President Donald Trump during a 2016 campaign rally in West ChesterNick SwartsellFollowing his visit to Dayton's Miami Valley Hospital to see a dozen victims of August 4's deadly mass shooting in the city's Oregon District, President Donald Trump praised the city, but lit into its Mayor Nan Whaley and Ohio's U.S Sen.
White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said in a statement that Trump and the first lady were "received very warmly by not just victims and their families, but by the many members of medical staff who lined the hallways to meet them".
Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, a former congressman from El Paso, spoke to the crowd.
US President Donald Trump shakes hands with El Paso Police Chief Greg Allen.
But in El Paso, where more protests awaited, Raul Melendez, whose father-in-law, David Johnson, was killed in Saturday's shooting, said the most appropriate thing Trump could do was to meet with relatives of the victims.
In addition, the president expressed his gratitude for the efforts of first responders during a stop at the local Emergency Operations Center, where he arrived Wednesday after having earlier visited Dayton, Ohio, the scene of another massive shooting on Sunday, resulting in nine dead and 27 injured.
Many Trump supporters donning "Keep America Great" red hats also faced off against protesters in El Paso.
White House officials said journalists were mostly kept away from Trump because they didn't want to treat the hospital visits as "photo-ops".
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"They wanted him to go in and behave differently", she said.
Democrats have accused Trump of hiding behind talk of mental illness and the influence of social media rather than committing to laws they insist are needed to restrict gun ownership and the types of weapons that are legal. He has blamed U.S. President Donald Trump's rhetoric for spreading fear and hate, leading Trump to tweet that O'Rourke should "be quiet".
Trump is insistant though that this isn't the case and vehemently condemned any act that could be construed as racist or that of a white supremacist in the aftermath of the two mass shootings that occurred in the country last weekend.
Holding a sign that said "Not Welcome Here", Lynnell Graham said she thinks Trump's response to the shootings has been insincere. The Democrats making the accusation, including Arizona Rep. Raúl Grijalva and then-Sen.
And Ohio Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown even admitted Trump was right to visit the cities.
The White House also released a campaign-style short video, set to dramatic music, that focuses nearly entirely on Trump shaking hands with groups of people in the hospitals or posing for pictures with onlookers.
"He was comforting. He did the right things and Melania did the right things".
Those running for president in 2020 called the president a white nationalist.