WASHINGTON — US President Donald Trump said Monday the United States must condemn bigotry, racism and white supremacy in his first formal remarks from the White House, after two mass shootings killed 29 and wounded 53 within 13 hours over the weekend in Texas and Ohio.
The nation was overcome with “shock” and “sorrow,” said Trump, calling the shootings “barbaric slaughters” and “an assault upon our communities, an attack upon our nation and a crime against all of humanity.”
“In one voice, our nation must condemn bigotry, hatred and white supremacy,” the president said. “These sinister ideologies must be defeated.”
However, Trump didn’t mention any measures on gun control legislation, instead calling for stronger actions to address mental illness, violent video games and “the perils of the Internet and social media.”
On Saturday, a 21-year-old white male opened fire at shoppers at a Walmart in the border city of El Paso, Texas, leaving 20 dead and 26 injured. The suspect, identified as Patrick Crusius and already taken into custody, is believed to have acted on anti-immigrant sentiment.
Early on Sunday morning, in Dayton, Ohio, another gunman wearing a mask opened fire at a bar district, killing nine people and injuring 27 others. The suspect, who was killed at the scene less than a minute after he began the shooting spree, was later identified as Connor Betts, a 24-year-old white male.
Earlier on Monday, Trump suggested on Twitter tying enhanced background checks on gun purchases to immigration reform legislations.
“Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform,” Trump tweeted.
“We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!” said the president.
It is unclear what “immigration reform” Trump is suggesting be tied to gun control legislation.