The Obama administration’s former White House photographer has stepped up his insult game.
Pete Souza’s Instagram account has become popular for the subtle and not-so-subtle shade he throws President Trump’s way, calling out Trump’s gaffes and unstatesmanlike moments with more dignified equivalents from the Obama years. But sometimes when Trump goes low, Souza meets him there.
The day after Trump said he would have “run in” unarmed to the scene of the Parkland, Florida, school shooting — implying that the school’s security guard was cowardly for not doing so — Souza posted a photo of Obama bounding up a set of stairs to make a speech, with the caption, “Back in the day when our President could run.”
Trump’s comment was criticized as both insensitive and inaccurate, as his history of self-serving behavior doesn’t lend itself to the concept of running toward gunfire, and he is an avowed opponent of physical activity. As an example of the former, several people on social media shared a photo of Trump monopolizing an umbrella on his way up the stairs to Air Force One, while his 10-year-old son, Barron, followed behind, unshielded from the rain.
This is Donald Trump in a single image. pic.twitter.com/tpgy3wgT5i
— MZS (@mattzollerseitz) February 26, 2018
Trump made his comments during a meeting of governors at the White House on Monday, saying “you don’t know until you test it” but he believed he would have rushed into the school “even if I didn’t have a weapon, and I think most of the people in this room would have done that, too.” He had previously said local law enforcement’s response to the shooting was “frankly, disgusting.”
In the White House press briefing later on Monday, press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders walked back Trump’s “run in” comment, saying that he didn’t mean he would run into a school with an active shooter but would “be a leader.”
On the day after the Parkland massacre, Souza shared a photo of Obama hugging former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who survived a mass shooting at a constituent event in 2011 and now advocates for gun control. “She knows what it’s like to be shot in the head by someone with a gun,” wrote Souza. “Now former Rep. Gabby Giffords and her husband, former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, have dedicated their lives to speaking out for sensible gun control. As Kelly said after the Las Vegas shootings a few months ago, gun violence in America is an ‘epidemic that needs to be cured.'”
She knows what it’s like to be shot in the head by someone with a gun. Now former Rep. Gabby Giffords and her husband, former NASA astronaut Mark Kelly, have dedicated their lives to speaking out for sensible gun control. As Kelly said after the Las Vegas shootings a few months ago, gun violence in America is an “epidemic that needs to be cured.” @shuttlecdrkelly @gabbygiffords