Trump campaign criticized for using photo of Parkland shooting victim to ask for donations

President Donald Trump's reelection campaign is being criticized online after his team used an image of a Florida high school shooting survivor to ask supporters for donations.

A newsletter sent out to Trump supporters on Friday by "Donald J. Trump for President Inc" included a photo of Trump and the first lady visiting Maddy Wilford and her family at Broward Health North Hospital.

Wilford, 17, was shot multiple times and required several life-saving surgeries after gunman Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on Valentine's Day. 

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Florida shooting survivor Maddy Wilford
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Florida shooting survivor Maddy Wilford
Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting survivor Maddy Wilford gets a kiss from her father, David Wilford, during a news conference on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 at Broward Health North in Deerfield Beach, Fla. (Amy Beth Bennett/Sun Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting survivor Maddy Wilford walks in with her mother, Missy Wilford, and father, David Wilford, before a news conference on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 at Broward Health North in Deerfield Beach, Fla. (Amy Beth Bennett/Sun Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting survivor Maddy Wilford wipes away a tear as her mother, Missy Wilford, looks on during a news conference on Monday, Feb. 26, 2018 at Broward Health North in Deerfield Beach, Fla. (Amy Beth Bennett/Sun Sentinel/TNS via Getty Images)
DEERFIELD BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 26: Maddy Wilford, (L) leaves with her parents Missy Wilford and David Wilford after speaking with the media at Broward Health North where she was treated when she was shot multiple times during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where she is a student on February 26, 2018 in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for killing 17 people at the high school on February 14th. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
DEERFIELD BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 26: Maddy Wilford, and her father, David Wilford sit with Igor Nichiporenko, M.D., Medical Director of Trauma Services, Broward Health North, as they speak to the media about the day the hospital and paramedics helped save her life after she was shot multiple times during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where she is a student on February 26, 2018 in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for killing 17 people at the high school on February 14th. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
DEERFIELD BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 26: Maddy Wilford speaks to the media at Broward Health North after being shot multiple times during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where she is a student on February 26, 2018 in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for killing 17 people at the high school on February 14th. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
DEERFIELD BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 26: Maddy Wilford, (C) sits with her parents Missy Wilford and David Wilford as she speaks to the media at Broward Health North where she was treated after being shot multiple times during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where she is a student on February 26, 2018 in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for killing 17 people at the high school on February 14th. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
DEERFIELD BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 26: Maddy Wilford, (C) sits with her parents Missy Wilford and David Wilford as she speaks to the media at Broward Health North after being shot multiple times during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where she is a student on February 26, 2018 in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for killing 17 people at the high school on February 14th. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
DEERFIELD BEACH, FL - FEBRUARY 26: Maddy Wilford, (C) sits with her parents Missy Wilford and David Wilford as she speaks to the media at Broward Health North after being shot multiple times during the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where she is a student on February 26, 2018 in Deerfield Beach, Florida. Police arrested 19-year-old former student Nikolas Cruz for killing 17 people at the high school on February 14th. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
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The president visited Wilford in the hospital on Feb. 16, two days after the deadly attack which left 14 students and 3 faculty members dead.

Trump's campaign then used a photo from that hospital visit to encourage supporters to donate to his reelection effort on Feb. 23.

"The nation has turned its attention to the senseless school shooting in Parkland, Florida," the email read. "The President is now engaging in an important national conversation about school safety and ways to prevent any future attacks. President Trump is taking steps towards banning gun bump stocks and strengthening background checks for gun purchasers."

"The President has made his intent very clear: 'making our schools and our children safer will be our top priority,'" it ends, before providing a campaign donation link.

Twitter users took offense to Wilford's image being exploited to collect donations, including one of the teenage victim's best friends, who shared a rather pointed message for the Trump campaign.

"Don’t you f****ing dare use a photo of one of my best friends for your benefit," Douglas student Morgan Williams wrote on Twitter. "If you truly cared, maybe you would have stayed at the hospital longer than 20 minutes."

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Trump campaign criticized for using photo of Parkland shooting victim to ask for donations
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Trump campaign criticized for using photo of Parkland shooting victim to ask for donations
Don’t you fucking dare use a photo of one of my best friends for your benefit. If you truly cared, maybe you would… https://t.co/eFhtrV8Nla
Unbelievable: the Trump campaign just sent out an email using the Parkland shooting, including photos of survivors,… https://t.co/CsVikdtV8V
Just when you think Trump can’t get any worse, it’s Monday.... https://t.co/AbIccLFGkl
Trump just used a photo of him in the hospital with a Parkland shooting victim to raise money for his campaign. It’… https://t.co/qwc4VDtOOt
@funder I would hope her parents object.
@JRubinBlogger @funder I would hope her parents were told.
WHAT IF THIS WAS YOUR DAUGHTER? Or Granddaughter or Friend? @iava @MoveOn @maddow @womensmarch @MomsDemand… https://t.co/WmEFm9JHki
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The Trump campaign has not yet commented on the backlash surrounding the email.

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