Tensions Roil Over The Effect Of Ideology and Rhetoric On Mass Shootings, While Trump Visits Dayton, El Paso
After President Donald Trump's rhetoric was criticized, some on the right pointed to the Dayton's shooter left-leaning social media posts in return. But experts say there's no evidence that the Dayton shooter was motivated by ideology, while the El Paso attacker left behind a manifesto. The accusations have thrust the role of ideology, white supremacy and political rhetoric into the national spotlight following the incidents.
Trump Visits Mass Shooting Victims; Protesters Shout 'Do Something!'
U.S. President Donald Trump met victims and first responders from last weekend's deadly shootings in Texas and Ohio on Wednesday, as chanting protesters accused him of inflaming tensions with anti-immigrant and racially charged rhetoric. Trump visited hospitals where victims were treated in El Paso, Texas, on the border with Mexico, and in Dayton, Ohio, after massacres 13 hours apart that shocked the country and reopened a national debate on gun safety. (Mason, 8/8)
The Washington Post:
Trump Attacks Local Leaders As He Visits Two Cities Grieving From Mass Shootings
On a day when President Trump vowed to tone down his rhetoric and help the country heal following two mass slayings, he did the opposite — lacing his visits Wednesday to El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, with a flurry of attacks on local leaders and memorializing his trips with grinning thumbs-up photos. A traditional role for presidents has been to offer comfort and solace to all Americans at times of national tragedy, but the day provided a fresh testament to Trump’s limitations in striking notes of unity and empathy. (Parker, Rucker, Johnson and Sonmez, 8/8)
The Wall Street Journal:
Trump Visits Grieving Cities As Gun-Control Debate Boils
As he left Washington, Mr. Trump said he “would like to stay out of the political fray,” and the president and first lady Melania Trump met privately with victims, hospital staff and first responders in both cities. But he blasted critics who said his often-combative language on immigration, race and his political opponents has sowed divisions and encouraged violence. Democrats, meanwhile, continued to press the Republican president to throw his support behind gun-control legislation. Departing Washington, Mr. Trump said he is working with members of Congress, and he expressed optimism that progress can be made on the issue of background checks, though he didn’t offer details. (Leary, Lucey and Maher, 8/8)
The New York Times:
Trump Visits Dayton And El Paso
But Mr. Trump’s proved unwilling to completely refrain from his usual combative style. On his way to El Paso from Dayton, he tweeted attacks on the Democratic mayor of Dayton and a Democratic senator who he said had not accurately described the closed-door sessions at a Dayton hospital earlier in the day. And earlier on Wednesday, Mr. Trump held a 20-minute session with reporters in which he unloaded many of his usual grievances, displaying little hesitation to engage in politics on a day of grief for many people around the country. (Shear, 8/7)
Biden Says Trump Fans 'Flames Of White Supremacy' As Democrats Attack Racism
Democratic presidential front-runner Joe Biden on Wednesday accused Republican President Donald Trump of fueling the white supremacy beliefs blamed for several U.S. mass shootings, as Trump visited two cities where 31 people were killed in rampages last weekend. "In both clear language and in code, this president has fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation," Biden, the former vice president, said in a speech in Burlington, Iowa. (Reid and MacLeod, 8/7)
The Washington Post:
Biden, Booker Attack Trump With Scathing Words — And Different Messages
Booker, in contrast, spent much of his time exploring the nation’s painful racial history in broad terms, depicting Trump as more symptom than cause and refraining from mentioning his name. “In both clear language and in code, this president has fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation,” the former vice president said. “His low-energy, vacant-eyed mouthing of the words written for him condemning white supremacists this week fooled no one. The energetic embrace of this president by the darkest hearts, the most hate-filled minds in this country, says it all.” (Wootson and Viser, 8/7)
Los Angeles Times:
What Role Does Ideology Play In Mass Shootings?
In their political views, the gunmen who brought carnage to two American cities last weekend could not have been more different. One posted a lengthy screed railing against the “Hispanic invasion of Texas” and supported President Trump. The other apparently identified as a leftist, taking to Twitter to support Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren and proclaim, “Kill every fascist.” As the nation struggles to understand the motives behind the attacks, political ideology has become a focus. (Jarvie, 8/7)
The Associated Press:
Trump Words Linked To More Hate Crime? Some Experts Think So
President Donald Trump has often railed about an “invasion of illegals” at the southern border, words echoed in a screed the El Paso shooting suspect apparently posted that called the attack that killed 22 people at a Walmart his response to a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” Some extremism experts believe that may not be an accident. They say historical data suggests a link between heated rhetoric from top political leaders and ensuing reports of hate crimes, only adding to the fears of those who could be targeted. (Kunzelman and Galvan, 8/7)
Trump Alleges Left-Wing Political Motivation In Dayton Despite Lack Of Clear Motive
Authorities, however, have said there is no clear motive behind the [Dayton] attack, and writings by Betts did not indicate any racial or political motive, sources have told CNN. Instead, investigators have pointed to an apparent fixation of Betts on violence and killing. In contrast, investigators say Patrick Crusius, the El Paso suspect, left behind a manifesto filled with white supremacist language and racist hatred aimed at immigrants and Latinos. The author says he opposes "race mixing" and encourages immigrants to return to their home countries. (Carvajal, 8/7)
Democrats And The FBI Say White Extremism Is A Huge Problem. Trump Disagrees.
The issue of gun violence has divided Americans along political lines for decades and will continue to do so, but white extremism is jumping to the forefront of the political conversation in a new way: Democrats say it's a crisis that needs to be addressed immediately while President Donald Trump and some pundits appear to believe there is no problem at all. (Wolf, 8/8)