- After evidence indicated the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, was inspired by white supremacy, Ivanka Trump said on Twitter that the ideology was a form of terrorism and must be destroyed.
- The shooter in the El Paso attack is believed to have posted a racist document to the message board 8chan, calling the planned shooting “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
- President Donald Trump has largely avoided discussing ideology in response to that shooting as well as one that took place hours later in Dayton, Ohio.
- He described the El Paso gunman, as well as the shooter in Dayton, where authorities are unsure about motive, as “really very seriously mentally ill.”
- The president has been criticised before for his response to violence by white nationalists or white supremacists, notably after the march in Charlottesville, Virginia, that turned violent.
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After evidence indicated that Saturday’s mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, was motivated by white supremacy, Ivanka Trump called the ideology a type of terrorism and “an evil that must be destroyed.”
That contrasted with the response by her father, President Donald Trump, who framed the El Paso shooting and a separate massacre that took place early Sunday in Dayton, Ohio, as issues of mental health.
“White supremacy, like all other forms of terrorism, is an evil that must be destroyed,” Ivanka Trump wrote in a tweet on Sunday.
The president had earlier highlighted mental illness, telling reporters that both shooters were “really very seriously mentally ill.”
Shortly before the gunman opened fire at a Walmart in El Paso, an anti-immigrant document was posted to the online message board 8chan that promised “a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
A Justice Department official said on Sunday that officials were treating the El Paso shooting as domestic terrorism.
The motive of the Ohio attacker is unclear.
The elder Trump has long been accused of fuelling anti-immigrant sentiment in the US by making inflammatory comments in the public domain.
Most recently he was condemned as racist for telling four US congresswomen of colour to “go back and help fix the totally broken and crime infested places from which they came” even though all four were US citizens and three were born in the US.
The president has also long resisted condemning white nationalism directly. He notably hesitated to denounce violent white nationalists at a march in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017, when a white nationalist killed a counterprotester by ramming her with his car. He instead condemned “hatred, bigotry, and violence on many sides.”
Responding to the shooting in El Paso, the Democratic presidential candidate Pete Buttigieg said that white supremacists “feel validated” by the president’s vitriol toward migrants.
Read more: Gunmen in attacks on El Paso Walmart and New Zealand mosques were tied to racist manifestos on the same website. The founder says the online community would likely be responsible for future tragedies.
Still, while taking questions from reporters in Morristown, New Jersey, where he brought up mental health, the president also said that “hate has no place in our country” and that “we’re going to take care” of mass shootings.
He did not give specifics.
There have been 255 mass shootings in the US in 2019, according to data from the nonprofit Gun Violence Archive, which defines a mass shooting as a shooting in which at least four people are shot not including the gunman.
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