President Trump delivered a national address today on the subject of Sunday night’s (Oct. 1) horrifying shooting attack at the Route 91 Harvest Festival in Las Vegas.
Taking the podium at 10:50 a.m. ET — 20 minutes after originally scheduled, due to his speech being updated with new information — Trump called the shooting “an act of pure evil,” and declared that the American flag would be flown at half-staff in honor of the tragedy’s victims. He also shared his plans to travel to Las Vegas on Wednesday (Oct. 4) to “meet with law enforcement, first responders and the families of the victims.”
As of press time, casualties of the Las Vegas attack have been reported to number as high as 50, with hundreds more injured. Read the full transcript of President Trump’s comments on the tragedy below. (Update: President Trump also addressed the nation from the Oval Office, just before 1:00 p.m. ET, to clarify his plans for his upcoming visits to Puerto Rico and Las Vegas. You can also read those comments in full below.)
Pres. Trump’s national address:
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 FBI 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 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 life. To have found the shooters 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.
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 his very dark period. Scripture 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 that God lives in the hearts of those who grieve.
To the wounded who are now recovering in hospitals, we are praying for our 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, and 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 space can be brightened by a single light, and even 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 loved 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.
<blockquote class=”twitter-tweet” data-lang=”en”><p lang=”en” dir=”ltr”>President Trump orders that the flag be flown at half-staff "in memory of the fallen" in the Las Vegas shooting. <a href=”https://t.co/5ad90PPoKG”>https://t.co/5ad90PPoKG</a> <a href=”https://t.co/VnUzUOvIbP”>pic.twitter.com/VnUzUOvIbP</a></p>— ABC News (@ABC) <a href=”https://twitter.com/ABC/status/914867606535905280?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw”>October 2, 2017</a></blockquote>
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Pres. Trump’s message from the Oval Office:
We are going to be seeing all of the first responders, the military, FEMA, and frankly most importantly, we are going to be seeing the people of Puerto Rico [on Tuesday, Oct. 3].
It’s amazing what’s been done in a vey short period of time, on Puerto Rico. There’s never been a piece of land that we’ve known that was so devastated — the bridges are down, the telecommunications was nonexistent, and it’s in very, very bad shape. The electrical grid, as you know, was totally destroyed. But we’ve gotten tremendous amounts of food and water, and lots of other things — supplies, generally speaking — on the island. So we’re going to be going tomorrow morning first thing, very early.
We’re also going to be meeting with Governor Mapp of the U.S. Virgin Islands. He’s going to probably — because of the difficulty getting into the Virgin Islands — he’s going to meet us in Puerto Rico. And then very importantly, also, on Wednesday morning very early, we’re going to be leaving for Las Vegas. We’re going to be seeing the Governor, who I just spoke to, the mayor of Las Vegas, who I just spoke to, the sheriff, who has done such a great job. The police department has done such a fantastic job, in terms of the speed. And we all very much appreciate it.
So we’re going to be going to Puerto Rico tomorrow, and on Wednesday we will be going to, as you know, as I just said, we’ll be going to Las Vegas on a very, very sad moment for me — for everybody, for everybody, no matter where you are. No matter what your thought process, this is a very, very sad day. So we’re going to be doing that on Wednesday, and we’ll be spending the full day there, and maybe longer than that. So thank you very much, everybody, appreciate it.