President Donald Trump plans to visit the communities of El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, in the wake of two mass shootings that took place over the weekend.
El Paso Mayor Dee Margo confirmed that the president would visit the community on Wednesday after the shootings.
“This is not a political visit,” he said Monday. “And he is President of the United States. So in that capacity, I will fulfill my obligations as Mayor of El Paso.”
Several Texas Democrat leaders, including former Congressman Beto O’Rourke, said that Trump should not come to El Paso, citing his “racist” rhetoric.
“This president, who helped create the hatred that made Saturday’s tragedy possible, should not come to El Paso. We do not need more division,” O’Rourke wrote on Twitter. “We need to heal. He has no place here.”
When reporters asked Margo if he understood why residents would not welcome him to the city, he replied, “Yes, I understand. But we’re not dealing with that right now. We’re dealing with a tragedy.”
White House officials confirmed to NBC News that the president was planning to travel to El Paso and Dayton, Ohio this week.
“I’ve heard that he’s coming Wednesday, but I’ve not gotten a call,” Dayton, Ohio Mayor Nan Whaley said, but she confirmed that the president mentioned that he would visit “sometime this week.”
She added sarcastically that Trump might be visiting “Toledo,” referring to the president mistakenly referring to the community of Toledo during his address to the nation on Monday, instead of Dayton.
“He might be going to Toledo, I don’t know,” Whaley quipped.