Trump to visit communities in Dayton, El Paso on Wednesday

By Nicholas Sakelaris
Trump to visit communities in Dayton, El Paso on Wednesday
Mourners pause outside of a Dayton, Ohio, bar Monday to remember nine victims of a shooting attack a day earlier. Photo by John Sommers II/UPI | License Photo

Aug. 6 (UPI) -- President Donald Trump will visit communities in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, on Wednesday, where gunmen killed more than 30 people in separate attacks last weekend.

Trump is scheduled to first visit Dayton, arriving at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base at 10:35 a.m. EDT. He will leave for El Paso about two hours later, and arrive about 3:45 p.m. EDT and stay in the border city for nearly three hours, the White House said.


El Paso Mayor Dee Margo, a Republican, said Tuesday he plans to welcome Trump but acknowledged he's received messages of opposition from residents. He said Trump has been "very gracious" with his support and his focus remains on the community, not politics.

"He is the president of the United States," Margo said. "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."

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Twenty-two people died in the shooting at an El Paso Walmart Saturday. Two died Monday after spending two days in the hospital.

"I don't know how we deal with evil," Margo added. "I don't have a textbook for dealing with it other than the Bible.


"I will meet the president. I guess for people who have a lot of time on their hands, I will deal with the emails and phone calls."

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Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke, an El Paso native who represented the city in the House, has advised Trump to stay away.

It was reported earlier Tuesday FAA advisories indicated a planned presidential trip to Dayton, where nine people were shot dead Sunday.

"He might be going to Toledo. I don't know," Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley joked, a reference to Trump misstating the location in remarks Monday.

RELATED 2 more dead from El Paso shooting attack; toll now at 22

Trump faces additional problems in El Paso because his presidential campaign still owes more than $569,000 for a rally six months ago, communications manager Laura Cruz-Acosta said. The charge covers the police presence and other safety measures. The city added a 21 percent late fee in June.

"As you see from the bill, these are services required for a presidential visit," said councilor Alexsandra Annello. "Our community and resources are already strained and do not need this extra burden."

Trump's visits follow substantial criticisms of Trump in the days since the attacks. Federal lawmakers are on summer recess and Democrats have called for an emergency session to address gun violence. Senate Republican leader Mitch McConnell has vowed to work in a bipartisan manner to address "recent mass murders which have shaken our nation." He also answered calls for an emergency session by saying there's no rush.


Trump's visits also follow a rare public statement from former President Barack Obama on the issue.

"First, no other nation on Earth comes close to experiencing the frequency of mass shootings that we see in the United States," he tweeted. "No other developed nation tolerates the levels of gun violence that we do."

"We are not helpless here. And until all of us stand up and insist on holding public officials accountable for changing our gun laws, these tragedies will keep happening.

"Like the followers of [the Islamic State] and other foreign terrorist organizations, these individuals may act alone, but they've been radicalized by white nationalist websites that proliferate on the Internet."

Obama also called for tolerance of diversity.

"We should soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalizes racist sentiments; leaders who demonize those who don't look like us, or suggest that other people, including immigrants, threaten our way of life, or refer to other people as sub-human, or imply that America belongs to just one certain type of people."

El Paso, Texas, mourns after mass shooting

Mourners hold up cellphone lights at the vigil. Photo by Justin Hamel/UPI | License Photo

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