Donald Trump had his first opportunity Thursday since winning the presidential election to play the role of comforter-in-chief.
Ahead of a rally in Iowa as part of his “thank you” tour, the president-elect met privately with the families and first responders of the victims of the likely terrorist attack on the campus of Ohio State on Nov. 28. Ohio State student Abdul Razak Ali Artan crashed a relative’s car into a crowd of students and staff and then starting slashing with a butcher knife, sending 11 people to the hospital. A campus police officer shot him dead.
“The police and first responders were incredible. The job done, in particular, by one young gentleman was incredible.”
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“We just saw the victims and the families,” Trump told reporters Thursday. “And we were really, I mean these were really brave people, amazing people. The police and first responders were incredible. The job done, in particular, by one young gentleman was incredible.”
Trump praised the victims’ relatives.
“The families have done so well to come through this so well,” he said. “And so, a lot of respect.”
Trump did not take questions, although he took time to note the death of 95-year-old John Glenn, one of America’s first astronauts, who later represented Ohio in the Senate.
“To me, he was a great American hero, a truly great American hero,” he said. “I met him on two separate occasions. Liked him, always liked him, but he was, indeed, an American hero.”
It is not the first time that Trump has given aid and comfort to suffering Americans. In August, he helped flooding victims in Louisiana. The state’s Democratic governor, John Bel Edwards, initially dismissed the visit as a “photo op.” But later, he acknowledged that it was helpful if it raised awareness of the plight of his constituents.