On the heels of two deadly mass shootings that took place in El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio within a 24-hour time span, President Donald Trump announced that he would be visiting both cities.
Ahead of the president’s scheduled visit on Wednesday, Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley expressed concern that Trump’s past remarks on guns weren’t helpful to her community and that not enough was being done in Washington D.C. to address the issue of gun violence.
“Yesterday, his comments weren’t very helpful to the issue around guns,” Whaley told reporters at a press conference, according to The Hill.
“What do you see in D.C.? You see a lot of nothing happening on a lot of stuff and common sense gun reform is definitely an example where nothing’s happened.”
Whaley made crystal clear that she will address her concerns and express her disappointment with Trump during his visit to her city on Wednesday.
“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, speaking from where the shooting took place in the Oregon District.
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley "absolutely" plans to tell Pres. Trump during his visit tomorrow "how unhelpful he's been" in his response to this weekend's mass shootings. https://t.co/KpOQP4STh3 pic.twitter.com/pTR1lR1cuM
— ABC News (@ABC) August 6, 2019
The mayor also fired several shots at other state leadership, including Ohio Rep. Candice Keller, who made headlines Monday for blaming the violent mass shootings on “drag queen advocates,” video games, former president Barack Obama, and Democrats in congress.
“I think she just represents what is so disgusting about politics today,” Whaley said, before calling for the lawmaker’s resignation, according to Cincinnati.
Whaley thanked Gov. Mike DeWine for increasing access to mental health services in the state of Ohio, but took a subtle jab at the governor by saying that she would have been working at a different pace on the issue.
— The Hill (@thehill) August 6, 2019
Before his stop in Dayton, Trump plans on visiting El Paso, the site of the first mass shooting over the weekend. According to The Washington Post, 22 people were shot to death outside and inside a Walmart store.
White House counsel Kellyanne Conway told reporters that Trump “has wanted to go there since he learned of these tragedies.”
Some Democrats have urged the president to skip his trip to El Paso, including strong words from 2020 Democratic hopeful and former Texas lawmaker Beto O’Rourke, who blamed the mass shooting events on the president’s past rhetoric.
“This president, who helped create the hatred that made Saturday’s tragedy possible, should not come to El Paso,” O’Rourke tweeted. “We do not need more division. We need to heal. He has no place here.”
Rep. Veronica Escobar, whose district includes the Walmart involved in the mass shooting tragedy, delivered similar remarks earlier Monday, saying, “From my perspective, he is not welcome here.”