Anderson Cooper responded with an explanation of real bravery.
Amid his controversial and sustained call to arm schoolteachers recently, President Donald Trump said in a press conference that he found the actions of the security officers who failed to intervene “disgusting,” claiming that he’d “really believe I'd run in there even if I didn't have a weapon.”
The bold statement followed his qualifier that “you don’t know until you’re tested” — a phrase that would seem to be completely at odds with the concept of arming civilian teachers but one Trump maintains nonetheless.
Here’s the footage of the press event in which he made the unbelievable claim:
Pres. Trump talking about police response to Florida school shooting: "I really believe I'd run in there even if I… https://t.co/OVR7sCN2rV— ABC News Politics (@ABC News Politics) 1519665731
Unsurprisingly, the public reaction to Trump’s highly speculative but glowing self-awareness serves as a roster of incidents that suggest, no, Trump would probably not run into harm’s way for anyone regardless of whether he was armed.
The tweets in response ranged in tone from humorous to grave in light of the Feb. 14, 2018, tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
@ABCPolitics @realDonaldTrump can't protect his own son from the rain but he will run in to protect others people's… https://t.co/h83lfw6bzE— Beach Cat (@Beach Cat) 1519665929
“Trump told Stern about an old man falling [at Mar-a-Lago]. ‘I said, ‘Oh my God, that’s disgusting,’ and I turned… https://t.co/SDJMrwYno5— Kyle Griffin (@Kyle Griffin) 1519705813
.@realDonaldTrump claims he would’ve rushed into the #Parkland high school during the mass shooting: “I really beli… https://t.co/qK4s41dFIA— Dena Grayson, MD, PhD (@Dena Grayson, MD, PhD) 1519670461
“There is really nothing worse than a fake tough guy,” Meyers scoffed https://t.co/6xkzZyC7pr— Deadline Hollywood (@Deadline Hollywood) 1519756731
Perspective | Would Trump charge a gunman unarmed? Remark invites cartoon flak. https://t.co/ZYrTlDTd9C— Laura McGinnis (@Laura McGinnis) 1519750120
“I’m not good for medical,” he said in a 2008 interview. “In other words, if you cut your finger and there’s blood… https://t.co/8LUnyt0fSL— Linda Hill (@Linda Hill) 1519744630
While the reactions varied, consistent among those critical of Trump’s remarks was his ability to refrain from making another episode in this national nightmare about him. Thus far, it would seem from a Howard Stern interview that the most combat the president has seen has been in his battle to avoid STDs.
Decades later, Trump told radio host Howard Stern that avoiding sexually transmitted diseases was “my personal Viet… https://t.co/kcLvB6IX0j— Linda Hill (@Linda Hill) 1519744600
In addressing Trump’s most recent instance of bravado and self-aggrandizement, Anderson Cooper took the time to — rather than criticize the president — commend the actual instances of bravery that stemmed from the incident, which continue to this day as students, teachers, and citizens stand up to the system that allows incidents like the one on Feb. 14 to take place.
US President Trump said he would have stormed into the Florida high school to stop the gunman "even if I didn't hav… https://t.co/SR6M6WxKiq— CNN (@CNN) 1519696153
That Donald Trump would use this tragedy to put his own hypothetical bravery on display is not surprising, but it doesn’t mean the public will allow his comments to dictate the direction of the national conversation as he proposes arming more people to combat gun violence.