Trump pressured on gun control, facing backlash over tweets

Tanja Babich Image
Monday, February 19, 2018
Backlash from Florida shooting survivors over Trump tweets
President Trump is facing pressure to take action on gun control as a Florida community tries to heal.

WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. -- President Trump is facing pressure to take action on gun control as a Florida community tries to heal.

For many, grief has turned to outrage after 17 people were killed in a high school shooting.

RELATED: Here are the victims of the Florida school shooting

President Donald Trump offered support Monday for an effort to strengthen the federal gun background check system as he hunkered down at his private Florida golf course just 40 miles from last week's deadly school shooting.

Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president spoke on Friday to Sen. John Cornyn, a Texas Republican, about a bipartisan bill designed to strengthen the FBI database of prohibited gun buyers.

"While discussions are ongoing and revisions are being considered, the President is supportive of efforts to improve the Federal background check system," Sanders said in a statement.

RELATED: President Trump to hold 'listening session' with survivors of Stoneman Douglas shooting

But that measure alone may be insufficient for those who survived.

Trump said he skipped golf this weekend out of respect for the victims of the Florida school shooting, but then angered them with a flurry of venting tweets.

From his Mar-a-Lago resort on Saturday, he accused the FBI of being too distracted by the Russia investigation to follow up on a tip about the shooter.

He tweeted: "Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable. They are spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign - there is no collusion."

Morgan Williams, a student who witnessed the shooting, hit back--- "Oh my god. 17 of my classmates and friends are gone and you have the audacity to make this about Russia. Have a damn heart."

Members of his own party were disturbed by the suggestion.

"The president should be staying out of the law enforcement business," said Chris Christie, ABC News Contributor and former New Jersey Governor.

On Friday, Trump visited the hospitalized victims, but made no mention of them or the other surviving students, many of whom spent this weekend turning their pain into activism.

Over the weekend, Parkland students rallying for change in gun laws announced a march on Washington on March 24.

Tuesday about 100 students will head to Florida's capital to take their message for changing gun laws to state lawmakers.

RELATED: How to help those impacted by the Florida high school shooting

Meantime, in Dallas, a city leader is calling on the National Rifle Association to find a new home for its annual convention this spring.

The city's mayor pro tempore said the NRA must work with elected officials to establish gun laws that keep our children and communities safe.

Click here for full coverage on the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland and click here for a look at comprehensive coverage on school shootings here in the Bay Area and across the country.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.