the visit was not “a photo opp” but was “about the victims and their families and thanking medical staff.” That was quickly revealed as a lie, when the press office released not one, not two, but three slick videos shot and selectively edited by its own film crew, North Korean style. The third one actually had a triumphant soundtrack.