POLITICS
07/02/2018 07:30 pm ET Updated Jul 03, 2018

Trump Orders Flags Lowered To Honor Capital Gazette Shooting Victims (UPDATE)

The mayor of Annapolis said earlier this week that the president had rejected his initial request to honor the five newspaper employees killed.

UPDATE: On Tuesday morning, CBS News reporter Mark Knoller tweeted that President Donald Trump will issue a proclamation that flags be flown half-staff to honor those killed in the Annapolis, Maryland, newsroom shooting.

PREVIOUSLY:

President Donald Trump declined a request from the mayor of Annapolis that he order U.S. flags be flown at half-staff to honor the five newspaper employees shot and killed in that Maryland city.

The mayor, Gavin Buckley, made the request last Friday, the day after a gunman entered the Capital Gazette newsroom, opened fire and killed four journalists and a member of the paper’s sales staff.

Buckley on Monday told The Baltimore Sun that Trump rejected the request. The paper also said the White House did not immediately respond to its request for comment.

Trump ordered half-staff display by U.S. flags for several days after a mass shooting claimed 17 lives at a Florida high school in February, and again when 10 people were killed in a similar massacre at a Texas high school.

As a presidential candidate and since becoming president, Trump and his aides routinely have dismissed various reports by mainstream media outlets ― especially stories critical of him, as “fake news.” He has also attacked the press as “the enemy of the American people.”

In brief comments on Friday about the shooting in Annapolis, Trump said simply that “journalists, like all Americans, should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their jobs.”

Flowers and hand-written notes were left by mourners at a makeshift memorial outside the Annapolis Capitol Gazette office for
Chip Somodevilla via Getty Images
Flowers and hand-written notes were left by mourners at a makeshift memorial outside the Annapolis Capitol Gazette office for the five employees killed by a gunman last week.

“Obviously, I’m disappointed... Is there a cutoff for tragedy?” Buckley told the Sun about being rebuffed by Trump. “This was an attack on the press. It was an attack on freedom of speech. It’s just as important as any other tragedy.”

Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan, a Republican, last Friday ordered state flags be flown at half-staff “as a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless act of violence perpetrated... against employees of the Capital Gazette.”

The flags were set to return to full-staff Monday night.

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