A photo recently shared by first lady Melania Trump on Twitter in which she and President Donald Trump are seen posing sprightly with a baby who survived the El Paso shooting has ignited confusion and anger online.
On Thursday, the first lady shared a series of photos of her trip with her husband to Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, where they paid visits to local hospitals and survivors.
As many quickly pointed out on Twitter, President Trump posed with a grin and a thumbs-up in a photo with a newborn in El Paso. The baby's parents both died trying to protect their child during Saturday's shooting.
A spokesperson for University Medical Center of El Paso, where the Trumps visited survivors and took photos, told BuzzFeed News that the baby and one other person who had been discharged from the hospital were brought back for the president’s visit.
Many people found the pose highly insensitive.
"Your husband is grinning like a game show contestant and giving a 'thumbs up' next to a baby orphaned during another mass murder," someone wrote in response to the first lady's tweet. "If you had normal human empathy you'd realize how horribly odd this is."
"This post is so offensive in every way," another added.
However, the baby's uncle, Tito Anchondo, told NPR that his brother "was very supportive of Trump." He disagreed with critics who blame the president for inciting violence against immigrants.
"I can see why people would believe that," he said. "And yes, maybe he said things in bad taste. But I think people are misconstruing President Trump's ideas."
Trump has spent his week visiting survivors of both the El Paso and Dayton shootings and sending angry tweets about anyone criticizing his visits as disingenuous and politically opportunistic.
On one occasion, after returning from El Paso, he tweeted: "Leaving El Paso for the White House. What GREAT people I met there and in Dayton, Ohio. The Fake News worked overtime trying to disparage me and the two trips, but it just didn’t work. The love, respect & enthusiasm were there for all to see. They have been through so much. Sad!"
BuzzFeed News has reached out to the White House for comment.
BuzzFeed News spoke with a representative for University Medical Center of El Paso. An earlier version of this post misstated which hospital the spokesperson represented.