President Donald Trump’s nonchalant response to having his White House briefing interrupted by a shooting outside has gone viral, earning over-the-top praise from his supporters.
The moment: Nine minutes after being rushed out of the room by Secret Service agents, Trump returned to the podium and calmly explained the situation to the agitated press corps.
- On whether he was “rattled”: “Do I seem rattled? It’s unfortunate this is our world, but the world has always been a dangerous place,” Trump said.
- On the shooting: “It might not have had anything to do with me, it might have been something else,” he said.
- On the Secret Service: “I feel very safe with the Secret Service. They’re fantastic people. They’re the best of the best. They’re highly trained,” Trump said.
The Secret Service later issued a statement saying a 51-year-old man, who was not identified, was shot by an agent after declaring he had a weapon and then gesturing as though he were drawing and firing a gun.
- Both the officer and the suspect were taken to local hospitals, and “no Secret Service protectees were ever in danger,” the statement said.
The reaction: Trump supporters on Twitter hailed the president’s sangfroid in the face of a potential threat to his life.
Ned Ryun, a conservative activist and writer, said Trump had set himself apart from “mere mortals.”
A Polish Trump supporter likened Trump’s “badass energy” to President Ronald Reagan’s when a balloon popped during his 1987 speech to U.S. troops in Berlin. (Reagan had been shot in a 1981 assassination attempt.)
Radio show host Wayne Dupree declared that Trump “just broke the internet” with his “savage response.”
At a Trump rally in Las Vegas in June 2016, a troubled young British man named Michael Sandford tried to seize a police pistol to shoot the then-Republican candidate.
- Trump briefly acknowledged the scuffle on stage, saying, “We love you, police. Thank you. Thank you, officers,” as Sandford was led out of the arena.
- He later addressed the incident on Fox News, saying: “We have tremendous Secret Service, and we have tremendous police throughout this country, and I think they did a fantastic job.”