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Trump's focus on mental health over guns at odds with his own record

Mental health focus at odds with Trump policy
Trump's focus on mental health over guns contradicts own record 02:26

A pattern is emerging with President Trump and high-profile crimes. When committed by immigrants -- legal or otherwise -- there are rapid calls for new and restrictive policies.  After mass shootings the White House tendency is to say wait, gather facts and there have been no calls for restrictions on access to firearms. The president's emphasis on mental health is undermined by his own record, reports CBS News' Major Garrett.  

In the wake of Wednesday's high school massacre, President Trump consoled a nation in grief calling for prayers for the fallen. There was no mention of the semi-automatic rifle at the heart of the carnage. For the president, mental illness was the culprit.

"We are committed to working with state and local leaders to help secure our schools and tackle the difficult issue of mental health," the president said.

Mr. Trump consistently invokes mental health – not gun control – after mass shootings. When 26 were shot dead in a rural Texas church last November, the president said it wasn't a "guns situation," it was a "mental health problem."

In February of last year, Mr. Trump signed a bill, killing an Obama-era regulation, which allowed the Social Security Administration to provide information on severely mentally disabled people to the national background check database.

Last December, on the fifth anniversary of the Sandy Hook School shooting that killed 26 people, including 20 children, White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders was asked to describe administration efforts to prevent mass casualty shootings.

"I know that they're looking at some of the mental health issues. It's something the president has raised before, but in terms of a specific policy that we're moving forward with that would have prevented that, I'm not aware what that would be," Sanders said.

But President Trump hasn't taken steps to prevent those with mental illness from gaining access to guns. Along with repealing Obama-era regulations, the administration has proposed cuts to Medicaid, the nation's largest provider of mental health services.

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