Here's what happened during Trump's visit to Dayton and El Paso
On Wednesday, Air Force One touched down in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, where at least 31 people were killed in two separate mass shootings over the weekend.
President Trump traveled to these two communities as a sign of solidarity amid accusations that his rhetoric, agenda, racism, and lack of gun control enforcement fueled these attacks — and although many did not welcome his visit, he went anyway.
Roughly around noontime, President Trump arrived in Dayton, Ohio, where nine people were killed during a mass shooting early Sunday Aug. 4, as another 27 were injured.
There Trump was met by protestors holding signs welcoming him to Toledo — this as a result of him misidentifying Dayton as Toledo, Ohio.
“May God bless the memory of those who perished in Toledo, and may God protect them. May God protect all of those from Texas to Ohio, may God bless the victims and their families, may God bless America," President Trump said on Aug. 5 in a nationally-televised address in response to the mass shootings.
Accompanied by Ohio Senator Sherrod Brown and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley, Trump traveled to the Miami Valley Hospital in Dayton where he met with first responders, medical professionals, and some of the victims and their families behind closed doors.
After what appeared to be a “well-received” visit, Sen. Brown told reporters, during a press conference, that the president’s visit was “comforting” to the victims and their families.
Mayor Whaley said she believed the victims and first responders were “grateful” to have the president visit them.
However, presidential aide Dan Scavino Jr., who serves as White House director of social media, criticized Brown and Whaley’s response.
"Very SAD to see Ohio Senator Brown, & Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley - LYING & completely mischaracterizing what took place w/ the President's visit to Miami Valley Hospital today," Scavino tweeted.
The president himself saying also tweeting he "saw failed Presidential Candidate (0%) Sherrod Brown & Mayor Whaley totally misrepresenting what took place inside of the hospital."
In response to the criticism, Sen. Brown told CNN: “Donald Trump is a bully and bullies are cowards.”
“I don't care what he says about me. But the people of Dayton deserve a president more focused on protecting them from gun violence than protecting his own ego,” he added.
Twenty-two people lost their lives in El Paso, Texas, after a white supremacist opened fire outside of a Walmart in an act of hatred towards Hispanics, as the suspect allegedly declared in a manifesto published hours before the shooting.
Upon arriving, Trump was greeted by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott; Sen. John Cornyn and Sen. Ted Cruz, both Republicans from Texas; El Paso Mayor Dee Margo and his wife, Adair Margo; and Mark Morgan, acting commissioner of US Customs and Border Protection.
Congresswoman Rep. Veronica Escobar and presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke opposed Trump’s visit to El Paso and refused to meet with him.
“From my perspective, he is not welcome here. He should not come here while we are in mourning,” El Paso Congresswoman Veronica Escobar told MSNBC’s “Morning Joe” program on Tuesday.
Leading up to his arrival and up until his departure, protesters and supporters gathered in crowds outside the Walmart memorial site and at Washington Park, located just blocks away from the hospital he visited.
Protesters chanted, “No more hate,” and demanded tougher gun laws, while supporters of the president chanted, “Trump 2020.”
While in El Paso, President Trump visited the University Medical Center. El Paso Times reported that President Trump met with two of the survivors' families, but none of the eight victims of the mass shooting who are still in the hospital.
“Three of the eight survivors were unable to meet Trump because they were in too poor condition or because of a Spanish language barrier,” Henry Gallardo, UMC’s chair of the hospital board of managers, told El Paso Times, adding that five declined the offer.
“The president did meet with family members of three survivors in the hospital waiting room for nearly two hours after most objected to seeing him,” Gallardo said.
Before departing El Paso, President Trump visited an Emergency Operations Center where he thanked a room filled with El Paso police officers, El Paso firefighters, Customs and Border Protection, Border Patrol and FBI agents for their service.
Once in the air again, President Trump tweeted, “What GREAT people I met there [El Paso, Texas] and in Dayton, Ohio."