Texas representative says shooting survivors don't want to see Trump: 'Tell him not to come'
El Paso-area U.S. Rep. Veronica Escobar said survivors of the mass shooting terror attack in Texas last weekend have told her they don’t want to see Donald Trump when he visits the city on Wednesday. "This community is full of hope and resilience and beauty,” she told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes. “But the other thing that I heard, totally unsolicited, from victims still in the hospital as they'd grab my arm and tell me, 'Tell him not to come here.’”
She has been among the El Paso leaders asking him to not visit, saying his violent and racist rhetoric—which he refused to apologize for during his scripted remarks this week—has fueled hate. Escobar said yesterday that the White House asked her to join Trump during his Wednesday visit, but she first wanted a phone call to express “that his words are powerful and have consequences.” She was dismissed, told he was “too busy.”
“Words are powerful, and words have consequences,” she told Hayes. “And the words that he’s used to dehumanize us, to dehumanize communities like mine, to dehumanize immigrants, they have a consequence, and they provide fuel for people who already are bigoted. And when they have a president who’s racist and whips people up into a frenzy at rallies, when people yell, ‘We’ll shoot them!’ and he doesn’t stop to think, ‘Oh my God, what am I doing?’ There’s such a moral crisis.”
Trump is unrepentant even as he visits El Paso, with his campaign refusing to stopFacebook ads featuring the same “invasion” rhetoric echoed by the white supremacist terrorist that killed 22 people there, in fact running new ads attacking immigrants just hours after the shooting. Escobar ended up declining the White House’s invitation, saying, “I refuse to be an accessory to his visit. I refuse to join without a dialogue about the pain his racist and hateful words and actions have caused our community and country.”
It’s not just Escobar and El Pasoans who feel this way, either; many Ohioans terrorized by their own mass shooting said they didn’t want to see Trump either. “Dayton has been through enough, and we don’t want him here or his hateful rhetoric, I’m just tired of all the killing,” activist Megan Baxter told The Washington Post. But Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley “said she planned to meet with Trump on Wednesday and would ‘absolutely’ tell him ‘how unhelpful he’s been.’”