Grinning Trump gives thumbs-up with baby whose parents were shot dead in El Paso terror attack

Colin Drury

It is the sort of photo politicians have long been known to favour: adorable baby, thumbs up, big smiles.

Few, however, would surely pose this way in such grave circumstance.

Donald Trump has sparked global revulsion after being photographed grinning with a two-month-old child who was made an orphan during Saturday’s mass shooting in El Paso which left 22 people dead.

The infant’s adopted parents, Andre and Jordan Anchondo, were both killed in the supermarket massacre, while he himself suffered broken bones when Ms Anchondo fell on the child to shield him from further bullets.

But when the baby, called Paul, was brought to the US president at the University Medical Center of El Paso, the 73-year-old appeared untouched by the child’s tragic plight. Both he and first lady Melania smiled for cameras, while the commander-in-chief also threw in a thumbs up.

The photo emerged as Mr Trump already faced criticism for his behaviour during his visit to the city on Thursday.

Doctors said he appeared to “lack empathy”, while he was filmed bragging to medical staff – who have spent the week dealing with the aftermath of the massacre – about the size of a rally he had previously held there.

Donald and Melania Trump hold Paul, a baby made an orphan during El Paso supermarket shooting

“Then you had this crazy Beto [O’Rourke, Democrat presidential candidate],” he is heard adding in the mobile footage. “Beto had like 400 people in a parking lot.”

The president also drew condemnation for not speaking to the press but instead releasing a highly-polished promotional-style video from his day. It also featured lots of thumbs up and smiling medical staff crowding for selfies with Mr Trump.

Little Paul, himself, it was later revealed, had been brought back to the hospital - reportedly at the request of White House staff - having been discharged days earlier.

All eight adult patients who were still at the medical centre refused to meet Mr Trump, the Washington Post reported.

Many in the city hold Mr Trump and his anti-immigration rhetoric partially responsible for the shooting: the suspected killer was a white supremacist who drove more than 10 hours to open fire on a store popular with Hispanic shoppers.

But Paul’s family, themselves Hispanic, are, it seems, not among the president’s critics.

Speaking to NPR radio, Tito Anchondo, the child’s uncle, and brother of Andre Anchondo, said: “I think people are misconstruing President Trump’s ideas. My brother was very supportive of Trump.”

The boy's grandfather told Spanish newspaper ABC the family were "very happy" with Mr Trump's visit and that the president was "kind and sympathetic".