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Trump heads to grieving communities after mass shootings

Trump visits El Paso after shooting
Trump visits El Paso after shooting 02:13

President Trump is visiting two grief-stricken communities on Wednesday in the wake of two mass shootings that took place over the weekend. His visit, however, has drawn ire from some residents and local lawmakers, who have urged the commander-in-chief to stay in Washington as their community grapples with the loss of life. 

As he prepared to leave the White House South Lawn Wednesday, the president insisted that his critics are just trying to make political points, and that Democrats and Republicans are close to completing a background check bill. 

"My critics are political people that are trying to make points ... some of them in particular are very low in the polls," the president told reporters. 

Mr. Trump and the first lady are slated to visit Dayton, Ohio and El Paso, Texas to meet with first responders, survivors and families of victims killed in the weekend shootings. His visit, however, is not being well received by some local officials. Democratic Rep. Veronica Escobar of El Paso tweeted Tuesday that she declined to meet with Mr. Trump when he comes to the area.

Escobar wrote she refuses to "join without a dialogue about the pain his racist and hateful words and actions have caused our community and country."

Escobar's predecessor in the congressional seat, 2020 hopeful Beto O'Rourke, has also publicly asked Mr. Trump not to come to El Paso. O'Rourke and the president have since been embroiled in a war of words over legislative inaction and violent extremism. 

Meanwhile in Ohio, Dayon Mayor Nan Whaley told reporters that she would welcome the president in the official capacity as mayor, but did not shy away from criticizing him for his inflammatory rhetoric and inaction on gun control. 

"He probably will hear it from you all, better than he hears it from me," she told reporters. "I mean, yesterday, his comments weren't very helpful to the issue around guns."

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