Trump in Las Vegas: ‘We will en­dure the pain to­gether’

The Commercial Appeal - - Front Page -

WASH­ING­TON In the shadow of the Las Vegas ho­tel from which a sniper took 58 in­no­cent lives, Pres­i­dent Donald Trump sought Wed­nes­day to com­fort sur­vivors, while avoid­ing talk of gun con­trol or the on­go­ing investigation into the worst mass shoot­ing in mod­ern his­tory.

“The mes­sage I have is: ‘We have a great coun­try and we are there for you,’ ” Trump said after meet­ing with pa­tients and med­i­cal per­son­nel at a hospi­tal in a stunned city crawl­ing with se­cu­rity.

At the hospi­tal and in meet­ings with first re­spon­ders and vol­un­teers, Trump sought to keep the fo­cus on the loss of loved ones and the hero­ism of or­di­nary peo­ple who tended to vic­tims and kept the death toll down.

In for­mal re­marks as the Las Vegas Metropoli­tan Po­lice De­part­ment, Trump said he was hon­ored to be “in the com­pany of he­roes.” He dis­cussed his meet­ings with hos­pi­tal­ized pa­tients, and “we ask God to ease their suf­fer­ing.” He paid trib­ute to those who lost loved ones in a hail of bul­lets white at­tend­ing a coun­try mu­sic con­cert.

“Our souls are stricken with grief,” the pres­i­dent said. “We know your sor­row feels end­less. ... We will en­dure the pain to­gether. We will over­come it to­gether as Amer­i­cans.”

Dur­ing the day, Trump said in­ves­ti­ga­tors have not yet de­ter­mined what mo­ti­vated shoot­ing sus­pect Stephen Pad­dock, but they are “look­ing very hard.”

And when a re­porter asked Trump whether he would of­fer any gun pol­icy pro­pos­als, he said sim­ply: “We are not go­ing to talk about that to­day.”

Later, dur­ing a meet­ing of first re­spon­ders, Trump praised his hosts for help­ing save lives Pres­i­dent Donald Trump after the shoot­ing. Cit­ing the “tremen­dous num­ber of sto­ries of great hero­ism,” Trump com­pli­mented po­lice and emer­gency per­son­nel. “I’ve al­ways known you guys were good,” he said.

In his meet­ing with law en­force­ment, Trump de­scribed the shooter as a “sick, de­mented man.”

Ear­lier, the pres­i­dent and first lady Me­la­nia Trump trav­eled to Univer­sity Med­i­cal Cen­ter in Las Vegas. In all, 104 peo­ple were rushed to UMC after the shoot­ing late Sun­day night. Four of those pa­tients died after ar­riv­ing.

The hospi­tal has re­leased about 40 pa­tients, while oth­ers re­main in some­where be­tween fair and se­ri­ous con­di­tion.

Se­cu­rity was tight as Trump headed for his meet­ing with sur­vivors.

As the mo­tor­cade ap­proached the hospi­tal, a group of po­lice of­fi­cers and Se­cret Ser­vice fanned across the lobby. Two men guarded the front door. An­other stood at the back end of the lobby, ex­am­in­ing ev­ery per­son who walked past.

A throng of doc­tors, nurses and other hospi­tal staff pressed them­selves against a thick set of dou­ble doors, await­ing Trump.

White House staff had se­lected a few pa­tients and oth­ers to meet Trump, and only peo­ple on the list were al­lowed through the doors.

Dur­ing the visit, Trump posed for pic­tures with pa­tients and mem­bers of the hospi­tal staff.

After land­ing in Las Vegas, both Air Force One and the pres­i­den­tial mo­tor­cade rolled within sight of Man­dalay Bay, the ho­tel that the sniper used as a perch to fire upon peo­ple at­tend­ing a mu­sic con­cert Sun­day night.

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