Ahead of his visit to the sites of two mass shootings that killed more than 30 people over the weekend, President Trump on Wednesday swatted away questions from reporters about the impact of his rhetoric.
The President claimed that his remarks in the aftermath of the shootings were unifying, rather than divisive, before pivoting to talk about his ongoing trade war with China.
“No I don’t think my rhetoric has at all, I think my rhetoric — it brings people together. Our country is doing incredibly well, China is not doing well if you look at the trade situation.”
Trump thinks his rhetoric is actually unifying pic.twitter.com/xu8NCjpSqU
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) August 7, 2019
But earlier on Wednesday, Trump tweeted a quote from the One America News Network that effectively tied the shooter in Dayton, Ohio to 2020 Democratic hopefuls Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT). He raised the issue again while speaking to reporters on Wednesday.
In the days since the El Paso shooting, Trump’s been criticized for his racist rhetoric against immigrants and other people of color — like his recent Twitter screeds against four congresswomen of color and Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD).
The El Paso shooter allegedly posted an anti-immigrant manifesto online before he killed more than 20 people at a local Walmart, mirroring language about immigrants that’s been used by Trump and Fox News to describe an “invasion” at the southern border.