Trump's Pulse Nightclub Tribute Ignores the LGBTQ Community

Pulse nightclub candlelight vigil
A woman lights a candle during a vigil for the victims of the Pulse Nightclub shooting in Orlando, Florida, at Oxford Street in Sydney on June 13, 2016. Jameson Fitzpatrick's powerful poem, a response to the attack, has been shared hundreds of times online. Daniel Munoz/Getty

President Donald Trump paid tribute Monday to the 49 people who lost their lives at the gay nightclub Pulse a year ago in what was the deadliest mass shooting in United States history. But missing from his tweet was any mention of the LGBTQ community targeted in the Orlando, Florida, attack.

Related: Democrats want to ban gun sales to Americans who commit hate crimes 

“We will NEVER FORGET the victims who lost their lives one year ago today in the horrific #PulseNightClub shooting. #OrlandoUnitedDay,” he tweeted.

The message contrasted with other commemorations of those who were killed by Omar Mateen, who pledged allegiance to the Islamic State group (ISIS). According to his father, Mateen committed the atrocity after becoming enraged at the sight of two men kissing.

“My heart is with the loved ones of the 49 people killed at Pulse, the city of Orlando, & the LGBT community,” read a tweet from Trump’s 2016 election rival Hillary Clinton. “#WeWillNotLetHateWin.”

The tweet was accompanied by a photo of Clinton visiting the site of the attack last July. Trump has never visited the site of the shooting.

In a video released Monday, Orlando Mayor Buddy Dyer said that “the tragedy deeply impacted our LGBTQ” community.

Senator Marco Rubio of Florida, a Republican primary opponent to Trump, made a similar remark, saying the shooting "was an attack on the LGBT community, Florida, America and our very way of life."

In the aftermath of the attack, Trump was criticized as seeking to exploit it for political purposes and for failing to adequately address the impact on the LGBT community.

“Appreciate the congrats for being right on radical Islamic terrorism, I don't want congrats, I want toughness & vigilance,” he wrote on Twitter just hours after the shooting. “We must be smart!”

A day later, he mentioned the LGBT community only in relation to an attack on Clinton.

“Thank you to the LGBT community! I will fight for you while Hillary brings in more people that will threaten your freedoms and beliefs,” he wrote on Twitter.

His mentions of the gay community in a statement and subsequent speech also came largely in reference to campaign pitches. He stated that “our nation stands together in solidarity with the members of Orlando’s LGBT community,” but went on to compare himself with Clinton, saying: “Ask yourself who is really the friend of women and the LGBT community.”

Trump has also faced criticism for failing to recognize or issue an official proclamation that June is LGBTQ Pride Month. Federal proclamations are issued in order to allow agencies to make their own observances.

“We are deeply disappointed to see that President Trump has not followed the tradition of issuing an LGBT Pride Month Proclamation for 2017,” Ashley Broadway-Mack, president of the American Military Partner Association, told Politico. “After decades of discrimination, today, LGBT service members proudly serve our nation openly—many with spouses and families proudly standing by their side.”