Donald Trump is facing widespread social media backlash after he was pictured greeting supporters with a triumphant double fist pump as he arrived to a 9/11 memorial service on Tuesday, the 17th anniversary of the terror attacks, and then when he gave a giant thumbs up gesture outside the 9/11 memorial in Shanksville, Pennsylvania.
Trump, along with his wife, Melania Trump, were in Pennsylvania, on their way to pay their respects to the fallen heroes of United Airlines Flight 93.
In a statement ahead of Trump’s speech at the memorial event, White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said the president’s focus for the day was “remembering the lives that were lost, and certainly honoring the individuals who were not only lost that day, but also put their lives on the line to help in that process.”
Remember, this is how Obama honored the day:
And this was Obama and wife Michelle:
And here is Trump:
The majority of the backlash was focused on the double fist pump gesture, however, with critics saying it reflected a “lack of respect” and an “inability to feel empathy for another person’s loss.”
“This is not an exclamation point day. This is not a fist pump day,” wrote one tweeter. “You sully the solemnity of this day. History will not be kind to you.”
“Today we get a fist pump because Trump thinks ppl are there for him,” said another critic. “What a rabbit hole we have gone down. Anyone that thinks this gesture doesn’t show exactly who Trump really is, think again.”
Take a look:
On one of the most solemn days in our nation's history, Donald Trump gives a double fist pump and a thumb's up as we mourn the almost 3,000 souls who perished on September 11th.
— Spin Doctor (@SpinDr) September 11, 2018
Why in the actual fuck is he flashing a thumbs up pic.twitter.com/6bIJCnNSFi
— Angry WH Staffer (@AngrierWHStaff) September 11, 2018
— Nancy McEnness (@nanmc99) September 11, 2018
I doubt I’ll ever be accused of being a sentimental flag waving patriotic American, but Jesus Christ, Trump giving thumbs up and shit at the 9/11 memorial is so fucked up
— Death Metal Hippie (@m_benn) September 11, 2018
Trump on this somber occasion is giving a thumbs up (to who, I can't guess) & ignoring the park ranger who is explaining the memorial of the heroes that died. Guess he thought it was a rally…😨 pic.twitter.com/CR49FF9ypM
— Kathy Nole (@KathyNole1) September 11, 2018
A thumbs up for the lost Americans and their grieving families. Disgraceful!!! It’s all about Trump!! pic.twitter.com/tChnaFfsDk
— Becki Loves Dressage 🐴 (@horseluvr23) September 11, 2018
Trump is at his worst on the most important days, like today, the anniversary of 9/11. Tweets disparaging the FBI and his former political opponent; thumbs up for photographers on a day of national grievance. When it matters most, he falls the hardest.
— Christie (@Christie_D22) September 11, 2018