Sen. Elizabeth Warren’s (D-MA) campaign dismissed reports that the Dayton, Ohio, gunman supported the presidential hopeful but maintained that President Trump played a role in the actions of the El Paso gunman, who murdered 22 and injured dozens more.
President Trump spoke to reporters ahead of his visits to El Paso and Dayton and remarked that his critics have failed to mention that the Dayton shooter was an avowed leftist who seemed to champion left-wing individuals and causes.
“He was a fan of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, nothing to do with Trump. Nobody ever mentions that,” Trump said Wednesday:
President Trump on Dayton shooter: "He was a fan of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, nothing to do with Trump. Nobody ever mentions that." https://t.co/HHghAb803k pic.twitter.com/WZEQ5nE7Xx
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 7, 2019
Warren, one of Trump’s most unabashed critics, recently told the New York Times that Trump is a white supremacist who has “done everything he can to stir up racial conflict and hatred in this country.” Her campaign spokeswoman also came out with a statement, dismissing the Dayton shooter’s purported support of Warren but continuing to attribute the El Paso gunman’s heinous actions to Trump.
Warren campaign spokeswoman Kristen Orthman said in a statement:
Leaders have a responsibility to speak out and to not incite violence. But let’s be clear — there is a direct line between the president’s rhetoric and the stated motivations of the El Paso shooter. This is an attempt to distract from the fact that Trump’s rhetoric is inciting violence as extremist-related murders have spiked 35 percent from 2017 to 2018.”
Much attention has been given to the El Paso shooter’s manifesto, which detailed his anti-immigration views. Although the gunman said his ideas predated Trump, many on the left pounced, placing the blame squarely on the president. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-NY) even said Trump’s general dialogue on immigration is “directly responsible” for the actions of the shooter in El Paso.
However, Trump’s critics – in both the nation’s capital and Hollywood – have virtually ignored the left-wing views of the Dayton shooter, who espoused anti-police, anti-gun, and pro-Antifa sentiments. A Twitter account associated with the gunman indicated support for both Warren and Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT).
Sanders campaign aide Jeff Weaver released a statement this week similar to Warren’s, distancing Sanders from the shooter but implying that Trump played some role in the actions of the El Paso gunman.
“Anyone who thinks that political change should come from the barrel of a gun is anathema to what Bernie has advocated for decades — non-violent mass political action,” he said.
“Senator Sanders and our entire campaign are repulsed by the despicable massacres we have witnessed. We asked Donald Trump to condemn white nationalism and anti immigrant [sic] demonization. We are not holding our breath,” he added.
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