President Donald Trump called a surprise press conference this afternoon coinciding with former President Barack Obama’s eulogy at the funeral for John Lewis, according to White House reporters on social media.
But after hearing about the unscheduled event, critics were quick to lash out at the Trump, accusing him of trying to move attention away from Obama as he took the stage.
Trump did not have a press conference on his official schedule around 10 am until about 2:30 pm. But the pool of reporters was “abruptly” called together for what turned out to be a gathering for Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen, who was killed by another enlisted soldier in April. The family of the slain Armymember was gathered for a brief event.
“The White House press pool was just abruptly called to gather. President Trump has nothing on his schedule for another 90 minutes,” wrote Kaitlan Collins, a CNN correspondent.
A short while later, Jennifer Jacobs with Bloomberg News confirmed that the meeting was about Guillen and with her family.
Trump is meeting with the family of slain Fort Hood soldier Vanessa Guillen, whose remains were discovered in June. Her mom says she wants help with justice for her daughter. pic.twitter.com/7Dnajcd45S
— Jennifer Jacobs (@JenniferJJacobs) July 30, 2020
After entering the room for the event, pundit J.D. Durkin commented on the situation, calling it an attempt at one-upmanship on Trump’s behalf.
“[M]eeting with the mother of Vanessa Guillen is admirable, and should rightfully become a White House priority……but calling in the pool at the *exact* moment Obama takes the stage in Atl. suggests a pettiness that proves Trump’s obsession with one-upping his predecessor again,” he wrote.
“He’s trying – and will fail – to step on John Lewis funeral service. Trump is a whiny toddler. Has no compassion or empathy,” wrote Betsy Blaney, a producer for NPR in Texas.