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Sunday 19 August 2018

Trump slams FBI for lack of action on shooter Cruz

School shooter Nikolas Cruz
School shooter Nikolas Cruz

President Donald Trump has criticised the FBI after the agency disclosed that it failed to follow up on a detailed warning about the 19-year-old gunman who is charged with killing 17 people and wounding a dozen others at a Florida high school last Wednesday.

"Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable," Trump tweeted on Saturday night.

A "person close to Nikolas Cruz" contacted the FBI's public access tipline on January 5 to "report concerns about him," the FBI said in a statement. The caller provided information about "Cruz's gun ownership, desire to kill people, erratic behaviour, and disturbing social media posts, as well as the potential of him conducting a school shooting," the statement said.

Mistake

Florida Governor Rick Scott said the FBI's failure was "unacceptable" and called for the resignation of FBI Director Christopher Wray.

"Seventeen innocent people are dead and acknowledging a mistake isn't going to cut it," Scott said in a statement. "The FBI director needs to resign."

Attorney General Jeff Sessions said he's initiated a Justice Department review of how the FBI acted. "It is now clear that the warning signs were there and tips to the FBI were missed. We see the tragic consequences of those failures," he said in a statement.

The revelation comes as Trump and congressional Republicans have criticized the FBI for its conduct of investigations into his campaign and into Hillary Clinton's use of private email while she was secretary of state.

The FBI is "spending too much time trying to prove Russian collusion with the Trump campaign - there is no collusion. Get back to the basics and make us all proud," Trump tweeted on Saturday.

Trump earlier also suggested on Twitter that the Parkland, Florida, community should have reported suspicions about Cruz to authorities.

"So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behaviour. Neighbours and classmates knew he was a big problem. We must always report any such instances to authorities, again and again," he said.

On Friday, Trump met with medical staff and some victims at Broward Health North Hospital and also stopped at the Broward sheriff's office.

He made the visits on the way to his luxury Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach.

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