A Democratic governor just called Trump out on his guns-for-teachers idea

Watch the president get angry that he's being confronted with facts

By Matthew Rozsa

Published February 26, 2018 2:10PM (EST)

 (Getty/Mandel Ngan)
(Getty/Mandel Ngan)

President Donald Trump did not react well when he was confronted on his proposal to arm teachers by one of the governors who visited the White House during the final day of the National Governors Association conference in Washington, D.C.

Trump was meeting with governors around the country and was confronted by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, who shot down the president's idea to arm teachers.

"I know that you have suggested arming our teachers," Inslee said, before he was cut off by Trump.

"No, not arming our teachers," Trump responded, before saying that he wanted instead to arm teachers — but only the ones that "truly know how to handle them."

"Speaking as a grandfather, speaking as the governor of the State of Washington, I have listened to the people who would be affected by that," Inslee responded. "I've listened to the biology teachers and they don't want to do that at any percentage. I've listened to the first grade teachers that don't want to be pistol-packing first grade teachers. I've listened to law enforcement who have said they don't want to have to train teachers as law enforcement agents, which takes about six months."

Islee added, "Now I just think this is a circumstance where we need to listen, that educators should educate and they should not be foisted upon this responsibility of packing heat in first grade classes." He also encouraged Trump to do "a little less tweeting here, a little more listening" on the issue.

Trump crossed his arms and glowered at Islee throughout the lecture, his eyes shifting back and forth with seeming impatience. After the Washington governor had finished, Trump claimed that the policy he was proposing was already being implemented in "a number of states," then quickly moved on to a different questioner — Republican Texas Gov. Greg Abbott.

The president later claimed that he only wanted to arm "a small number" of teachers and only those "adept at weaponry and guns." He also pointed to reports that one of the police officers, Scot Peterson, had the opportunity to enter the school and was armed, but he never did so. His argument was that they were "probably afraid to go in" and that "they don't love the students, they don't know the students" like their teachers do.

Trump concluded the meeting with an abrupt no-look handshake with one of the governors.

Inslee had been outspoken in his criticisms of Trump's governing capacity. He and the 15 other Democratic governors have been united in trying to effectively tackle issues like fighting global warming and implementing gun control in their own states, which they claim has been more difficult to do since Trump took office, according to Politico. Islee himself told the site that "in the real Washington, we just passed a $4 billion dollar infrastructure plan and the largest infrastructure transportation plan in the history of the state of Washington. In Washington, D.C., Donald Trump can't build a birdhouse."

He added, foreshadowing his Monday showdown with the president, "In the real Washington, we just passed a bump stock ban and we're looking at some other issues. In the fake Washington, they're totally shackled from progress by the NRA."

Matthew Rozsa

Matthew Rozsa is a staff writer for Salon. He holds an MA in History from Rutgers University-Newark and is ABD in his PhD program in History at Lehigh University. His work has appeared in Mic, Quartz and MSNBC.

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Donald Trump Gun-control Jay Islee Mass Shootings Nra School Shootings