We should have suspected something was wrong when Donald Trump banned reporters from El Paso’s University Medical Center while he visited with victims of the shooting. Now we have a good idea why. Since Trump spent much of yesterday melting down on Twitter, White House staffers were trying to keep the visit from being an even bigger debacle than it was.
It wasn’t enough for Trump to visit a city where he wasn’t welcome – after a tragic massacre that he is at least partly responsible for. A new video released by a local CBS news station in El Paso shows Trump was anything but contrite. In fact, he acted as though his visit to El Paso was another opportunity to hold a rally.
He thanked hospital staff for the lives they saved following the shooting, but as usual, Trump can never keep the focus off himself for very long. He decided to bring up the rally he held there back in May and brag about the crowd size which he lied about once again.
Beto O’Rourke was also on his mind, as he compared the size of his crowd to O’Rourke’s rally, which was almost twice the size. Since reporters noted that locals are proud of their former congressman for speaking out for the victims, it’s hardly a wonder that O’Rourke was on Donald Trump’s mind – coming up in several tweets yesterday. Most leaders – or political candidates – try to put politics aside after a national tragedy, but of course, Donald Trump’s enemies are more important than the suffering of people he’s actually responsible for.
Even before the El Paso shooting, statistical data showed that hate crime levels in cities where Trump held a rally rose by over 200% – suggesting that this shooting was the inevitable result of his open bigotry and dangerous policies. Had cameras been rolling longer – we could have witnessed a disaster Trump would have a hard time recovering from – being angrily rebuked by patients or hospital staff as he reminded people of his racist rally and how he encouraged the carnage that put them there in the first place.
James Sullivan is the assistant editor of Brain World Magazine and an advocate of science-based policy making