Parkland school shooting survivor Kyle Kashuv spent Thursday making a whirlwind trip to Washington, D.C., that included a chance to sit down with President Donald Trump and first lady Melania Trump, as well as meetings with several lawmakers from both sides of the aisle.
Following his meeting with the president and first lady, the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School junior tweeted, “They’re true patriots,” and thanked White House counselor Kellyanne Conway.
Among other reasons for his visit was to promote his ReachOut app, which is a way students who are struggling emotionally can connect and communicate with others in school, The Washington Post reported.
Melania Trump tweeted after the visit, “Wonderful to meet @KyleKashuv today. His message of unity is one we should all share. Thank you for visiting us at the @WhiteHouse & hope you enjoyed your surprise meeting with @potus! Wishing you much success w @TheReachOutApp.”
She also posted a video highlighting different scenes from Kashuv’s time at the White House.
The young man spoke about his visit on “Fox & Friends” on Friday, describing the first lady as “maternal and loving and caring.”
Kashuv told Fox he also met with GOP Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Orrin Hatch of Utah. Kashuv supports the lawmakers’ Student, Teachers, and Officers Preventing School Violence Act of 2018.
The Washington Examiner reported that the legislation “would permit the Justice Department to extend grants to train students, school personnel, and law enforcement to be aware of red flags associated with violence and ways to intervene so people do not cause harm to themselves or others. Additionally, the legislation supports states incorporating technology such as an anonymous reporting systems.”
“The tragedy in Parkland was the direct result of a failure to communicate between law enforcement, the F.B.I., and Broward County Schools,” Rubio said in a statement. He added that the measure “would help fix these shortcomings on a national level by driving collaboration between law enforcement and schools to help identify and stop dangerous and violent individuals before they act.”
The bill has garnered bipartisan support, with Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer and Democrat Sen. Amy Klobuchar of Minnesota both signing on.
In contrast to other Marjory Stoneman classmates who have been in the media since the shooting, Kashuv has voiced his support for the Second Amendment.
Cameron Kasky, Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg are among the students promoting the March for Our Lives event in Washington later this month, which is being organized by liberal groups — including Everytown For Gun Safety, Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense, MoveOn.org, Planned Parenthood and the Women’s March LA.
Hogg recently stated on Bill Mahrer’s program that he hung up on the White House when he was invited to a listening session with Trump after the shooting.
“I ended on this message with them. I said, ‘We don’t need to listen to President Trump. President Trump needs to listen to the screams of the children and the screams of this nation,’” Hogg recounted.
Kashuv told Fox News he was mad when he had heard Hogg’s comments.
“You know, I’m really trying to control my anger at what he said,” Kashuv said. “Because, you know, the president calls you and then shows he wants to make a change, and you’re talking about bipartisan change and the one man who controls — who leads our nation, you know, comes to you and is like, look, let’s do something, let’s make it happen.”
“And you hang up the phone on him? That’s so hypocritical,” the student continued. “You know, David Hogg was like — we have to make a change. Let’s make this happen. And then the White House calls you and is like let’s do it. I totally agree, let’s make the change. And then you hang up on him and then you brag about it on national television? It’s extremely counterproductive.”
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