Biographer and Donald Trump expert Michael d'Antonio explained Tuesday night that the president's trip to Pittsburgh wasn't about the survivors or the victims but about himself.
"In some ways, I look at it as a day of desecration for Donald Trump," d'Antonio began. "He desecrated the Constitution by saying he was going to void the 14th Amendment. Then he went to Pittsburgh where he wasn't wanted. The majority of the survivors didn't want him present. And desecrated what should be hallowed ground at least on the day that he visited."
He explained that it isn't likely Trump was told to cancel his campaign rally so that he could visit Pittsburgh at a more appropriate time. However, a staffer likely should have.
"I kept thinking as I watched this of the families whose loved ones were represented by those memorials and him going and touching them, touching those memorials when they didn't want him there," d'Antonio said. "And this is -- has to be about the families. The rabbi showed real grace by welcoming him and essentially ministering to the president in a way that a president normally would minister to the country. So he went for himself."
The biographer explained to CNN host Don Lemon that it isn't that Trump shouldn't go, instead he should wait for the appropriate time.
Political commentator Joe Lockhart noted that the more eye-opening decision out of all of this was that Trump concluded it was more critical for him to go to a campaign rally than to perform his duties as president and bring the country together.
"You know, in fairness, it is very, very difficult for a president as a human being to do these things," he continued. "I was with -- I was the person who walked into the Oval Office and told President [Bill] Clinton that 25 students had been killed at Columbine and sat with him as he went family, to family, to family, not just in Colorado in Oregon and other places. It is excruciating to any president."
He noted that he thinks what Americans are seeing here is that it was more important for him to go to Pittsburgh today. Instead of being there to "give" he was receiving from these survivors, Lockhart said. Lemon noted that Trump gets a photo-op out of the way and can move forward with his rallies.
"But he gets recharged by people screaming and yelling and frothing," Lockhart continued. "That to him was more important than being the American president today."
D'Antonio agreed, saying that for Trump "everything is about him, even this tragedy."
Toward the end of the segment, d'Antonio explained that Trump is on record many times saying he "doesn't want blacks to touch his money." He's said he wants a "good Jewish banker." The president knows what is and is not appropriate and he knows what is racist. D'Antonio argued, he ignores it and does what he wants.
Watch the panel discussion below: