Trump responds to white supremacist motive in El Paso shooting: 'Our nation must condemn racism'

U.S. President Donald Trump makes remarks on the mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend in the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House as U.S. Vice President Mike Pence looks on, August 5, 2019 in Washington, DC. | Alex Wong/Getty Images

President Donald Trump gave remarks on Monday in response to a mass shooting carried out in El Paso, Texas, stating that “hate has no place in America.”

Over the weekend, 21-year-old Patrick Crusius allegedly committed a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, killing 20 people and wounding several others.

President Trump explained in his formal remarks that the shooter posted an online manifesto that was “consumed by racist hate.”

“In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul,” said Trump, as reported by ABC News.

Trump went on to state that his administration has asked the Federal Bureau of Investigation to “identify all further resources they need to investigate and disrupt hate crimes and domestic terrorism.”

People hold up their phones in lieu of candles at an interfaith vigil for victims of a mass shooting, which left at least 20 people dead, on August 4, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. A 21-year-old male suspect was taken into custody in the city which sits along the U.S.-Mexico border. At least 26 people were wounded. | Getty Images/Mario Tama

“We must recognize that the internet has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds and perform demented acts. We must shine light on the dark recesses of the internet and stop mass murders before they start,” continued Trump.

“Today I am also directing the Department of Justice to propose legislation ensuring that those who commit hate crimes and mass murders face the death penalty and that this capital punishment be delivered quickly, decisively.”

Earlier on Twitter, Trump had called upon Democrats and Republicans to pass legislation creating stronger background checks on firearms purchases, possibly “marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform.”

In an email sent to supporters, the Reverend Samuel Rodriguez, president of the National Hispanic Christian Leadership Conference and an adviser to Trump, also urged action from elected officials. 

"We urge our political leaders, Democrat and Republican, to once-and-for-all depoliticize immigration in this country and instead embrace a fact-based approach to this and to all political questions that divide us," stated Rodriguez. 

"Even more importantly, we call upon people of sincere faith in every corner of our country to recommit themselves to loving the ‘other’ and to begin to pray with all their might that God would heal our broken land."

Despite Trump having condemned white nationalism in the past, some Democrats running to challenge Trump in 2020 have argued that the president played a part in inspiring the mass shooter.

United States Senator Cory Booker, D-N.J., said in a Sunday interview with NBC's "Meet the Press” that he believed Trump was "particularly responsible."  

“In my faith, you have this idea that you reap what you sow, and he is sowing seeds of hatred in this country, this harvest of hate violence that we are seeing right now lies at his feet,” stated Sen. Booker.

“There is a complicity in the president's hatred that undermines the goodness and decency of Americans.”

South Bend, Indiana Mayor Pete Buttigieg told CNN on Sunday that he also believed Trump had created an environment that motivated the shooter, arguing that the president “made his career, politically, on demonizing Mexicans.”

“Now we're seeing reports that the shooter yesterday had his goal as killing as many Mexicans as possible. It is very clear that this kind of hate is being legitimized from on high,” Buttigieg continued.

Dayton, Ohio was also the subject of a mass shooting this past weekend, which left 9 people dead and 27 others wounded. That shooter appears to have identified with the liberal side of the political spectrum and white nationalism is not believed to be his motive.

Follow Michael Gryboski on Twitter or Facebook

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