Earnest Christopher Grant, 50, was celebrated by President Donald Trump at the White House for what Trump described as a heroic attempt to stop the shooter in the El Paso Walmart shooting. He was not present however because the Secret Service stopped him due to an outstanding warrant. Yet, Trump went ahead with his story and gave a commendation to his mother. It turns out, according to law enforcement officials, to be a false account. I have previously written about the steady flow of self-inflicted wounds and embarrassing missteps in this White House. This is one. Why would the President hold a national recognition ceremony featuring a heroic tale that was based solely on one person’s own account, particularly after he was just prevented from entering by the Secret Service?
Police now say that Grant, who was wounded, did not act to distract the gunman by throwing soda bottles at him.
According to ABC News, Police say 50-year-old Ernest Christopher Grant, who was shot several times during the domestic terror incident, did not distract the El Paso gunman by throwing soda bottles at him.
At the ceremony, Trump lauded the heroism of a man who was just outside in the temporary custody of the Secret Service:
“Chris grabbed -listen to this- soda bottles, and anything else in front of him, and began hurling them at the gunman, distracting him from the other shoppers and causing the shooter to turn towards Chris and fire at him. Chris suffered two very serious gunshot wounds but he is recovering well and we wish him the best.”
This is another mistake of a lack of proper vetting and preparation. It is the most basic level of preparation for a White House. What concerns me is not the embarrassing repetition of a false account by the President. What concerns me is that, after three years, this White House is still struggling to meet minimal standards of performance.
I am not sure how Grant thought that he could maintain such an account in an area saturated by surveillance camera but one would think that the White House staff would have someone confirm with police or look at the footage before having the President adopt the account.