President Donald Trump hit back against the news media on Monday after he was consistently blamed for causing the pair of mass shootings that occurred over the weekend.
"The Media has a big responsibility to life and safety in our Country. Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years," Trump said. "News coverage has got to start being fair, balanced and unbiased, or these terrible problems will only get worse!"
The president’s remarks come on the heels of two recent mass shootings that took place less than one day apart. On Saturday, a gunman opened fire in a Walmart shopping complex in El Paso, Texas, murdering at least 20 individuals and injuring more than two dozen others. A second attacker took the lives of nine people and injured nearly 30 others after he gunned down people in a Dayton, Ohio bar early Sunday morning.
Democratic lawmakers and the news media have repeatedly accused the president of stoking racism and inciting violence since taking office. Only hours after the first shooting garnered national attention, the left-wing of the aisle began to point fingers at Trump for causing the tragedy.
Democratic presidential hopefuls immediately seized on the tragedy to promote gun control legislation. Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-VT) subsequently called for a series of gun control proposals, including universal background checks and tighter restrictions on "assault weapons." Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) threatened to use executive power to enact comprehensive background checks and crack down on "assault weapons."
Nearly all of the leading 2020 Democratic candidates not only blamed the president for causing both the Texas and Ohio mass shootings, but also accused him of being a white supremacist, including former Rep. Beto O’Rourke (D-TX), who made multiple news appearances over the weekend, repeating the accusations.
"We can’t fix a problem if we refuse to name it: white nationalism. An ideology emboldened by a president who stokes the flames of hatred and coddles white supremacists with messages of support," former Vice President Joe Biden said on Sunday. "We must do what Trump won’t: condemn this evil and eradicate it from our society."
The president has condemned white supremacy and white nationalism on numerous occasions throughout and prior to his presidency. He also issued multiple statements on the "unspeakable act of evil" that occurred.
"Today’s shooting in El Paso, Texas was not only tragic, it was an act of cowardice. I know that I stand with everyone in this Country to condemn today’s hateful act," Trump said. "There are no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people … Melania and I send our heartfelt thoughts and prayers to the people of Texas."
He later authorized all American flags to be lowered to half-staff in honor of the victims in both Ohio and Texas.
"We cannot let those killed in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio die in vain," Trump tweeted on Monday morning. "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," he continued. "We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!"