President Donald Trump said on Monday that he would have run into the Florida high school in order to prevent the gunman from carrying out this month’s mass shooting.
“You don’t know until you test it, but I really believe I’d run in there even if I didn’t have a weapon,” Trump told a gathering of governors at the White House. “And I think most of the people in this room would have done that, too.”
The Hill reports that the president was doubling down on his criticism of an armed sheriff’s deputy who did not confront the shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where 17 people were killed earlier this month.
“They weren’t exactly Medal of Honor winners, alright?” Trump said. “The way they performed was frankly disgusting.”
Trump also told the governors he ate lunch last weekend with leaders of the National Rifle Association (NRA), saying, “Don’t worry about the NRA. They’re on our side.”
Meanwhile, the White House clarified Trump’s remarks saying that he would have stepped up “as a leader” during the attack.
“I think he was just stating that as a leader, he would have stepped in and hopefully been able to help. As a number of the individuals that were in the school, the coach and other adults and even a lot of the students stepped up and helped protect other students,” Sarah Huckabee Sanders the White House press secretary said Monday.
“I think the point he was making is that he would have wanted to play a role in that as well,” she added.
The deputy’s lawyer defended his client saying that the officer thought the gunshots were coming from outside the school, and not inside the building. According to The Hill, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel suspended the deputy after viewing surveillance footage of him outside the school during the shooting. The deputy has since filed for retirement.