On the one-year mark of the Pulse massacre, President Trump tweeted on Monday an image of the 49 individuals killed at the gay nightclub, urging his followers to “never forget” the victims.
“We will NEVER FORGET the victims who lost their lives one year ago today in the horrific #PulseNightClub shooting,” Trump tweeted.
Trump also used the hashtag #OrlandoUnitedDay, which is one of the hashtags used by those remembering the massacre in Orlando, Fla., as well as 49 people killed and 53 wounded on that day.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 12, 2017
Trump’s tweet is consistent with remarks he made over his presidential campaign invoking the mass shooting, the deadliest in American history, as evidence of the need to confront Islamic extremism. During his acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention, Trump recalled the shooting and said he’d “protect our LGBTQ citizens from the violence and oppression of the hateful, foreign ideology.”
But the tweet contrasts with anti-LGBT policy initiatives from Trump over the course of his administration, such as the revocation of Obama-era guidance assuring transgender kids access to school bathrooms consistent with their gender identity, as well as anti-LGBT appointments like U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions and Secretary of Housing & Urban Development Ben Carson.
As similar violence inspired by violent extremism takes place across the globe, Trump has promoted the idea of a travel ban temporarily banning refugees and immigration from six Muslim-majority countries. Courts have enjoined the enforcement of the ban on the basis that it violates due process and freedom of religion and litigation challenging the ban has reached the Supreme Court.
A White House official told the Washington Blade via email the tweet represents Trump’s opposition to violence and commitment to defeating terrorism.
“The president has been clear that he condemns all acts of violence against any American and what happened in Orlando should never happen again,” the official said. “He will always fight against all acts of terrorism against any American.”
In response to a Blade inquiry on the origin of the photo Trump tweeted, the White House official professed to be unaware, but was looking into that.