After calling for strong background checks “perhaps” tied to immigration reform this morning, President Donald Trump, responding to a weekend of mass shootings, returned to a more familiar stance by blaming “Fake News” for contributing “greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years.”
See the tweets below.
Trump is expected to address the shootings from the White House this morning.
Following a bloody weekend that saw two gunmen kill 29 people in separate attacks in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, Trump today tweeted, “We cannot let those killed in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, die in vain. Likewise for those so seriously wounded. We can never forget them, and those many who came before them. Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform. We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!”
If the call for background checks seemed a welcome and rare presidential move for a bipartisan approach to the gun crisis, Trump’s suggestion of “marrying” the legislation to immigration reform was quickly interpreted by TV cable news pundits as an attempt to further the president’s border agenda. Neither of the weekend’s shootings were carried out by immigrants; the El Paso Walmart shooting suspect posted a manifesto against immigrants and using the same word – “invasion” – often used by Trump to describe conditions at the Southern border.
Shortly after the background check tweet, Trump posted another missive, this time railing against the media.
“The Media has a big responsibility to life and safety in our Country,” Trump wrote. “Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years. News coverage has got to start being fair, balanced and unbiased, or these terrible problems will only get worse!”
Ironically, the president’s call for “fair, balanced and unbiased” news coverage comes on the same day that the Rupert Murdoch-owned New York Post devoted its front page to a call for a ban on “weapons of war.”
The Post’s front-page headline reads: “President Trump, America is scared and we need bold action. It’s time to… BAN WEAPONS OF WAR.”
Both Murdoch and his conservative Post have previously beseeched Trump to act in the wake of other shootings (following the 2018 Parkland, Florida, school shooting, the Post’s front page called on Trump to “Please Act”; Murdoch encouraged then-President Obama to ban automatic weapons after the 2012 Newtown school shooting.