UPDATED: A couple of hours after Trump’s initial tweets about the tragic truck attack in Manhattan, he fired off one more, announcing “I have just ordered Homeland Security to step up our already Extreme Vetting Program. Being politically correct is fine, but not for this!”
The vetting program is on-brand for the president who has been pushing a ban on travelers, mainly from Muslim countries, from entering the United States.
Trump has since changed his banner on his Twitter account to the New York skyline to honor those lost in the attack. New York Mayor Bill de Blasio said, “Based on the information we have at this moment, this is was an act of terror — and a particularly cowardly act of terror”:
EARLIER: President Donald Trump took to Twitter multiple times this afternoon and evening in response to this afternoon’s attack in Lower Manhattan in which the driver of a rental truck careened down a bicycle path, mowing down bicyclists and pedestrians.
Eight people are dead and at least 12 injured, some seriously. NYC Mayor Bill de Blasio has called it a terror attack. The 29-year-old man who was driving the truck and, after hitting a school bus, emerged brandishing a paintball gun and a pellet gun, came to the United States in 2010 from Uzbekistan and has a green card.
At 5:30 ET, Trump posted his first tweet:
About an hour later, he tweeted again:
A few minutes later, Trump thought to tweet about the victims and their families:
In between Trump’s first two tweets, however, Veep Mike Pence already had assumed the role of consoler-in-chief, tweeting:
About the time of Trump’s third tweet, the White House Press Office issued something official:
Statement from the President on the Terrorist Attack in New York City
Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of today’s terrorist attack in New York City and their families. My Administration will provide its full support to the New York City Police Department, including through a joint investigation with the Federal Bureau of Investigation. We offer our thanks to the first responders who stopped the suspect and rendered immediate aid to the victims of this cowardly attack. These brave men and women embody the true American spirit of resilience and courage. I will continue to follow developments closely.