In the wake of two mass shootings this weekend claiming at least 30 lives and injuring dozens, the hashtag #TrumpsTerrorists trended Sunday on Twitter in the U.S.
Americans used the hashtag to weigh in on the issue and often condemned the president for inciting violence against migrants.
At least 20 people were killed and more than 20 were wounded in a shooting at a shopping mall in El Paso, Texas on Saturday. The suspect was identified as a 21-year-old Patrick Crusius, white male from another Texan city Allen and has since been taken into custody.
Another incident — this time in Dayton, Ohio — came within only 24 hours of the mass shooting in Texas. Nine victims were killed along with the lone suspect who was shot dead by local police. More than a dozen were wounded.
While the first white terrorist targeted Hispanics, the 24-year-old second white terrorist from Ohio, Connor Betts, targeted the Blacks.
Several Congressmen, celebrities and academics have described the shootings as “white terrorism”.
Trump condemned both shootings, saying they were the result of an “act of cowardice and hate”. He added that there were “no reasons or excuses that will ever justify killing innocent people.”
“God bless the people of El Paso, Texas. God bless the people of Dayton, Ohio,” he said on Twitter.
However, Texas Congressman Joaquin Castro blamed Trump for the shootings, citing one of his past tweets on an “invasion of immigrants” — which has since been taken down.
“Hypocrite. You have targeted Hispanic Americans and immigrants — calling them ‘invaders,” Castro said, “You inspire hate and violence.”
“Trump just deleted all of these tweets that called immigrants ‘invaders’. Please don’t share them everywhere you possibly can. It will upset him and he won’t enjoy his golf game this afternoon,” Holly Figueroa O’Reilly, an op-ed columnist for the Washington Post and Guardian, posted alongside screenshots of the president’s tweets.
“Mr. President, can you think of ANY reason the El Paso shooter might have railed against an ‘invasion’ of migrants in his manifesto?” she added, referring to the Trump’s tweets about stopping an “invasion” by “drug dealers, cartels, human traffickers”.
Trump has pursued a hardline approach on immigration, both legal and illegal, since coming to the office. He particularly singled out Mexico for what he says was a lack of action to stem migrant flows, where people are fleeing destitute conditions, including rampant poverty and gang violence, in the hopes of securing safety or asylum in the U.S.
Although Trump announced in May that the U.S. would impose tariffs on imports of Mexican goods, the two countries reached an agreement in June to avoid increased duties, forcing Mexico to reduce migrant flows.