Counselor to the president Kellyanne Conway told reporters at the White House that Trump will travel to the cities to express his condolences and help provide resources following the mass shootings, reported WGNTV.
Conway gave no details of dates, but El Paso Mayor Dee Margo said that the president would be visiting on Aug. 7.
The Republican mayor, who has previously challenged Trump’s claims on the city’s crime rate, was at pains to indicate that he would not be meeting the president in a political capacity.
A woman kneels at a makeshift memorial outside Walmart, near the scene of a mass shooting which left at least 22 people dead in El Paso, Texas on Aug. 5, 2019. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
“He is president of the United States,” Margo 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.”
Margo said the president had told him he would be coming on Aug. 7 in a telephone call. “He was very gracious, offered to help in any way he could. It was a brief call and nothing overly specific.”
“I want to clarify for the political spin, that this is the office of the Mayor of El Paso in an official capacity welcoming the office of the President of the United States, which I consider my formal duty.”
El Paso Police Department hosts a Press Conference at the 911 Regional Communications Center on Threadgill to provide updates. #iamelpaso #ElPaSOSTRONG
تم النشر بواسطة City of El Paso, Texas – Municipal Government في الاثنين، ٥ أغسطس ٢٠١٩
Margo said he will ask the president for all the federal resources the city needs to recover.
There is no indication currently of when the president will visit the city of Dayton, where nine people were killed over the weekend.
El Paso forms one large conurbation with its Mexican twin, Ciudad Juárez, that straddles the Rio Grande, conjoined by bridges where hundreds of thousands of people cross each day.
Margo previously refuted claims made by Trump in his State of the Union Address about El Paso’s crime rate.
“The border city of El Paso, Texas, used to have extremely high rates of violent crime—one of the highest in the country, and considered one of our nation’s most dangerous cities,” the president said. “Now, with a powerful barrier in place, El Paso is one of our safest cities. Simply put, walls work, and walls save lives.”
Margo said that he was “already getting the emails and the phone calls” from individuals “with lots of time on their hands,” saying he wished they would hold back and that now wasn’t the time for politics.
“We’re dealing with a tragedy of 22 people who have perished by the hateful, evil act of a white supremacist,” Margo said. “I don’t know how we deal with evil. I don’t have a textbook for dealing with it other than the Bible.”
Some local Democrats have said that the president is not welcome in the city.
“From my perspective, he is not welcome here,” Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar told MSNBC. “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.”
The suspected gunman in the attack in El Paso, Patrick Crusius, 21, of Allen, Texas, has been charged with capital murder following the attack, which left 22 dead.
A manifesto attributed to him expressed anti-Hispanic views, including labeling the number of immigrants in Texas as “an invasion.”
“Inaction is a choice I can no longer bear the shame of inaction knowing that our founding fathers have endowed me with the rights needed to save our country from the brink [of] destruction,” he wrote.
President Donald Trump has called for capital punishment for those convicted of carrying out hate crimes following the mass shootings.
An undated file image of Patrick Crusius. (FBI via AP)
“Our nation is overcome with shock, horror, and sorrow,” Trump said on Aug. 5 at the White House. “We are outraged and sickened by this monstrous evil.”
The president, standing beside Vice President Mike Pence, said that white supremacy should be condemned and defeated.
“In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry, and white supremacy,” Trump said. “These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart, and devours the soul.”
President Donald Trump has partly directed blame toward violent video games for the shootings, saying that the “glorification of violence” must stop.
“We must stop the glorification of violence in our society,” Trump said. “This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence.”
Epoch Times reporters Zachary Steiber and Janita Kan contributed to this report.