Donald Trump has come to the defense of fellow Republican presidential candidate Ben Carson, saying Carson has been treated “unfairly” in the media for comments he made following the mass shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon last week.
“I thought he was treated unfairly,” Trump said on Oct. 7, speaking to a group of reporters after an Iowa campaign event, according to CBS News. “No I think Ben Carson was treated -- frankly, I think he was treated very unfairly.”
Carson drew criticism after various comments made in the wake of the shooting. On Oct. 6, the retired neurosurgeon appeared on “Fox and Friends” on Fox News and said that is he was faced with a gunman, he would have rallied people to attack the armed person.
The mass shooting in Oregon on Oct. 1 left nine people dead; the gunman, Chris Harper-Mercer, also took his own life that day.
“I would not just stand there and let him shoot me,” Carson said. “I would say ‘Hey, guys, everybody attack him! He may shoot me but he can't get us all.’”
When pressed later, Carson shrugged off suggestions that he was being insensitive to the victims, and he attempted to clarify his comments.
“If you know somebody is going to kill you … why would you sit there and wait for them to do it?” he said in a subsequent Fox interview.
On the morning of Oct. 7, following the backlash, Trump took to Twitter to show support for Carson.
“Ben Carson was speaking in general terms as to what he would do if confronted with a gunman, and was not criticizing the victims. Not fair!” Trump wrote according to CNN.