Fact Check

Trump Said 'We Have to Get Over It' About School Shooting in Perry, Iowa, in January 2024?

An account on X for U.S. President Joe Biden's campaign posted a video of a remark that the former president had made during a speech in Iowa.

Published Jan 5, 2024

Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally on Jan. 05, 2024 in Sioux Center, Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images) (Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Former U.S. President Donald Trump speaks during a campaign rally on Jan. 05, 2024 in Sioux Center, Iowa. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Claim:
On Jan. 5, 2024, during a presidential campaign speech delivered in Sioux Center, Iowa, former U.S. President Donald Trump said of the previous day's school shooting in Perry, Iowa, "We have to get over it."
Context

Trump appeared to ad lib this remark while delivering a prepared statement that included expressing his "support" and "deepest sympathies" for the victims and their families. His complete remarks about the shooting have been transcribed in the story below.

On Jan. 5, 2024, the X account @BidenHQ – one that CNN once dubbed as U.S. President Joe Biden's "rapid response account" for his campaign's reelection – posted a video of former U.S. President Donald Trump with the caption, "Trump on Iowa’s deadly school shooting yesterday: It’s horrible but we have to get over it."

The post referenced a school shooting on Jan. 4 at Perry High School in Perry, Iowa. According to The Associated Press, the shooting left one sixth-grader dead and six other staffers and students injured. The shooter also reportedly died from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Trump's delivered his remarks heard in the video during a 2024 presidential campaign speech at Terrace View Event Center in Sioux Center, Iowa.

Upon a review of his full comments, we found that he had called the shooting "terrible" four different times and had said the words, "We have to get over it." The moment appeared to be an ad lib that followed the reading of a prepared statement, in which he expressed his "deepest sympathies" to the victims and their families.

We transcribed Trump's complete remarks to the rally crowd:

Before going further, I want to send our support and our deepest sympathies to the victims and families touched by the terrible school shooting yesterday in Perry, Iowa. To the entire community: We love you, we pray for you and we ask God to heal and comfort really the whole state and the pain that you have. This is something that's very unique to your state. We're really with you, as much as anybody can be. It's a very terrible thing that happened. And it's just terrible to see that happening. It's just terrible. So surprising to see it here. But, we have to get over it. We have to move forward. We have to move forward. But, to the relatives and to all of the people that are so devastated right now, to a point they can't breathe, they can't live, we are with you all the way. We're with you and we love you and cherish you.

We reached out to the Trump campaign to ask about the fact that the @BidenHQ account had highlighted the moment in a post and will update this story if we receive any pertinent statements in response.

Note: Trump's full comments about the school shooting can also be watched in this live YouTube video from Right Side Broadcasting Network. The remarks pertinent to the shooting begin when the clock in the lower-right corner displays "5:37 PM ET."

Sources

“Donald Trump Campaigns in Sioux Center after Perry School Shooting.” The Des Moines Register, 5 Jan. 2024, https://www.desmoinesregister.com/picture-gallery/news/elections/presidential/caucus/2024/01/05/donald-trump-campaigns-in-sioux-center-after-perry-school-shooting/72125776007/.

Elizabeth Wolfe, et al. “Iowa School Shooter Is Believed to Have Posted an Ominous TikTok Video before Killing a 6th Grader and Wounding 7 People.” CNN, 5 Jan. 2024, https://www.cnn.com/2024/01/05/us/perry-iowa-school-shooting-friday/index.html.

“LIVE: Trump to Speak at IA Commit to Caucus Rallies in Sioux Center and Mason City- 1/5/24.” YouTube, Right Side Broadcasting Network, 5 Jan. 2024, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VqJUo1OmRpA.

McFetridge, Scott. “Iowa Principal Critically Injured in School Shooting Risked Himself to Protect Students, Police Say.” The Associated Press, 5 Jan. 2024, https://apnews.com/article/perry-high-school-shooting-iowa-5346218f2646bec796ba28928a00c745.

Tausche, Kayla, et al. “White House Strikes Business-as-Usual Tone after McCarthy’s Ouster as Biden Campaign Highlights GOP Disarray | CNN Politics.” CNN, 4 Oct. 2023, https://www.cnn.com/2023/10/04/politics/white-house-house-gop-drama/index.html.

Jordan Liles is a Senior Reporter who has been with Snopes since 2016.

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