In a speech Thursday morning, President Donald Trump blamed mental illness for the massacre that killed 17 students and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
"So many signs that the Florida shooter was mentally disturbed, even expelled from school for bad and erratic behavior," Trump said. "Neighbors and classmates knew he was a big problem. Must always report such instances to authorities, again and again!"
Trump then went on to encourage students to report such behavior to authorities. It's for this reason that Rep. Joe Kennedy (D-MA) decided to call out the president.
"So, the president says, this morning, from what I understand, basically puts this as a mental health issue," Kennedy said in his conversation with SiriusXM radio host Dean Obeidallah. "One, he does a real disservice to those of us who are fighting hard for mental health protections in this country."
He cited the healthcare plan that passed the House that would have gutted mental health funding for communities, including $800 billion in funding for Medicaid, the largest supplier of mental health services.
"Two, they rolled back protections for our community for folks that were suffering from mental health issues to get a gun," he continued. "Three, folks who suffer from mental illness are far more likely to be the victims of crime by perpetrators. So, it is misleading. It is not factually accurate. It does a huge disservice to so many families out there. Twenty percent of Americans out there at some point struggle with mental illness."
Listen to the full conversation below: