Trump meets with families affected by Texas shooting


President Donald Trump spent over an hour yesterday offering private condolences to some of the families affected by this month deadly Texas school shooting, the latest spasm of mass violence in a year marred by assaults on the nation's schools.

While in Texas, Trump's newly formed school safety commission met outside Washington, part of the president's chosen solution to combat the rising tide of bloodshed after his brief flirtation with tougher gun laws went nowhere.

A White House spokesman said Trump was "moved" by the May 18 shooting at Santa Fe High School, which left eight students and two substitute teachers dead. A student faces capital murder charges in the attack. "These events are very tragic, whenever they happen. And you know, the president wants to extend his condolences and talk about the issue of school safety," spokesman Raj Shah told Fox News Channel.

Trump, who at times has awkwardly embraced his role as the national comforter in chief, did not publicly share what he told the grieving families and local leaders during a meeting at a Coast Guard base outside Houston. Reporters were not permitted to witness the meeting.

Hogan Gidley, a White House spokesman travelling with the president, said the people Trump met with "were all affected in some way" by the shooting. Gidley refused to categorise the individuals or release other details "out of respect for them and the grieving process." Separately, Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, whom Trump put in charge of the school safety commission, announced a 1 million grant to the Santa Fe school district to help with post-shooting recovery efforts.

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott and US Sen. Ted Cruz, both Republicans, greeted Trump after Air Force One landed at a Houston military base. Abbott joined Trump for the short ride in the presidential limousine to a Coast Guard hangar where the meeting took place.

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