President Donald Trump said at a press briefing Monday that the performance of Broward County sheriff's deputies in Parkland, Florida was "disgusting," and unlike them, he believed he would have run in to help potential shooting victims.
The president brought up the subject while discussing the future of school security in the wake of the deadly Feb. 14 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
"I got to watch some deputy sheriffs performing this weekend; they weren't exactly Medal of Honor winners. The way they performed was frankly disgusting," Trump said.
Trump referenced the school resource officer, Scot Peterson, who was tasked with protecting the school and three sheriff's deputies first on the scene, all of whom didn't enter in the initial minutes of the shooting.
While Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel condemned Peterson's lack of action, leading to his suspension and resignation, the former officer's lawyer issued a statement Monday calling his actions appropriate.
The president said Peterson and the three deputies who arrived shortly after should have acted more forcefully.
"They were listening to what was going on, one in particular. And then you had three others that, probably a similar deal, a little later, but a similar kind of a thing," Trump said in reference to the deputies staying outside the school.
The president claimed that, in contrast, he would have rushed into the school.
"I believe–you don't really know until you test it–but I really believe I'd run in, even if I didn't have a weapon. And I think most people in this room would have done that too," Trump said.
"The way they performed was really a disgrace," Trump added.
Trump reiterated his commitment to law enforcement generally–there's "nobody bigger for law enforcement than me," he said–before again condemning the initial response at Stoneman Douglas.