White House uses another school shooting to hide from reporters


Neither Sarah Huckabee Sanders nor Trump would answer questions about gun violence.

The Trump administration has once again used a school shooting as a shameful excuse for avoiding tough questions from the press.

Police arrested a teacher at Dalton High School in Georgia Wednesday after the man barricaded himself inside a classroom and fired a shot at an administrator. The episode comes just days after Trump and his NRA allies suggested arming teachers.

But reporters didn't get a chance to question press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders about the incident or Trump's comments.

The White House canceled the daily press briefing, claiming that Trump's planned availability after a meeting with members of Congress would suffice.

"Due to this expanded press access with the President, we will not have a press briefing as previously scheduled. As always the Press team is available to help with any additional questions," the White House said in a statement.

But after the meeting on school safety, which was observed by reporters and broadcast by the White House, Trump dodged the shouted questions from the press. When reporters asked him to provide details on gun safety legislation, he responded with silence.

The cancelation also allowed the White House to avoid embarrassing questions about the decision to downgrade Jared Kushner's controversial security clearance.

And the evasion echoes the decision to cancel a briefing on Feb. 14, the day of the shooting at Stoneman Douglas High in Florida.

Former President Barack Obama repeatedly spoke to the country after such shootings. But Trump and his team slammed the door on reporters and effectively went into lockdown mode.

Fighting violence directed at children requires leadership from the White House, and a willingness to use its unique role to advocate for safety.

Yet Trump has decided that children in danger are a convenient excuse to repeatedly avoid accountability and dodge questions that highlight his administration's inadequacy.