Trump Blames FBI for Florida School Shooting, Says They are Distracted by Russia

Published February 18th, 2018 - 02:08 GMT
(AFP)
(AFP)

President Donald Trump said it was 'not acceptable' that the FBI missed signs the Florida school shooter was going to attack, slamming the agency for 'spending too much time' focusing on the Russian collusion investigation.  

After a week during which Robert Mueller appeared to prove Russian interference in the 2016 presidential election, Trump used the shooting, in which 17 died, including 14 children, to attack the FBI for going after him in the Russian collusion investigation.

And in just one 280 character tweet late Saturday night, he managed to conflate the two biggest national news stories of the week - Russian election interference and the Florida tragedy.

'Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter,' he tweeted. 'This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign - there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud!'   

Trump sparked anger among many Twitter users - but perhaps none so much as Arizona State Congressman and Iraqi War veteran Ruben Gallego - who went so far as to call the president a psychopath. 

'You are such a psychopath that you have to make even the death of 17 children about you,' Gallego, a democrat, wrote. 'America will regret the day you were ever born.'  

President Donald Trump said it was 'not acceptable' that the FBI missed signs the Florida school shooter was going to attack, slamming the agency for 'spending too much time' focusing on the Russian collusion investigation 

President Donald Trump said it was 'not acceptable' that the FBI missed signs the Florida school shooter was going to attack, slamming the agency for 'spending too much time' focusing on the Russian collusion investigation 

The president failed to mention that the FBI, which has 35,000 employees, was alerted to the 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz at its field office in Miami. Field officers in Miami have nothing to do with looking into the Russian collusion into the 2016 election -  that is being handled in Washington.

The message came just a few hours after a late-afternoon tweet-storm from the president, in which he took aim at the 'fake news media' for failing to report that a Facebook executive confirmed the majority of Russian spending on ads came after the 2016 election. 

He also took the opportunity to attack Democrats for failing to pass gun control legislation during Obama's eight years in the White House. 

It seemed that in the series of Tweets about Russian collusion and the Florida school shooting, Trump was paving the way for his late-evening message linking the two things. 

These messages all came just one day after special counsel Robert Mueller issued a 37-page indictment, charging 13 Russian individuals and three companies with a series of crimes related to the Russian interference into the 2016 election.  

But Trump is far from the only person to attack the FBI field office in Miami for overlooking warning signs that pointed to the likelihood that Nikolas Cruz would become a school shooter. 

Cruz was repeatedly identified by local and federal agencies as a troubled young man with violent tendencies, and on Friday the FBI admitted it failed to investigate a tip by someone last month identifying him as a potential threat.

In that tip, someone close to Cruz identified him as a gun owner intent on killing people, and said it might happen at school. 

Local police were also called to the teen's home multiple times over the past few years for reports of disturbances. 

A state report also shows that Cruz worried officials at his school, who on at least one occasion alerted a crisis unit because they believed he needed emergency counselling. Cruz had a long history of violence at the school, including fighting with teachers and using profane language.  

And nearly a year-and-a-half before his brutal crime, the Florida Department of Children and Families conducted an in-home investigation of Cruz.  They had been alerted to posts on snapchat of the then 18-year-old cutting his arms and speaking about wanting to buy a gun. 

 

 

 

This article has been adapted from its original source. 

 


© Associated Newspapers Ltd.

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