A hospital in El Paso has denied Donald Trump’s claim doctors “were coming out of operating rooms” to meet him when he travelled to Texas and Ohio to console victims of two mass shootings.
"At no time did, or would, physicians or staff leave active operating rooms during the presidential visit,” University Medical Center spokesperson Ryan Mielke told local TV station KVIA. “Our priority is always patient care."
Mr Mielke’s statement came after the US president, apparently angered by reports some victims refused to meet him earlier this month, lashed out on Wednesday at the media and claimed victims and their families actually “love our president”.
“When I went to Dayton and when I went to El Paso, and I went into those hospitals, the love for me – and ‘me’ maybe as the representative of the country – but for me, and my love for them was unparalleled, these are incredible people,” Mr Trump said.
“But if you read the papers, it was like nobody would meet with me. Not only did they meet with me, they were pouring out of the rooms. The doctors were coming out of the operating rooms. There were hundreds and hundreds of people all over the floor, you couldn’t even walk on it, so, you know there’s a lot to happen.”
Mr Trump’s assertion he was loved in El Paso was in stark contrast to a statement by the hospital at the time, which said some victims “didn’t want to meet with the president” in the aftermath of the shooting, which left 22 people dead.
Mr Trump did, however, meet with some victims already discharged by the hospital, including a two-month-old baby who was made an orphan after his parents were killed in the massacre.
The 73-year-old caused widespread anger when he was photographed grinning and giving a thumbs up while alongside the child.
The president also visited a second hospital in Dayton, Ohio, after a gunman killed 10 people outside a bar just hours after the El Paso attack.