A memorial outside the Walmart where a mass shooting left at least 22 people dead in El Paso, Texas. (Mario Tama/Getty Images)
BOSTON (WBZ NewsRadio) — Sen. Ed Markey called out President Donald Trump for his use of anti-immigrant rhetoric that allegedly inspired the shooter who killed 22 people in El Paso, Texas on Saturday.
In an interview with WBZ NewsRadio’s Carl Stevens, Markey made a correlation between the shooter’s written words and the President’s past statements.
“In [his] manifesto, the shooter’s language echoed the racist words of Donald Trump, both referred to immigration as an ‘invasion,’ both claim that immigrants should be sent back to their countries, and both discussed the preservation of America,” Markey said. “We cannot ignore the hatred and the violence that Donald Trump has emboldened in this country. His demonization of immigrants has become a defining feature of his presidency.”
Markey called Trump “morally responsible” for the violent attack.
“It’s no coincidence a disturbed individual thought he should open fire on a community at our border,” Markey said. “President Trump may not have carried out the violence in El Paso this past weekend, but his hate-filled ideas were pervasive in its motivation.”
After this weekend’s shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, Markey called for a special session of the senate in August to address gun violence, which he says has “become a new normal.”
“The Republican Party offers platitudes over and over again, in the face of senseless death, and then they do nothing,” Markey said.
Trump spoke Monday morning addressing both of the shootings, which he called “barbaric.”
While he called for a bipartisan effort at gun control legislation, he also blamed video games and “fake news” for the nation’s ills.
“We must stop the glorification of violence in our society,” Trump said. “This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youth to surround themselves with a culture that celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially reduce this, and it has to begin immediately.”
Trump did not mention his own anti-immigrant comments that some, like Markey, find instigating—and Markey took particular offense to what he sees as a deflection from a conversation about gun laws.
“The problem is the easy access to guns, not video games,” Markey said.
You can listen to WBZ NewsRadio’s Carl Stevens’ interview with Sen. Markey below.