Parkland Dad Swoops in After MSNBC Reporter Takes 9/11 Shot at Trump


President Donald Trump’s public statements and actions have led some critics to opine that he is incapable of showing the compassion Americans expect from a commander in chief.

For the father of one student killed in a mass school shooting earlier this year, however, Trump’s behavior behind closed doors revealed a different side of his personality.

Andrew Pollack spoke out in defense of the president following widespread denouncement of the gesture Trump used when arriving in Shanksville, Pennsylvania, for the 17th anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks.

The father, whose daughter, Meadow, was killed in the Feb. 14 mass shooting at Marjory Stonheman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, told the The Daily Caller that media commentary about Trump’s inability to console grieving citizens is “bogus.”

One such comment came from MSNBC’s Geoff Bennett, who said Trump seems incapable of expressing appropriate emotion.

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“Clearly, the president was responding to people who were happy to see him,” the reporter said. “He got a lot of applause lines here today.”

Suggesting self-promotion was the primary motivation for the president, Bennett said it is “true … that he’s not yet really displayed a capacity for the pastoral elements of the presidency.”

Though Pollack did not directly address the president’s public displays that have evoked harsh rebukes from various political commentators, he said Trump has displayed sincerity during their private meetings.

“I’ve met him three times privately,” he told The Daily Caller. “He always makes a point to meet myself and family and remembers my daughter, Meadow.”

Claiming the president “can be empathetic and compassionate,” Pollack said that the “media just doesn’t show that side of his personality.”

The story caught the attention of Trump supporters on social media.

Bennett was one of several reporters to focus on Trump’s campaign rally-style arrival for the somber occasion.

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Does President Donald Trump show enough compassion?

“He’s not really taken to being a consoler in chief,” Bennett said. “It’s not in his DNA. In this instance, there was a moment in time the president was happy to see people who were happy to see him.”

CNN’s Jake Tapper praised Trump’s address in Shanksville as “a fairly nice job,” but questioned some of the president’s behavior earlier in the day.

“There is a certain consoler in chief that politicians, especially presidents, are called on to do,” Tapper said.

He went on to add that Trump “doesn’t really seem to get what people are looking for” in such situations.

Pollack, however, said some images the media uses to paint a portrait of the president are misleading.

“He went out of his way to ask us how we are all doing,” he said of Trump. “Brought his son and daughter over to meet us, also. I can call his staff at any time and get him a message. His daughter-in-law, Lara, opened her schedule for us when we were in New York and sat with me and my wife for over an hour discussing policy.”

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Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a wide range of newsrooms.
Chris Agee is an American journalist with more than 15 years of experience in a variety of newsroom settings. After covering crime and other beats for newspapers and radio stations across the U.S., he served as managing editor at Western Journalism until 2017. He has also been a regular guest and guest host on several syndicated radio programs. He lives in Phoenix, Arizona, with his wife and son.
Texas Press Association, Best News Writing - 2012
Bachelor of Arts, Journalism - Averett University
Professional Memberships
Online News Association
Topics of Expertise
Politics, Entertainment