50 people at an LGBT nightclub in Orlando, Florida, were left dead and 53 others injured in the early hours of Sunday after being attacked by a gunman.
Omar Mateen was identified as the suspected gunman at Pulse, a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida, and his father has revealed he believes his son had homophobic motives. It is the worst mass shooting in modern U.S. history.
While grieving families and survivors mourn the tragedy, many politicians expressed their sadness and affirmed the need tighten both gun control and extremism, TIME reports. But presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump managed to make the horrific events about him.
Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don't want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance. We must be smart!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2016
Taking to Twitter, he felt the need to mention the congratulations he’s recieved ‘for being right on radical Islamic terrorism.’
Hours later, he posted the same message to Facebook for good measure.
While I greatly appreciate everybody congratulating me for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don't want congratulations, I want toughness and vigilance. We must finally be smart!
His supporters apparently wasted no time in telling him that the Orlando massacre is proof he was right to bring attention to Islamic terrorism. But his infamous proposed Muslim ban would have had no effect in this case. Mateen, who died during the attack, was born in New York and is a U.S. citizen, the Huffington Post reports.
His inappropriate tweet drew the wrath of countless Twitter users:
.@realDonaldTrump You're the only person in America who would or could "appreciate the congrats" while families mourn 50 dead.— Chris Sacca (@sacca) June 12, 2016
@sacca when is America going to see what this guy really is? Frightening.
— Josh Wolf (@joshwolfcomedy) June 12, 2016
.@realDonaldTrump You're congratulating yourself because 50 people are dead this morning in a horrific tragedy?— Meghan McCain (@MeghanMcCain) June 12, 2016
@realDonaldTrump You’re crowing about congrats because 50 people were murdered. WTF is wrong with you?— Emma Kennedy (@EmmaKennedy) June 12, 2016
@realDonaldTrump nice to use tragedy and loss of life to score political points. Classy.— Steve Clamp (@SteveClampITV) June 12, 2016
Credit for the attack was subsequently claimed by ISIS, though it is unclear the group’s operatives had any contact with U.S. citizen Mateen.
Mass shootings have historically been politicised, particularly when it comes the issue of gun control – and Trump didn’t make an exception to this after the tragic incident in Orlando.
It’s safe to assume we’ll be hearing a lot more from Trump about how this incident supposedly interlaces with his presidential campaign.