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Donald Trump met with protests as he visits mass shooting cities

Donald Trump has wrapped up visits to two cities shaken by mass shootings that left 31 people dead and dozens more wounded.

The US president was greeted by groups of protesters before he met victims and first responders from last weekend’s shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.

Mr Trump thanked first responders in El Paso after the shooting that left 22 people dead on Saturday.

The US president visited the University Medical Center in the city to meet survivors of the attack.

Armed police were stood outside and others were wearing riot gear.

Advertisement Image: The US president told police ‘there’s nobody better than you’ Image: The president thanked police officers in El Paso

A rally against white supremacy and demanding gun control was planned in the city, where the US president’s rhetoric is seen by many to inflame racial tensions in the country.

Mr Trump told police officers at the hospital on Wednesday: “All over the world they are talking about the job you’ve done as police, as law enforcement, as first responders.

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“The job you’ve done is incredible and everybody’s talking about it. I wanted to come and thank you because you’re very special people.

“There’s nobody like you, there’s nobody better.”

Image: Donald and Melania Trump arriving in El Paso Even as it unites to mourn its dead, America is more divided than ever

President Trump’s visits to the scenes of the latest US mass shootings have highlighted the divisions in society.

Some Democrats and residents of El Paso say Mr Trump’s language has fostered the kind of anti-immigrant hatred that could have contributed to Saturday’s attack.

The suspected gunman apparently wrote an anti-Hispanic rant before opening fire in a Walmart supermarket.

Speaking to several hundred people, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke said immigrants had made El Paso one of the safest cities in the US before Saturday’s shooting.

The president and the first lady flew to the city after visiting a hospital in Dayton, Ohio, where victims of a second mass shooting over the weekend were treated.

The attack in a popular nightlife area on Sunday left nine dead.

Image: Donald Trump has met with first responders to the El Paso shooting in Texas Image: Protesters were out in El Paso during Mr Trump’s visit

Mr Trump was kept out of the view of the reporters travelling with him in Ohio, but White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham said the couple met with hospital staff and first responders.

They also spent time with wounded survivors and their families.

Ms Grisham said that Mr Trump told them he was “with them” and added: “Everybody received him very warmly.

“Everybody was very, very excited to see him.”

But at least 200 protesters had gathered outside Miami Valley Hospital, where they blamed Mr Trump’s incendiary language for increasing racial tensions and demanded action on gun control.

‘Perhaps more has to be done’: Donald Trump speaks out after 29 killed in mass shootings

‘Perhaps more has to be done’: Donald Trump speaks out after 29 killed in mass shootings

Some said Mr Trump was not welcome in their city, while others came out to support the president.

Prior to the visits, Mr Trump told reporters in Washington that his words “bring people together”.

But Democratic presidential hopeful Joe Biden, speaking in Iowa, drew a link between Mr Trump’s language on immigration and what happened in Texas.

He told supporters at a rally: “How far is it from Trump saying this is an ‘invasion’, to the shooter in El Paso declaring ‘this attack is a response to Hispanic invasion of Texas’.”

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Mr Biden claimed the president had “fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation”.

Mr Trump spent part of his flight between Ohio and Texas airing grievances on Twitter, criticising Democratic politicians, a potential 2020 rival and the press.

The president and the White House have forcefully disputed the idea that he bears some responsibility for the nation’s divisions.

Mr Trump said his critics were “political people”.

Texas Walmart shooting becomes eighth deadliest in modern US history

There have been more than 200 mass shootings in the United States so far this year.

Raw anger and pain were on display in Dayton where protesters chanted “ban those guns” and “do something” during Mr Trump’s visit.

Lynnell Graham, holding a sign that read “no welcome here”, said she thinks Trump’s response to the shootings has been insincere.

She said: “To me he comes off as fake.”

Suspect Patrick Crusius, 21, was arrested after more than 20 people were killed in El Paso on Saturday.

In Dayton, 24-year-old Connor Betts was killed within a minute of opening fire outside a bar in the city.


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