On his way to Dayton and El Paso, Trump answered a few questions from the press. With a straight face, Trump claimed that the has toned down his rhetoric and that his rhetoric brings people together as opposed to incite violence. The alleged shooter in El Paso used many of the same words and phrases Trump uses.
“I don’t think my rhetoric does at all. I think my rhetoric brings people together. Our country is doing really well,”
Trump suggests Democrats are just as responsible for mass shootings as he is, says, "if you look at Dayton, that was a person that supported, I guess you would say, Bernie Sanders, Antifa." (There's no indication the Dayton shooting was politically motivated.) pic.twitter.com/7TlthIJCGA— Aaron Rupar (@atrupar) August 7, 2019
Trump did comment on gun violence and stated that there was “no political appetite” for a ban on assault weapons. However, he did suggest looking more seriously into back ground checks so guns “do to get into the hands of mentally unstable people or people with rage or hate, sick people.”
Trump tried deflecting from his reckless rhetoric by focusing on a Twitter account believed to have been owned by the Dayton shooter. The Twitter account showed tweets that showed support for both Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders as well as Antifa.
“That was a person that supported, I guess you could say Bernie Sanders, I understood. Antifa, I understood. Elizabeth Warren, I understood. It had nothing to do with President Trump,” Trump told reporters. “I don’t blame Elizabeth Warren. I don’t blame Bernie Sanders. These are sick people.”
Another reporter told Trump that the El Paso shooter used the same rhetoric that Trump has used repeatedly when talking about immigrants. Again, Trump deflected and spoke about “illegal immigrants”
“I think that illegal immigration — you’re talking about illegal immigration?” Trump said. “I think illegal immigration is a terrible thing for this country. I think you have to come in legally. Ideally you have to come in through merit. We need people coming in because we have many companies coming into our country, they’re pouring in.
“I think illegal immigration is a very bad thing for our country,” he continued. “I think open borders area a very bad thing for our country, and we’re stopping. We’re building a wall right now, we won the lawsuit in the Supreme Court two weeks ago, the wall is well under construction, it’s being built at a rapid pace. We need that.”