Donald Trump has criticized the FBI for missing the “many signals” about the Florida school shooter, saying the agency was spending “too much time” trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign.
The US president’s attempt to use the shooting to make a political point about the FBI’s Russia inquiries into the Trump campaign drew swift criticism, including from John Kasich, the Republican governor of Ohio, who told CNN it was an “absurd statement”.
Trump, who the National Rifle Association (NRA) helped elect, made the comments as he faced demands for action on gun control, including from the teenage survivors of America’s latest school massacre.
Thousands of protesters at state rallies this weekend demanded an immediate response from lawmakers in the wake of Wednesday’s attack that left 17 victims dead at a high school in Parkland, Florida on Wednesday.
On Saturday at a rally in Fort Lauderdale, teenage survivors criticized politicians for taking donations from the NRA. “Shame on you”, said one student, Emma Gonzalez.
Trump, who the NRA spent spent more than $30m helping elect, has said little on gun control following the attack beyond a tweet late Saturday asking why Democrats didn’t pass legislation in the Obama administration, and has instead focussed on the mental health of the suspect, Nikolas Cruz.
On Twitter, Trump referenced the FBI’s admission on Friday that it failed to investigate a specific report in January that Cruz could be plotting a school shooting.
“Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is no acceptable,” tweeted Trump. He accused the FBI of “spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the 2016 Trump campaign”.