Appearing on CNN after Texas Gov. Greg Abbott (R) held center-stage at a press conference that was long on political posturing and short on details on the white Texas man who went on a mass shooting spree on Saturday — terrorism expert Juliette Kayyem was appalled at what was offered up to the public.
Speaking with host Fredricka Whitfield, Kayyem seemed genuinely stunned by the press conference that was dominated by the Republican governor who seemed more interested in the politics of the shooting and was bizarrely lavished with extended applause when he concluded his comments.
“I’ve never seen anything like this,” Kayyem admitted when asked for comment. “This was a law enforcement press conference. It was supposed to disclose information relevant to the public and the media who could then determine what’s relevant.”
“We have a debate here at CNN, I get it, about whether we name a terrorist or a white supremacist,” she continued. “That is a different debate about whether a public official, who knows the name of the person, is willing to disclose publically before a global audience.”
Kayyem also noted that police officials didn’t even do the bare minimum of disclosing what type of weapon was used until asked by the press.
“Who is the person and how did they do it?” she insisted. “This is what the job is for public officials. Instead, it was a lot of praise, I get that, that’s important I’ve worked with first responders all my career. It was a lot of praise, a lot of focus on the response and a lot of weird fatalism.”
“The FBI guy, the governor, the police chief, all about ‘we’ll be here again, we’ll be here to support each other,'” she continued. “As if we have no control over what is happening in this country with these guns.”