Mayor Nan Whaley of Dayton, Ohio, and Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-OH) criticized President Donald Trump for “divisive” rhetoric after he visited the city Wednesday — though Sunday’s mass shooter was a left-wing socialist.
As Breitbart News and other outlets reported, the gunman who opened fire in the crowded Oregon district this weekend, killing nine and wounding over two dozen more, had left-wing views. His purported Twitter account included tweets attacking Trump; calling for vandalism against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE); demanding socialism; and supporting Sens. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) and Bernie Sanders (I-VT) for president.
Ironically, as the Dayton Daily News noted, the shooter was also an ardent proponent of gun control.
Whaley and Brown — who initially said he would not meet with Trump — greeted the president warmly at the airport. But after meeting with the president, the two Democrats gave a partisan press conference in which they attacked Trump.
Brown told reporters: “I changed my mind about coming. I didn’t want in any way to encourage the president’s racist talk and divisive talk. I came because Mayor Whaley asked me to come.”
He added: “I’m very concerned about a president that divides in his rhetoric, and plays to race in his rhetoric, and is racist.” Brown also repeatedly attacked the National Rifle Association.
Whalen said that she was glad Trump had not visited the site of the shooting in the Oregon district: “I think a lot of people that own businesses in that district aren’t interested in the president being there. And, you know, a lot of the time his talk can be very divisive, and that’s the last thing we need in Dayton.”
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.