Solemn Trump in Vegas: ‘America truly a nation in mourning’ Associated Press Gunman ‘doted’ on girlfriend but kept secretsLAS VEGAS — Solemn in the face of tragedy, President Donald Trump visited hospital bedsides and a vital police base in stricken Las Vegas on Wednesday, offering prayers and condolences to the victims of Sunday night’s shooting massacre, along with the nation’s thanks to first responders and doctors who rushed to save lives. „America is truly a nation in mourning,” the president declared, days after a gunman on the 32nd floor of a hotel and casino opened fire on the crowd at an outdoor country music festival below. The rampage killed at least 59 people and injured 527, many from gunfire, others from chaotic efforts to escape.In Las Vegas, Trump spoke of the families who „tonight will go to bed in a world that is suddenly empty.””Our souls are stricken with grief for every American who lost a husband or a wife, a mother or a father, a son or a daughter,” he told them. „We know that your sorrow feels endless. We stand together to help you carry your pain. „It was a somber address from a provocateur president who prides himself on commanding strength but sometimes has struggled to project empathy at times of tragedy.His solemn words in Las Vegas offered a sharp contrast to his trip a day earlier to hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico, where he spoke of the „expensive” recovery effort on the island and highlighted the relatively low death toll there compared with „a real catastrophe like Katrina” in 2005.On Wednesday, Trump took a grim tour of Las Vegas, meeting face-to-face with victims and first responders.In prepared remarks, he spoke of the courage displayed by those who risked or lost their lives saving loved ones and total strangers. He described an eyewitness account of police officers standing as bullets slammed around them and trying to direct concert-goers to safety.He described a military veteran who had rushed to the scene in search of loved ones, but quickly turned to helping victims, using plastic barriers as gurneys for the injured and frantically searching for anything he could use to make splints.”The example of those whose final act was to sacrifice themselves for those they love should inspire all of us to show more love every day for the people who grace our lives,” Trump said.The president spent about four hours in a city still reeling from the worst mass shooting in modern American history.His first stop was the University Medical Center, where he spent 90 minutes meeting privately with victims, their families and medical professionals. Trump said he’d met „some of the most amazing people,” including some who’d been „very, very badly wounded” because they’d refused to flee the shooting scene.Trump said he’d invited some of those that he’d met to visit the White House if they’re ever in Washington.Generous with superlatives, Trump also commended the doctors for doing an „indescribable” job.Trump then headed to the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police headquarters, where he met with officers, dispatchers and others who’d responded to the shooting Sunday night.”You showed the world, and the world is watching,” he told them, „and you showed what professionalism is all about.”Until his final remarks, Trump focused his comments during the trip on praising recovery efforts and offering congratulations to police officers, medical professionals and survivors, rather than on grieving the dead. At the last stop, however, he spoke slowly and somberly of the lives ended or forever altered.Trump did not visit the site of the shooting, but on his trip from the airport, his motorcade drove past the Mandalay Bay hotel where the gunman fired down into the concert crowd. He also passed his own Trump hotel on his way toward the entertainment strip.Trump has a long personal connection to Las Vegas — a city where his name is written in huge golden letters atop his hotel. He also campaigned extensively across Nevada during his presidential campaign, drawing large crowds to rallies along the strip.As he has done all week, Trump batted away questions about whether the shooting warranted taking a fresh look at tougher gun controls.”We’re not going to talk about that today,” he said. „We won’t talk about that.”Republicans who control Congress have made clear they have no intention of taking up stricter gun control measures in the shooting’s aftermath. However, senior GOP lawmakers said late Wednesday they could consider legislation banning „bump stocks” like the shooter in Las Vegas apparently used to effectively convert semi-automatic rifles into fully automated weapons.Trump, elected with strong support from the National Rifle Association and with a pledge to protect the Second Amendment, had endorsed a prohibition on assault weapons in a 2000 book.__Colvin reported from Washington. Associated Press writer Ken Thomas contributed from Washington.President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump meet with first responders at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)1/5 SLIDES © The Associated PressPresident Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump meet with first responders at the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, Wednesday, Oct. 4, 2017, in Las Vegas. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)
Read more from Yahoo News:
– A surreal scene as Las Vegas returns to business after Sunday massacre
– Portrait of a mass killer: The details don’t add up
– Las Vegas, a ‘soft target,’ long feared an attack
– Now I Get It: Why haven’t authorities named Las Vegas gunman a terrorist?
– Photos: Scenes from the Las Vegas mass shooting
– Photos: Makeshift memorials pay tribute to Las Vegas shooting victims
– Photos: The front page: How newspapers portrayed the Vegas massacre
_See more news-related photo galleries and follow us on Yahoo News Photo Twitter and Tumblr.
Tillerson says he never planned to quit, won’t discuss report he called Trump a ‘moron’Christopher Wilson Editor •Tillerson disputes report he considered resigning Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said he has never considered leaving his position and affirmed his commitment to President Trump’s agenda in a statement Wednesday morning.Tillerson was responding to an NBC News report that Vice President Pence had to talk him out of resigning following Trump’s rambling, highly politicized speech to a gathering of Boy Scouts this summer. Tillerson is a former national president of the organization.Related SearchesTillerson Calls Trump MoronTrump Tillerson The NBC report also said that after the speech Tillerson called Trump a “moron.”“The vice president has never had to persuade me to remain as secretary of state because I have never considered leaving this post,” said Tillerson.When asked if the claim that he had almost resigned was the only thing he considered to be erroneous in the report, Tillerson said it was the most important part. When asked specifically if he had called the president a moron, Tillerson did not deny it, saying, “I’m not going to deal with petty stuff like that.”After Tillerson’s statement, CNN said it had confirmed through its own sources the “moron” remark, and MSNBC reporter Stephanie Rule elaborated that the exact phrase Tillerson used was “f***ing moron.” Hours after Tillerson’s remarks, a State Department spokeswoman issued a statement saying that the secretary had not called Trump a moron and “does not use that language.”Last week, after Tillerson said in an interview that the U.S. had back-channel communications with North Korea, Trump tweeted that his “wonderful” secretary of state was wasting his time talking to Pyongyang.In an interview earlier this year, Tillerson said that he never wanted the job as secretary of state and didn’t seek the post.“My wife told me I’m supposed to do this,” said the former ExxonMobil CEO when asked why he had accepted the position as America’s top diplomat.Secretary of State Rex Tillerson and President Trump confer during a Sept 20 U.N. lunch. (Reuters/Kevin Lamarque/File Photo)Trump, who is flying to Las Vegas in the wake of the mass shooting there, spent the morning attacking NBC and “fake news” and demanding an apology.Most of Tillerson’s remarks consisted of what he considered the foreign policy successes of the Trump administration and compliments of the president.“He loves this country,” said Tillerson of Trump. “He puts Americans and America first. He’s smart, he demands results wherever he goes and he holds those around him accountable for whether they’ve done the job he’s asked them to do. Accountability is one of the bedrock values the president and I share.”Tillerson also criticized the petty nature of Washington, which he said was very different from his experience in the private sector.There are currently two executive branch departments without permanent heads following John Kelly’s move from Homeland Security chief to White House chief of staff in July and Tom Price’s recent resignation as Health and Human Services secretary.