Donald Trump criticised for smiling photo with El Paso shooting orphan

United States President Donald Trump is under fire for a photo with a recently orphaned baby.

The image shows Trump at El Paso hospital smiling, giving the camera a thumbs-up as his wife Melania holds the baby. 

On the surface, it may seem inoffensive, but it's been reported the baby was brought from home to the hospital for the photo opportunity.

Two-month-old Paul is one of the victims of a shooting in El Paso, which killed 22 people, including its parents.

He broke two fingers in the shooting after his mother died trying to protect him and fell on top of the child. Paul's father died diving in front of the bullets to protect the baby's mother.

"This is a photo of Trump grinning while Melania holds a baby orphaned by the shooting. A baby who was taken from home and forced to serve as a prop at a photo-op for the very monster whose hate killed her/his parents," democratic strategist Greg Pinelo wrote.

"Why is Trump and Melania posing, GRINNING, and giving a thumbs up with the infant who's parents were murdered by the shooter in El Paso," neuroscientist Bryan William Jones wrote.

The White House says the event was not a photo opportunity. Trump was unable to meet any of the victims of the shooting recovering in hospital, three were unable to because of their condition or inability to speak English, while five refused to meet him.

The President has been heavily criticised in the wake of the El Paso shooting, which critics says was influenced by his language about immigration.

A manifesto posted online and attributed to the shooter claimed he wanted to fight a "Hispanic invasion". reports Trump used the word "invasion" to discuss immigration at least 21 times, with the most recent one being on May 9, 2019.