‘I’m not sure he knows what he believes’
Dayton’s mayor has spoken out against President Donald Trump’s remarks on guns ahead of his visit to the city following a mass shooting that left 10 people dead including the gunman.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said Tuesday that Trump’s “rhetoric has been painful for many in our community” when asked about his pending visit.
“I can only hope that as president that he’s coming here to add value to our community,” Whaley said from the Oregon District, where Sunday’s shooting occurred.
“I’m disappointed with his remarks. He mentioned gun issues one time. I think watching the president over the last few years on the issue of guns, I’m not sure he knows what he believes,” Whaley said.
She said she would express her disappointment with the president during his visit to Dayton on Wednesday.
The Federal Aviation Administration has issued advisories of VIP travel to El Paso and Dayton on Wednesday. The advisory for Dayton has been issued from 10:15 a.m. to 1:30 p.m., meaning the president will likely be in Ohio in the morning.
Whaley said she appreciated Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine’s efforts to increase accessibility for mental health services and gun control, but said she would have been working at a different pace.
She said federal response to gun violence has “absolutely not” been satisfactory.
The mayor also blasted Ohio Rep. Candice Keller’s Facebook comments blaming the shooting on “drag queen advocates,” the Democratic Congress, former President Barack Obama, violent video games and the hatred of veterans.
“I think she just represents what is so disgusting about politics today,” Whaley said. She said Keller should resign
The mayor did not have any updates on the status of the shooting investigation.
Police said Monday they were “not close enough at all” to determine a motive in Sunday’s shooting that killed nine.
Connor Betts, 24, of Bellbrook, Ohio, was shot and killed by police shortly after the shooting began. He was armed with .223-caliber “assault-style” rifle and had body armor and extra magazines, according to Whaley.
The shooting in Dayton was the 251st mass shooting in the United States this year. It came shortly after a rampage Saturday at a Walmart jammed with back-to-school shoppers in El Paso, Texas, that left 22 dead and 24 injured.
President Donald Trump also intends to visit El Paso, Texas on Wednesday, despite calls from the area’s congresswoman and other Democrats for the president to stay away.
Democrats have blamed Trump for stoking anti-immigrant rhetoric that mirrors language in a manifesto believed to be posted by the gunman before he entered the Walmart Saturday morning in the heavily Hispanic border city.
The area’s current U.S. representative, Veronica Escobar, D-Texas, and her predecessor in Congress, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke, both said the president shouldn’t come to El Paso. Escobar said Trump is “not welcome” because of his inflammatory rhetoric about Latinos and immigrants.
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USA TODAY contributed to this article.