- Trump was pictured smiling and greeting guests at a wedding reception hours after 20 people were killed and 26 were injured after a gunman opened fire in an El Paso Walmart.
- The president is at the center of Democratic lawmakers’ condemnations of the attacks, as they say he “encourages” a violent culture of hate.
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As lawmakers and community leaders reeled after a mass shootings claimed 20 in El Paso, President Donald Trump was pictured enjoying his weekend vacation.
Trump arrived at Trump National Golf Club on Friday evening, according to White House pool reports. Hours after 20 people were killed and 26 injured after a gunman opened fire in an El Paso Walmart, Trump was pictured greeting guests at a wedding in the club.
Trump denounced the El Paso attack, saying in a tweet Saturday that it “was not only tragic, it was an act of cowardice. He added: “I know that I stand with everyone in this Country to condemn today’s hateful act. There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people.”
Lawmakers slammed Trump for the tweets of condolence, which appeared to be his only response as he remained at the club.
After nine people were killed in a popular nightlife district in Dayton, Ohio early Sunday morning, state lawmakers and Democratic 2020 candidates drew a direct line of responsibility to Trump for “encouraging” a culture of hate and violence with his rhetoric.
“He is encouraging this,” former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke told host Jake Tapper. “He doesn’t just tolerate it, he encourages it, calling immigrants rapists and criminals and seeking to ban all people of one religion.”
The 2020 Democratic hopeful offered specific examples of Trump’s most blatant insults to minorities or immigrants, including Trump’s 2016 campaign talking point to ban Muslims from entering the US, his assertion that there were “very fine people” on both sides of the 2017 Charlottesville neo-Nazi rally, and his recent attacks on lawmakers of color.
On NBC’s “Meet the Press,” New Jersey Sen. Cory Booker told host Chuck Todd that Trump’s general condemnations of the attack weren’t enough.
“To say nothing in a time of rising hatred, it’s not enough to say ‘I’m not a hate monger myself,'” Booker said. “If you are not actively working against hate, calling it out, you are complicit in what is going on.”
Ohio Sen. Sherrod Brown criticized President Donald Trump for what he called his “divisive, racist rhetoric that he has employed increasingly.”
“I do know that we’ve had two presidents, the two preceding presidents who dealt with terrible terrorism and mass shootings and tried to heal and this president doesn’t,” Brown said on “State of the Union.”
Trump didn’t immediately respond to the Sunday morning comments. He is scheduled to spend the day golfing until 4 p.m. before leaving for Washington.