Donald Trump on Wednesday, ahead of his trip to Dayton, Ohio, complained the ‘fake news’ ignored ties the suspected mass shooter had to liberal presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren.
A Twitter account believed to be owned by Connor Betts, the 24-year-old suspected of killing nine people and injuring 27 in Dayton on Sunday, has tweeted supportive messages for Warren and Sanders, in addition to promoting content from ANTIFA, a left-wing, militant, anti-fascist group.
‘These are people that are looking for political gain,’ he told reporters on the South Lawn as he prepared to leave for Dayton. ‘I don’t think they’re getting it, and as much as possible I’ve tried to stay out of that.’
‘I would like to stay out of the political fray. As I was saying and just came out, the Dayton situation, he was a fan of ANITFA. He was a fan of Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren. Nothing to do with Trump, but nobody ever mentions that. No, I don’t blame Elizabeth Warren and I don’t blame Bernie Sanders in the case of Ohio,’ he added.
Trump also touted those ties in a tweet ahead of his visit to the city to comfort victims, citing a report from One America News Network, a right-wing TV station.
‘“The Dayton, Ohio, shooter had a history of supporting political figures like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and ANTIFA.” @OANN I hope other news outlets will report this as opposed to Fake News. Thank you!,’ the president wrote.
The welcome Trump will get in the two cities where a total of 31 people died was unclear.
The Democratic mayor of Dayton said she would meet him because of the office he holds, while in El Paso Beto O’Rourke, the former local congressman turned presidential candidate, told Trump to stay away.
Police on both cities are already stretched dealing with the aftermath of the shootings, and in the case of El Paso, a full criminal investigation into the shooter, Patrick Crusius, who surrendered after his murder spree.
Donald Trump, ahead of his trip to Dayton, Ohio, tried to link the mass shooter to liberal presidential candidates Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren
A Twitter account believed to be owned by Connor Betts – the suspect in Sunday’s shooting – had supportive messages for Elizabeth Warren and Bernie Sanders but no motive has been established
No motive has been established behind the shooting in Dayton, unlike Friday’s incident in El Paso, Texas, where the suspect left behind a 2,300-word manifesto that raged about the ‘Hispanic invasion of Texas,’ posted online minutes before the shooting began on Saturday at a Wal-Mart in the Southern border city.
White House officials also pushed the ties between Betts and liberals as they defended the president from Democrats’ charges it was his rhetoric that inflamed racial tensions in the country.
‘We do not blame, nor do we even dream of blaming Elizabeth Warren for the shooter in Ohio who wanted to vote for her,’ White House deputy press secretary Hogan Gidley said on Fox News Tuesday, questioning why Trump was being criticized.
‘I’m hopping mad this morning because I see very little scant coverage of the fact that the Dayton shooter has been confirmed as having a Twitter feed that was supportive of Antifa, that was supportive of Elizabeth Warren, Bernie Sanders,’ White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said on Fox News Tuesday morning.
Warren’s campaign called the attempt to link Betts to her campaign a distraction.
‘There is absolutely no place for violence in our politics and Elizabeth and our campaign condemn it in the strongest possible terms,’ Warren campaign spokesperson Kristen Orthman said in a statement to The Hill on Tuesday.
‘Leaders have a responsibility to speak out and to not incite violence. But let’s be clear – there is a direct line between the president’s rhetoric and the stated motivations of the El Paso shooter.
‘This is an attempt to distract from the fact that Trump’s rhetoric is inciting violence as extremist-related murders have spiked 35 percent from 2017 to 2018,’ she added.
Betts, who was shot and killed by police, was armed with a .223-caliber ‘long gun,’ high-capacity magazines, and extra ammunition in Sunday’s mass shooting.
The attack lasted less than a minute outside a bar in a popular neighborhood in the city.
Authorities have named no motive behind suspect Connor Betts
Chilling footage shows Ohio gunman inside Blind Bob’s bar before he opened fire and killed nine people including his sister outside Ned Peppers Bar on Saturday night
His social media posts often showed support for Democratic Senator Elizabeth Warren. In one tweet (above) he said he would vote for Warren over Kamala Harris because the latter ‘is a cop’
Before being removed, the account’s bio read: ‘he/him / anime fan / metalhead / leftist / I’m going to hell and I’m not coming back’
Last tweet: The account has now been suspended but on Saturday retweeted a message calling on the ‘Joe Biden generation’ to ‘hurry up and die’
Democrat: Shortly before the 2018 midterm elections the account urged its followers to ‘vote blue’ to defeat Republican candidates
Support: The account had also retweeted Vermont Senator and leftist presidential candidate Bernie Sanders
Former classmates of Betts said he kept a ‘hit list’ of people he wanted to kill or rape.
Authorities are investigating a motive.
Trump, meanwhile, has come under attack from Democrats, who say his anti-immigrant language on the stump has sparked a rise in white supremacy.
‘In both clear language and in code, this president has fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation,’ Joe Biden will say at a campaign event in Iowa later Wednesday, according to excerpts released from his campaign.
Beto O’Rourke, who represented El Paso in Congress, said America under Trump was like Nazi Germany.
‘The only modern western Democracy that I can think of that said anything close to this is the Third Reich, Nazi Germany,’ he said Monday on MSNBC’s ‘Morning Joe.’
Joe Biden will accuse the president of fanning ‘the flames of white supremacy in this nation’ in a speech in Iowa on Wednesday
‘He probably will hear it from you all, better than he hears it from me,’ she said. ‘I mean, yesterday, his comments weren’t very helpful to the issue around guns.’
Trump on Monday blamed the internet, social media, computer games and ‘mental illness’ for the two mass shootings that killed 31 people this past weekend.
‘Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun,’ he said.
‘I almost got a good headline!’ President Trump reacts after liberal outrage led New York Times to CHANGE its front-page headline that praised his ‘unity message’ after shootings
President Donald Trump complained Wednesday after The New York Times changed a positive Page One headline about Monday’s speech following a pair of mass-shootings.
The switch was made to accommodate outraged reporters and Twitter pundits who objected to its cast of Trump’s speech in a flattering light.
‘”Trump Urges Unity Vs. Racism,” was the correct description in the first headline by the Failing New York Times, but it was quickly changed to, “Assailing Hate But Not Guns,” after the Radical Left Democrats went absolutely CRAZY!’ the president tweeted.
‘Fake News – That’s what we’re up against,’ he jabbed, adding: ‘After 3 years I almost got a good headline from the Times!’
The two versions of Tuesday’s New York Times front page are shown here, with the headline changing to reflect outrage amont liberal partisans on Twitter and reporters in the paper’s newsroom
Times Executive Editor Dean Baquet told the influential Columbia Journalism Review that the original headline wasn’t an effort to arrive at a result that ‘mollified Donald Trump.’
He also distanced himself from the decision to run it in the paper’s first print edition. The second edition carried the changed headline.
The first was factually accurate and reflected the story’s opening.
The president said Monday that Americans should ‘set destructive partisanship aside’ find ‘the courage to answer hatred with unity, devotion, and love.’
Trump also quoted longtime former Bill Clinton pollster Mark Penn in a tweet Wednesday morning, saying: ‘This is an astounding development in journalism. I’ve never seen it happen before, I’ve just never seen anything like this! Is that journalism today? I don’t think so.’
Penn appeared Tuesday night on Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson’s program, which Trump watches regularly.
‘It took The New York Times, a daily newspaper published in New York City, less than a day to end a bold new experiment yesterday running an objective headline,’ Carlson said.
Trump was responding in Monday’s speech to Saturday’s shootings in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio, which left 41 people dead.
He has drawn unusually intense criticism among liberal partisans for his past rhetoric condemning Central American drug gangsters and other illegal immigrants.
Sunday’s first shooter was a white supremacist who believed he was exacting vengeance against Mexicans for an ‘invasion’ of Texas, according to a four-page manifesto he published before his killing spree.
The Dayton gunman, however, appeared to have been a political liberal, expressing admiration for Massachusetts Sen. Elizabeth Warren and advocating for a universal taxpayer-funded minimum income for all Americans.
The president is visiting the two cities on Wednesday amid complaints from Democrats in both places that his appearance will be divisive. Many have claimed he is himself a white supremacist.
Prepared remarks for a Wednesday afterno speech have former Vice President Joe Biden, a 2020 Democratic front-runner, claiming Trump ‘has aligned himself with the darkest forces in this nation.’
‘In both clear language and in code, this president has fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation.:
One MSNBC anchor, Nicolle Wallace, apologized Tuesday night after saying on the air that Trump’s rhetoric could lead to the ‘extermination” of Hispanics in the U.S.
Former Times political statistician Nete Silver sparked a social media firestorm Monday night by posting an image of the coming front page and opining, ‘Not sure “TRUMP URGES UNITY VS. RACISM” is how I would have framed the story.’
An hour later New York Magazine writer Yashar Ali, whose Twitter audience includes 434,000 people, wrote that he had ‘have never received more texts from furious NYT reporters/writers than I have tonight.’
The president said Monday that Americans should ‘set destructive partisanship aside’ find ‘the courage to answer hatred with unity, devotion, and love’
Fox News Channel host Tucker Carlson mocked the Times Tuesday night, in a monologue that Trump likely watched, for ‘end[ing] a bold new experiment yesterday running an objective headline’
Trump also quoted longtime former Bill Clinton pollster Mark Penn, who appeared on Carlson’s show, saying: ‘I’ve just never seen anything like this! Is that journalism today? I don’t think so’
‘They feel like their hard work is being sullied by a horrible headline. And they’re all blaming Dean Baquet.’
That characterization implies that the mood in the newsroom was critical of Trump to a degree that underscoring his call for national ‘unity’ in a headline wouldn’t permit.
The president has long been critical of the Times, calling it a ‘fake news’ outlet and a ‘failing’ newspaper.
He has predicted that unless he is elected to a second controversy-filled term in the White House the Times and other news outlets that routinely criticize him will ‘go out of business’ for lack of a piñata to swing at daily.
A Columbia Journalism Review writer summed up much of institutional journalism’s verdict on Tuesday, calling Trump’s Monday speech ‘ludicrous.’
‘Trump invoked “unity, devotion, and love,” concepts about which he demonstrates no knowledge. He failed to address the El Paso shooter’s online screed, which contained clear echoes of Trump’s racist rhetoric,’ wote Jon Allsop.