Washington:US President Donald Trump, who came under public scrutiny for not appearing in public following the two mass shootings that killed 29 people, has said that “hate has no place” in America, citing the alleged “mental problems” of the gunmen who carried out the massacres in Texas and Ohio.
“Hate has no place in our country, and we’re going to take care of it,” Trump told reporters on Sunday before boarding the Air Force One to return to Washington after spending the weekend at his golf club in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Accompanied by his wife and First Lady Melania, Trump said that “mental problems” had contributed to the shootings, but he did not respond to reporters’ questions about the alleged anti-immigrant manifesto that the suspected El Paso shooter had posted online prior to carrying out the attack on Saturday morning in the Texas city.
The President congratulated law enforcement agencies in both Texas and Ohio for their quick responses to the two incidents.
“As bad as it was, it could have been so much worse,” Trump said. “We have to get it stopped. This has been going on for years.”
Trump had spent the weekend at his golf club in Bedminster and had not gone before cameras or spoken with reporters since the first incident on Saturday.
The President said that he had spoken with the Texas and Ohio governors, and with US Attorney General William Barr and members of Congress to see what can be done to halt gun violence in the US, and he added that on Monday he will issue an official statement on the shootings from the White House.
Trump had taken to Twitter on Saturday in the hours after the shooting, condemning it as “an act of cowardice” and a “hateful act”.
US authorities said on Sunday that they are treating their investigation into El Paso massacre that left at least 20 people dead as “domestic terrorism” and a “hate crime”.
Meanwhile, authorities were still investigating the Dayton, Ohio, shooting were nine people, including the shooter Connor Betts and his sister Megan, were killed in the mass shooting near Ned Peppers Bar early Sunday.
Investigators have not yet determined the motive for the mass shooting, which left 27 other people wounded.