Trump criticizes FBI's missteps in Parkland school shooting

Agency was too focused on Russian investigations, president says

By Tim Swift - Local10.com Digital Editor
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WEST PALM BEACH, Fla. - President Donald Trump criticized the FBI late Saturday, saying the agency missed warnings about the Parkland school shooting because it was too focused on the investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election.

"Very sad that the FBI missed all of the many signals sent out by the Florida school shooter. This is not acceptable," Trump said on Twitter. "They are 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!"

The FBI admitted this week that the agency had received a detailed warning about gunman Nikolas Cruz before the shooting, but the information was not passed on to the appropriate agents.

Authorities said Cruz, 19, killed 17 people and wounded more than a dozen others Wednesday after he opened fire inside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The FBI received a tip that Cruz had a "desire to kill people," disturbing social media posts and access to a gun. Another man had contacted the FBI after someone named Nikolas Cruz posted on YouTube, "Im going to be a professional school shooter."

Florida Gov. Rick Scott has called for FBI Director Christopher Wray to resign. However, other Florida officials have stopped short of calling for Wray to step down.

Sen. Marco Rubio, a Florida Republican, said it was "inexcusable" that the FBI did not follow protocols and urged Congress to launch its own investigation. Democratic Rep. Ted Deutch, of Boca Raton, promised to be in "close communication with the FBI so we can get to the bottom of this."

Wray apologized in a rare statement admitting the FBI's missteps.

Students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School were quick to respond to Trump Sunday, criticizing the president to putting the focus on him.

"Seventeen of my classmates are gone. That’s 17 futures, 17 children, and 17 friends stolen. But you’re right, it always has to be about you. How silly of me to forget," student Alyson Sheehy said on Twitter.

A number of people, including fellow students and neighbors, had reported Cruz to authorities, in addition to the FBI.

The Florida Department of Child and Families investigated Cruz after he filmed a video of cutting himself on Snapchat. The report also said Cruz suffered from depression, carried a backpack with a Nazi symbol and wanted to buy a weapon. 

The agency found no signs of neglect and ended the investigation, according to the report.

Cruz, a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, was transferred to another school for disciplinary reasons in February of 2017. Neighbors said police were called to his home more than a dozen times in the past few years after disturbances.

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