Obama implicitly criticizes Trump over language that 'feeds climate of fear and hatred'August 6, 2019
Former President Obama on Monday called for action in response to back-to-back mass shootings over the weekend and urged Americans to "soundly reject" leaders who feed "a climate of fear and hatred."
The former president issued a lengthy statement after more than 30 people were killed in mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio. He did not name any specific leaders, but his comments amounted to an implicit rebuke of President Trump.
Here is the Statement.
Obama weighed in as the death toll continued to rise in the El Paso shooting, in which a gunman opened fire Saturday afternoon at a Walmart. The suspected shooter allegedly wrote a racist, anti-immigrant manifesto that was published just before the attack that warned of a Latino “invasion.” Federal authorities are considering charging him with hate crimes.
Hours later, a gunman with a history of making violent threats killed nine people and injured more than 20 others in Dayton.
Trump delivered a prepared speech from the Diplomatic Room of the White House on Monday morning in which he called on the nation to condemn white supremacy and bigotry but did not lay out any proposals for stricter gun laws other than to reiterate support for "red flag" laws that would allow law enforcement to confiscate guns with a court order.
Instead, he focused his remarks on the need to confront mental illness and blamed video games and the darker corners of the internet for fostering violence.
Obama issued his statement hours later. The former president has largely refrained from commenting on Trump or his policies, speaking out occasionally on issues such as the withdrawal from the Iran nuclear deal and the travel ban.
In his final press conference before leaving office, Obama told reporters that he would feel compelled to speak out if he felt the country's "core values" were being threatened. He cited systemic discrimination, voter disenfranchisement and mass deportations of "Dreamers" as occurrences he may speak out about.
Source: The Hill