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15 Minutes After Acknowledging Mass Shooting, Trump Tweets Photo Op With MMA Fighter

15 Minutes After Acknowledging Mass Shooting, Trump Tweets Photo Op With MMA Fighter

A gunman near a shopping mall and Walmart shot and killed multiple individuals, injuring dozens more, during a shooting spree in El Paso, Texas on Saturday.

Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

The shooting resulted in at least 23 injuries, CNN reported, though reporting from the local Patch affiliate had the number much higher. There are as many as 18 individuals who were killed, though that number could go up, too, as more information is learned.

“This was a massacre. The numbers are shocking,” U.S> Rep. Veronica Escobar, the member of Congress who represents the area, said.

President Donald Trump, hours after the shooting happened, announced his support to the victims of the shooting in a tweet on Saturday afternoon.

“Terrible shootings in ElPaso [sic], Texas,” Trump wrote. “Reports are very bad, many killed…Spoke to Governor to pledge total support of Federal government.”


Less than 15 minutes later, however, Trump quoted a tweet from Colby Covington, a Welterweight mixed martial arts championship fighter, who had himself sent a tweet earlier in which he and Trump had posed in the White House. Trump held the championship belt over his shoulder in the photo op.

Covington had sent the tweet out the day before, but Trump sent the tweet out immediately after his other social media post regarding the shooting. In quoting the tweet, Trump wished Covington good luck in an upcoming fight. “You are a real champ! #MAGA” Trump added.


Several viewed Trump’s tweet of the mixed martial artist as inappropriate, occurring too soon and in too close proximity to his tweet about the mass shooting. Some took to social media to voice their dissatisfactions.

According to social activist and journalist Shaun King, the shooter left behind a manifesto, in which he stated he ascribed to white nationalist beliefs. The shooter also said he performed the horrific act “because immigrants are taking over this country,” King added in his tweet.

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