President Donald Trump will visit El Paso, Texas, on Wednesday to honor the victims of a mass shooting on Saturday.
But he is already sowing discord in the city by insulting his critics in El Paso, including 2020 candidate Beto O’Rourke, whom he said had a “phony name to indicate Hispanic heritage.”
O’Rourke has been one of the most vocal critics of Trump since the shooting, and accused him of encouraging an anti-immigrant atmosphere that seemingly encouraged suspected gunman.
Some El Pasoans will still welcome Trump, though.
The city’s mayor said he has a duty to welcome the president, while one Trump-supporting resident told The Washington Post that he can’t be blamed for the rise of white supremacy.
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President Donald Trump is sowing division in El Paso before he’s even landed in the Texan city to honor the victims of Saturday’s mass shooting.
The president is set to arrive in El Paso at 2.00 p.m. local time (4.00 p.m. ET) Wednesday, and is expected to address the shooting that killed at least 22 people and injured 24 others over the weekend.
But over the past few days he has insulted several of the city’s politicians, prompting widespread outrage against him and disunity among communities.
Late Tuesday night Trump slammed Beto O’Rourke — the 2020 Democratic candidate and El Paso native who has accused Trump of encouraging mass shootings — by mocking his nickname and telling him to “be quiet.”
“Beto (phony name to indicate Hispanic heritage) O’Rourke, who is embarrassed by my last visit to the Great State of Texas, where I trounced him, and is now even more embarrassed by polling at 1% in the Democrat Primary, should respect the victims & law enforcement — & be quiet!” the president tweeted.
O’Rourke birth name is Robert, but he was nicknamed Beto because he had the same name as his father. “Beto” is a common Spanish nickname for people with names that end with “berto.” O’Rourke also speaks Spanish fluently.
O’Rourke hit back by accusing Trump of encouraging the shooter’s seemingly anti-immigrant motive, saying in a tweet: “22 people in my hometown are dead after an act of terror inspired by your racism. El Paso will not be quiet and neither will I.”
Many Trump critics have highlighted a racist manifesto seemingly left by the suspected shooter that expressed a fear that Hispanic people would take over Texas and turn the state into a “Democrat stronghold.”
They say that much of the language in the anti-immigrant manifesto echoes that of the Trump administration.
Rep. Veronica Escobar of Texas, who represents the El Paso congressional district Trump will visit on Wednesday, said she requested a call with Trump in the aftermath of the shooting, but he said he was “too busy” to talk to her.
Escobar has since rejected the White House’s invitation to join Trump on his visit to her district, saying that she didn’t want “to be an accessory” for his trip.
Read more: Trump was ‘too busy’ to take …read more
Source:: Business Insider