By Bobby Blanchard and Abby Livingston, The Texas Tribune.
President Donald Trump called for “strong background checks” in an early morning tweet Monday, days after a shooting in El Paso that left more than 20 dead and more than 20 others injured.
The mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso on Saturday was shortly followed by another shooting in Dayton, Ohio, that left 9 dead. The deaths have led some to call for gun control reforms in the country. The shooter in El Paso reportedly legally purchased the firearm he used to carry out Saturday’s shooting.
Trump suggested “marrying” immigration reform to background check legislation.
Soon after, the president tweeted that “Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years.”
“The Media has a big responsibility to life and safety in our Country,” the president tweeted.
Trump has faced criticism and blame from some in Texas over the shooting. Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, a former El Paso congressman, said over the weekend that the president was inciting violence. Police say the shooter may have written a manifesto revealing that the crime was racially motivated.
“He stokes racism. He incites violence. We shouldn’t be asking if there’s anything he can do or if he’s responsible for this when we know the answer,” O’Rourke said of the president in a tweet late Sunday evening.
Hours later, Trump addressed the nation from the White House. He called the shooter a “wicked man” and described the shooting as “a crime against all of humanity.”
“Our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy. … Hate has no place in America,” he said.
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