Trump is Visiting El Paso Tomorrow Even Though City Leaders Have Told Him to Stay Away
El Paso, Texas, Mayor Dee Margo told reporters on Monday that Donald Trump will visit the city on Wednesday, even as several prominent Democrats indirectly blamed the president for Saturday’s mass shooting there –– with some even warning him, in frank terms, to stay away.
News of Trump’s planned appearance teed up a potentially bitter national political moment just four days after suspected gunman Patrick Crusius, 21, allegedly opened fire at a Walmart and killed 22 people while injuring more than two dozen others.
“He is president of the United States,” Margo, a Republican, told reporters. “So in that capacity, I will fulfill my obligations as mayor of El Paso, and hope that if we are expressing specifics that we can get him to come through for us.”
The mayor said he is “already getting the emails and the phone calls” from individuals “with lots of time on their hands,” but that his focus remains on his community, not politics.
“We’re dealing with a tragedy of 22 people who have perished by the hateful, evil act of a white supremacist,” he said. “I don’t know how we deal with evil. I don’t have a textbook for dealing with it other than the Bible.
“I’m sorry. We are going to go through this. The president is coming out. I will meet with the president. I guess for people who have lots of time on their hands, I will deal with the emails and phone calls.”
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The White House has not confirmed Trump’s schedule, or whether he will also visit Dayton, Ohio — where a gunman killed nine people over the weekend. But the Federal Aviation Administration has advised pilots of a presidential visit Wednesday to both El Paso and Dayton.
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. We need to heal. He has no place here.
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 5, 2019
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, a Democrat, told reporters that she had “not gotten a call” about a presidential visit as of late Monday, and didn’t have more details.
But both before and after Margo’s announcement, several Democrats forcefully urged Trump not to visit El Paso. Rep. Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, who represents the district that is home to the Walmart where Saturday’s shooting took place, lashed out at the president on Monday morning — placing some of the blame for the weekend’s tragedy at his feet.
“The president has made my community and my people the enemy,” she told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.”
“He has told the country that we are people to be feared, people to be hated,” Escobar continued. “From my perspective, he is not welcome here. He should not come here while we are in mourning.”
And Democratic presidential candidate Tim Ryan, D-Ohio, urged Margo in a televised interview to “quietly” tell Trump that he is not “welcome” in the city, because of his rhetoric on immigration.
"Words have consequences. The president has made my community and my people the enemy. He has told the country that we are people to be feared, people to be hated." —@RepEscobar pic.twitter.com/QH0rEPIeGc
— Morning Joe (@Morning_Joe) August 5, 2019