Democrats point finger at Donald Trump as president says hate has no place in US
The president was speaking after separate shooting atrocities in Texas and Ohio.
President Donald Trump has denounced two mass shootings in Ohio and Texas, saying “hate has no place in our country”.
Addressing reporters in Morristown, New Jersey, Mr Trump said Sunday that “we’re going to take care” of the problem.
He said he has been speaking to the attorney general, FBI director and members of Congress and will be making an additional statement on Monday.
Mr Trump pointed to a mental illness problem in the US, calling the gunmen “really very seriously mentally ill”.
He said the problem of shootings has been going on “for years and years” and “we have to get it stopped”.
The shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, over the weekend left at least 29 people dead.
Democratic presidential candidates sought to lay blame on Mr Trump.
“There is complicity in the president’s hatred that undermines the goodness and the decency of Americans regardless of what party,” New Jersey Senator Cory Booker said.
“To say nothing in a time of rising hatred, it’s not enough to say that ‘I’m not a hate monger myself.’ If you are not actively working against hate, calling it out, you are complicit in what is going on.”
South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg said confronting white nationalist terrorism would be embarrassing for a president who “helped stoke many of these feelings in this country to begin with”.
“At best, he’s condoning and encouraging white nationalism,” Mr Buttigieg said.
Senator Kamala Harris of California also found blame in Mr Trump’s use of language, which she said has “incredible consequence”.
“We have a president of the United States who has chosen to use his words in a way that have been about selling hate and division among us,” she told reporters before attending services at a black church in Las Vegas.
My heart is broken. For El Paso. For Dayton. For everyone who is impacted by the 40,000 gun deaths in our country every year. It’s on each and every one of us to end this crisis—and together, I still have faith that we will.— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 4, 2019
Senator Bernie Sanders opened a town hall meeting with a moment of silence and by calling for universal background checks for firearms purchases and more restrictions on assault weapons.
“Assault weapons are designed for one reason. They are military weapons. And I don’t have to explain that to the people in Las Vegas who experienced the worst gun tragedy in the history of this country,” Mr Sanders said.
He urged Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell to call senators back to Washington, saying the Senate should “have a special session to address gun violence in America and let us finally have the courage to take on the NRA”.
God bless the people of El Paso, Texas. God bless the people of Dayton, Ohio.— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 4, 2019
He also criticised the president.
“I say to President Trump, please stop the racist anti-immigrant rhetoric,” he said. “Stop the hatred in this country which is creating the kind of violence that we see.”
On Sunday, Mr Trump tweeted praise of law enforcement and said that “information is rapidly being accumulated in Dayton” and that “much has already be learned in El Paso”.
Former Texas congressman and El Paso native Beto O’Rourke said that Mr Trump is a white nationalist.