Donald Trump Calls Mass Shooting Site Visits ‘Terrific Opportunity,’ Won’t Say He Regrets ‘Invasion’ Rhetoric

As he departed for visits to Dayton and El Paso, where horrifying mass shootings took place last weekend, Donald Trump expressed no remorse for his own campaign rhetoric which appears to have inspired one of the killers.

Donald Trump stands at microphones.
Zach Gibson / Getty Images

As he departed for visits to Dayton and El Paso, where horrifying mass shootings took place last weekend, Donald Trump expressed no remorse for his own campaign rhetoric which appears to have inspired one of the killers.

Donald Trump on Wednesday morning prepared to depart for visits to both Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, the sites of nearly back-to-back horrific mass shootings last weekend, but before he boarded the Marine One helicopter, he told reporters that he viewed the visits to the cities that saw a total of 31 people slain as a “terrific opportunity to congratulate some of the police and law enforcement,” according to Vox.com reporter Aaron Rupar, who posted video of Trump’s remarks via Twitter.

Trump has come under fire, as The Inquisitr reported, for his repeated use of the term “invasion” to describe illegal immigration in his campaign rally speeches, tweets, and advertisements. That language was directly parroted by El Paso mass killer Patrick Crusius in his four-page “manifesto” posted online shortly before he opened fire in a crowded Walmart on Saturday.

But on Wednesday, Trump expressed no regrets about his frequent use of the term “invasion,” or that it may have inspired Crusius to carry out his mass killing directed at Latin American people. Instead, as quoted by NBC News, Trump claimed that his language on the immigration issue “brings people together,” adding, “our country is doing incredibly well.”

Asked directly if he regrets his use of the term “invasion” after the word was also used by the mass killer as a warped justification for his massacre, Trump simply replied, “I think illegal immigration is a terrible thing for this country,” as quoted by Rupar via Twitter.

Demonstrators prepare the 'Baby Trump' balloon.
Demonstrators wait to greet Donald Trump in Dayton, Ohio, with the ‘Baby Trump’ balloon. Scott Olson / Getty Images

In addition to repeatedly describing illegal immigration as an “invasion” in his rally speeches and in statements to the press, Trump’s campaign has purchased and run more than 2,000 anti-immigration advertisements on Facebook in which the term “invasion” is used, according to a CNN report.

But according to a New York Times report, Trump’s campaign was “unapologetic” about its use of the “invasion” Facebook ads — which CNN estimates reached about 2.2 million users of the social media platform. In fact, a senior Trump campaign official told The Times that the campaign had no intention of changing or softening the tone of its Facebook advertising.

Trump himself claimed that he had already softened his campaign rhetoric, as quoted on Twitter by Rupar, and dismissed the criticism of his “invasion” rhetoric as coming from, “a couple of political people from Texas who aren’t doing very well,” who are “trying to make political points.” Trump also claimed that he would “like to stay out of the political fray.”

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Trump’s claim that he wished to stay “out of the political fray” came just hours after he tweeted an attack on former Texas congressional rep Beto O’Rourke — who was bluntly critical of Trump’s “racist” rhetoric — ridiculing O’Rourke’s nickname as a “phony name to indicate Hispanic heritage,” and also disparaging O’Rourke’s standing the Democratic primary polls, as The Inquisitr reported.

O’Rourke, whose given name is Robert Francis O’Rourke, has said that “Beto” was a childhood nickname that he has been called by family members “from Day One,” according to Vox.com. He has even posted a photo of himself as a preschool-age child on Twitter, in which he is seen wearing a sweater with “Beto” embroidered across the front.