WASHINGTON (AP) — President Donald Trump claimed Monday he wanted Washington to “come together” after two weekend mass shootings on legislation providing “strong background checks” for gun users, but he provided no details and previous gun control measures have languished in the Republican-controlled Senate.
Trump, who will make remarks to the nation later Monday, tweeted about the weekend shootings in Texas and Ohio that left 29 dead and dozens wounded. He said: “We can never forget them, and those many who came before them.”
The Democrat-led House has passed a gun control bill that includes fixes to the nation’s firearm background check system, but it has languished in the Senate.
Trump suggested that a background check bill could be paired with his long-sought effort to toughen the nation’s immigration system. But he didn’t say how.
Trump also faulted the media for “the anger and rage that has built up over many years.”
“News coverage has got to start being fair, balanced and unbiased, or these terrible problems will only get worse!” Trump tweeted.
Over the weekend, Trump tried to assure Americans he was dealing with the problem and defended his administration in light of criticism following the latest in a string of mass shootings.
“We have done much more than most administrations,” he said, without elaboration. “We have done actually a lot. But perhaps more has to be done.”
Investigators focused on whether the El Paso attack was a hate crime after the emergence of a racist, anti-immigrant screed that was posted online shortly beforehand. Detectives sought to determine if it was written by the man who was arrested.
In recent weeks, the president has issued racist tweets about four women of color who serve in Congress, and in rallies has spoken of an “invasion” at the southern border. His reelection strategy has placed racial animus at the forefront in an effort that his aides say is designed to activate his base of conservative voters, an approach not seen by an American president in the modern era.
Trump also has been widely criticized for offering a false equivalency when discussing racial violence, notably when he said there were “very fine people, on both sides,” after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that resulted in the death of an anti-racism demonstrator.