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When guns and politics meet, nothing escapes scrutiny.
After President Donald Trump went to the Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton to visit shooting survivors, hospital staff and first responders, Trump tweeted his dismay over Democrats "misrepresenting" his time there.
"Just left Dayton, Ohio, where I met with the Victims & families, Law Enforcement, Medical Staff & First Responders. It was a warm & wonderful visit. Tremendous enthusiasm & even Love. Then I saw failed Presidential Candidate (0%) Sherrod Brown & Mayor Whaley totally misrepresenting what took place inside of the hospital. Their news conference after I left for El Paso was a fraud. It bore no resemblance to what took place with those incredible people that I was so lucky to meet and spend time with."
Trump was referring to a news conference by U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio, and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley. Did they misrepresent what happened? For this fact-check, we go to the tape.
Trump went straight from Wright-Patterson Air Force Base to the hospital where he spent about two hours. No media was allowed. The White House provided video and photos. They show many smiles and handshakes as Trump met with people.
Afterward, the hospital’s CEO told reporters the visit was meaningful and at times emotional.
Controversy preceded Trump’s visit. At a vigil after the shooting that killed nine people, Republican Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine was shouted down by the crowd. The day before Trump came to Dayton, Mayor Whaley told reporters she was disappointed in Trump’s response to the shooting and wouldn’t discourage protestors who objected to his visit.
Whaley and Brown greeted Trump at the Air Force base and accompanied him at the hospital.
After he left, they took questions at Dayton City Hall. They spent the bulk of their time talking about gun policy. They said they asked Trump to support universal background checks, fund Medicaid mental health services and ban assault weapons.
Brown downplayed the value of Trump giving awards to the police who stopped the killer. Brown suggested what he cast as a more substantive step.
"The most important thing you can do for these police officers is take these assault weapons off the streets so they don't have to go up against those assault weapons, and they need to take down a shooter," Brown said.
Brown criticized Trump for using rhetoric that he said divides Americans and invites racial discord. And both of them said they expected little action to come from Trump to regulate firearms.
Brown and Whaley said very little about Trump’s time with patients and others.
By our count, they spoke about 1,800 words in the 14 minutes they spent with reporters. Out of that, they offered about 60 words describing the time Trump spent with citizens.
Those words did not run afoul of Trump’s version of events.
"I think the victims and the first responders were grateful that the president of the United States came today," Whaley said.
"He was received as well as you can expect by the patients," Brown said. "They are hurting. He was comforting, he and Melania did the right things. It's his job, in part, to comfort people. I'm glad he did it."
Viewers of the video can judge the tone of their remarks.
Immediately after the news conference, the Associated Press reported, "Ohio Democratic officials say they were gratified by President Donald Trump’s visit to the Dayton, the scene of a weekend mass shooting, and said Trump was treated respectfully, despite the fact some didn’t agree with his past rhetoric or policies."
The White House declined to comment.
Trump said the remarks from Democrats Brown and Whaley misrepresented his visit with survivors, medical staff and first responders of the shooting in Dayton. He called their presentation "a fraud."
Brown and Whaley said very little about Trump’s meeting, but what they said leaned toward the positive. Brown called Trump "comforting," and said he was glad Trump had come. Whaley said people were grateful that the president had visited.
That might amount only to measured praise of Trump’s time at the hospital, but it doesn’t come close to being a fraud or misrepresenting the mood.
We rate this claim False.
Donald Trump, tweet, Aug. 7, 2019
Donald Trump, tweet: Dayton hospital, Aug. 7, 2019
Donald Trump, tweet: Dayton video, Aug. 7, 2019
Dan Scavino, tweet, Aug. 7, 2019
Dayton Daily News, Miami Valley Hospital leaders recount Trump visit, Aug. 7, 2019
Associated Press, The Latest: Video shows Trump joking about crowd sizes, Aug. 7, 2019
Cincinnati Enquirer, Dayton mayor on Trump: 'I think he heard me, but I don’t know if he’ll take action.', Aug. 7, 2019
Cincinnati.com, Sen. Sherrod Brown, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley speak to press on Trump's visit, Aug. 7, 2019
CBS News, White House slams Ohio Democrats, insists Trump was given warm welcome at Dayton hospital, Aug. 7, 2019
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