Donald Trump aims to bring a “message of unity” to the sites of two horrific mass shootings when he visits Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, on Wednesday, according to an Associated Press report. But Trump ended his Tuesday night not with unifying words for Americans, but instead with a mocking tweet in which he told former El Paso congressional Representative Beto O’Rourke to “be quiet” after O’Rourke blasted Trump for “inciting racism.”
O’Rourke, a Democratic presidential candidate, on Sunday blasted Trump as “a president right now who traffics in this hatred, who incites this violence” against Mexican-Americans and immigrants, as quoted by The Washington Post. Asked by a reporter what he believes Trump can do “make this any better,” O’Rourke expressed disbelief at the question.
“What do you think? You know the s*** he’s been saying. I don’t know, like, members of the press, what the f***?”
Taking to Twitter late Tuesday night, Trump lashed back at O’Rourke, claiming that when the two held competing rallies in El Paso in February he “trounced him” and ridiculing O’Rourke for “polling at 1% in the Democrat Primary.” Trump concluded his tweet by saying that O’Rourke should “be quiet.”
In the latest Real Clear Politics average of all Democratic primary polls, O’Rourke stands at 3 percent.
But Trump’s attack on O’Rourke drew a withering response from a former friend who has since become one of Trump’s most outspoken critics in the major media, MSNBC Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough, who is also a former three-term Republican member of the United States House from Florida.
“You really get a glimpse into just how devoid this man is of humanity,” Scarborough said on his Wednesday broadcast, as quoted by Raw Story, “when in response to someone saying his words and actions fed into the hatred that led to this killing, his response is to talk about crowd sizes, right, and political polls and talking about how he quote ‘trounced’ somebody in crowd sizes.”
Scarborough added that Trump’s claim to have “trounced” O’Rourke in El Paso crowd size was “a lie.” And a Politifact report supports him. According to the fact-checking site, O’Rourke’s rally attracted about 7,000 attendees, while Trump spoke in a facility that held just 6,500 people. Trump claimed that 35,000 attended his El Paso rally.
Though Scarborough was a friend of Trump heading into the 2016 election campaign, he later claimed that he never supported Trump, saying instead that his public statements were merely predictions that Trump would win the Republican nomination at a time when few in the media took Trump’s campaign seriously, according to Real Clear Politics.