DES MOINES, Iowa (AP) -- In the midst of his Cabinet deliberations, President-elect Donald Trump flew to Ohio Thursday to meet with victims and families after the latest U.S. outbreak of violence, a somber duty that became all too familiar to his predecessor.
Trump flew to Columbus to meet with several people who were slashed by Ohio State student Abdul Razak Ali Artan. Artan, 18, first rammed a campus crowd with his car before getting out with a knife and stabbing students before being fatally shot by police. The president-elect spent about 30 minutes with some of the victims and their families.
"These are great people, amazing people," said Trump, who also paid tribute to the first responders who tended to the victims and shot the attacker. "The families have come through this so well."
Trump met with the families privately and aides did not immediately provide an accounting of what was discussed. But, in his brief statement to reporters, he took on the role of comforter-in-chief, avoiding the inflammatory rhetoric that has marked his response to other attacks.
Immediately following the Ohio incident, Trump had tweeted that Artan, a legal Somali immigrant, should not have been in the country. And last week, in nearby Cincinnati, Trump said lax immigration policies enacted by "stupid politicians" led to the "violent atrocity."
Later in Iowa, he did not mention the attacker but declared: "This horrific assault is just one more tragic reminder that immigration security is national security. A Trump administration will always put the safety and security of American people first."