by Crystal Woodall

President Trump is urging everyone to combat Wednesday's tragedy not with anger, but instead to "answer hate with love" and "cruelty with kindness" ... "We must work together to create a culture in our country that embraces the dignity of life."

President Donald Trump offered his condolences Thursday to the grieving families of the 17 people killed in the school shooting that took place Wednesday in the town of Parkland just north of Miami, Florida. (Screengrab: President Trump speaks to the nation after the Parkland shooting/via CBN News)

"Today we mourn for all of those who lost their lives," the president said. "No parent should ever have to fear for their sons and daughters when they kiss them goodbye in the morning."

"Each person who was stolen from us yesterday had a full life ahead of them, a life filled with wondrous beauty and unlimited potential and promise," he continued. "Each one had dreams to pursue, love to give and talents to share with the world. And each one had a family to whom they meant everything in the world."

He assured the town that all of America is praying for the victims and their families "with one heavy heart."

"In these moments of heartache and darkness, we hold on to God's Word in Scripture: 'I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will heal you,'" he said. "We trust in that promise and we hold fast to our fellow Americans in their time of sorrow." (Photo: Grieving mourners at the vigil/AP/via The Sun UK)

"I want to speak now directly to America's children, especially those who feel lost, alone, confused or even scared: I want you to know that you are never alone and you never will be. You have people who care about you, who love you, and who will do anything at all to protect you. If you need help, turn to a teacher, a family member, a local police officer, or a faith leader," he said.
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"In times of tragedy, the bonds that sustain us are those of family, faith, community, and country. These bonds are stronger than the forces of hatred and evil-and these bonds grow even stronger in the hours of our greatest need."

Trump announced he plans to visit Parkland to visit with families in coming days.

The alleged gunman was reportedly an orphaned 19-year-old former student at the school who had a troubled past. Students and teachers say they saw warnings signs that he posed a danger to the school.
Trump, who suggested the teen was "mentally disturbed," vowed to work with authorities to address the issue of mental health and to make safer schools his "top priority."

"Our community is working with local law enforcement authorities to investigate the shooting and learn everything we can. We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools and tackle the difficult issue of mental health," the president said.

President Trump is urging everyone to combat Wednesday's tragedy not with anger, but instead to "answer hate with love" and "cruelty with kindness."

"We must work together to create a culture in our country that embraces the dignity of life," Trump admonished.

Meanwhile, the gunman has been charged with 17 counts of premeditated murder after unleashing the deadliest school shooting in the U.S. in five years.


by Paul Strand

Vice President Mike Pence hit back Wednesday at comments made on ABC's "The View" comparing his hearing from Jesus Christ to mental illness.

On Tuesday, the panelists on the talk show discussed former White House staffer Omarosa Manigault Newman's recent comment on the reality TV show "Celebrity Big Brother" about Pence's faith. She said, "I am Christian, I love Jesus, but he thinks Jesus tells him to say things."

On "The View," Joy Behar commented, "It's one thing to talk to Jesus. It's another thing when Jesus talks to you. That's called mental illness, if I'm not correct, hearing voices."

Pence said during a broadcast with Axios journalist Mike Allen, "I actually heard that ABC has a program that compared my Christianity to mental illness. And I'd like to laugh about it, but I really can't."

"It's just wrong," Pence continued. "And it's an insult not to me, but to the vast majority of the American people who, like me, cherish their faith. My Christianity is the most important thing in my life."

Also on "The View," Behar went on to joke, "My question is, can he talk to Mary Magdalene without his wife in the room?"

Another member of "The View" team, Sunny Hostin, said of Pence's faith, "I'm Catholic, I'm a faithful person, but I don't know that I want my vice president speaking in tongues."

Pence also stated during the Axios interview, "I try to start every day by opening the Good Book. My wife and I try to have a prayer together before I leave every morning. I can honestly tell you my faith sustains me in all that I do and it's just a regular part of our lives. But I'm not unusual. I think I'm a very typical American, whatever your faith tradition, people understand that."

"But I just think it demonstrates just how out of touch some in the mainstream media are with the faith and values of the American people that you could have a major network like ABC permit a forum for invective against religion like that," Pence continued. "And I call them out on it. Not because of what was said about me. But it's just simply wrong for ABC to have a television program that expresses that kind of religious intolerance."

"We're better than that. Our country's better than that," Pence concluded.  "I'd like to be light about it, but I really can't. Not for my sake, but for the tens of millions of Americans who cherish their faith, I can't be silent."