President Trump addressed the nation from the White House Monday morning to deliver remarks regarding the now deadliest mass shooting in US history, perpetuated by a white, male American terrorist. Trump called the violence an “act of pure evil.”
Earlier that same morning he tweeted his initial response: "My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!"
Reading from a teleprompter in the Diplomatic Reception Room, Trump praised the police and first responders, expressed his sympathy for the families of the victims, spoke of national unity, and turned to God and prayers for solace.
The entirety of his speech is as follows:
My fellow Americans, we are joined together today in sadness, shock, and grief. Last night a gunman opened fire on a large crowd, at a country music concert in Las Vegas, Nevada. He brutally murdered more than 50 people, and wounded hundreds more. It was an act of pure evil.
The F.B.I. and the Department of Homeland Security are working closely with local authorities to assist with the investigation, and they will provide updates as to the investigation and how it develops.
I want to thank the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, and all of the first responders for their courageous efforts, and for helping to save the lives of so many. The speed with which they acted is miraculous, and prevented further loss of live. To have found the shooter so quickly after the first shots were fired is something for which we will always be thankful and grateful. It shows what true professionalism is all about about.
Hundreds of our fellow citizens are now mourning the sudden loss of a loved one, a parent, a child, a brother, or sister. We cannot fathom their pain, we cannot imagine their loss. To the families of the victims, we are praying for you. And we are here for you. And we ask God to help see you through this very dark period.
Scriptures teaches us the Lord is close to the brokenhearted, and saves those who are crushed in spirit. We seek comfort in those words, for we know God lives in the hearts of those who grief. To the wounded who are now recovering in hospitals, we are praying for your full and speedy recovery, and pledge to you our support from this day forward.
In memory of the fallen, I have directed that our great flag be flown at half-staff. I will be visiting Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with law enforcement, first responders, and the families of the victims.
In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one. And it always has. We call upon the bonds that unite us, our faith, our family, and our shared values. We call upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, the comfort of our common humanity.
Our unity cannot be shattered by evil. Our bonds cannot be broken by violence. And though we feel such great anger at the senseless murder of our fellow citizens, it is our love that defines us today, and always will, forever.
In times such as these, I know we are searching for some kind of meaning in the chaos, some kind of light in the darkness. The answers do not come easy. But we can take solace knowing that even the darkest can be brightened by a single light. And the most terrible despair can be illuminated by a single ray of hope.
Melania and I are praying for every American who has been hurt, wounded, or lost the ones they love so dearly in this terrible, terrible attack. We pray for the entire nation to find unity and peace, and we pray for the day when evil is banished, and the innocent are safe from hatred and from fear.
May God bless the souls of the lives that are lost. May God give us the grace of healing. And may God provide the grieving families with strength to carry on.
Thank you. God bless America. Thank you.
Response to Trump's words range from confusion and disappointment...
...to praise of his "presidential" response. CNN anchor John King praised Trump, calling the speech "pitch perfect" and commenting that in the past the president has often rushed to speak before knowing all the facts.
“He has been very low key about this one, very presidential, if you will,” King said.