Former US President Donald Trump linked the recent mass shooting in Uvalde, Texas to United States’ recent aid package to Ukraine. Trump, a Republican, was speaking at the annual National Rifle Association forum on Friday.

“This is not a matter of money. This is a matter of will,” Trump said while addressing the most prominent pro-gun lobby in the United States. “If the United States has $40 billion to send to Ukraine, we can do this”, he added.

Also Read: How Donald Trump, Ted Cruz have distorted gun and crime statistics

Trump added that the country should prioritise “building safe schools for our own children in our own nation” before assisting other countries. There was huge bipartisan support for a recent Ukraine aid bill that promised $40 billion to the war-torn eastern European country.

“What did they have left, with all the shooting, all the rockets, every city is being levelled, what are they going to have, there is no win here for anybody,” the former President said on Friday.

Other Republican lawmakers were also present at the NRA conference in Houston. These included US Senator Ted Cruz and South Dakota governor Kristi Noem, both Republicans. Texas governor Greg Abbott did not attend the event but delivered a pre-recorded address.

Trump, speaking in a room where no guns were allowed, made several statements in favour of the Second Amendment. He also denounced the Uvalde shooting and said it was a “savage and barbaric atrocity that shocks the conscience of every single American.”

Trump’s false claims at the NRA convention

The former President also gave his own solutions to make classrooms safer for students. “Classroom doors should be hardened to make them lockable from the inside and closed to intruders from the outside”, he said.

Also Read: What’s next for Texas teachers after Uvalde school shooting

The fact: Experts have previously warned that such a measure could easily backfire, as it did in the case of the Uvalde shooting. A lock on the classroom door is one of the most basic and widely recommended school safety measures. But in Uvalde, it kept victims in and police out.

Nearly 20 officers stood in a hallway outside of the classrooms for more than 45 minutes before agents used a master key to open the classroom’s locked door.