Former Congressman Beto O’Rourke hasn’t been shy to criticize President Donald Trump after a mass shooting in his hometown of El Paso, Texas left 20 dead. The Democratic presidential candidate has tied the shooting and the white nationalist, anti-immigrant rhetoric espoused by the alleged perpetrator directly to the president’s own words.
O’Rourke, back in El Paso after clearing his presidential campaign schedule shortly after news broke of the shooting on Saturday, appeared frustrated when asked by a reporter if there’s anything President Donald Trump can do now “to make any of this better.”
Audio of the exchange was captured by CNN’s Eric Bradner, depicting an exasperated O’Rourke unleashing his anger with the question.
“What do you think?” the former congressman fired back. “You know the shit he’s been saying.”
“He’s been calling Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals. I don’t know, like, members of the press, what the fuck?”
O’Rourke pointed directly to the president’s own rhetoric on immigration, arguing Trump is “inciting violence” in America through his words:
“It’s these questions that you know the answers to. I mean, connect the dots about what he’s been doing in this country. He’s not tolerating racism; he’s promoting racism. He’s not tolerating violence; he’s inciting racism and violence in this country.”
Watch the video below, via Sky News:
'What the f***?' – Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke says President Trump's language against minorities promotes racial division and violence.
Two mass shootings left 29 people dead this weekend in the US.
— Sky News (@SkyNews) August 5, 2019
“I just — I don’t know what kind of question that is,” he added at the end of his response.
O’Rourke shared the transcript of his remarks on Twitter late Sunday, reiterating his belief that the president is inciting violence and racism in the country.
We know what Trump is doing. He stokes racism. He incites violence. We shouldn’t be asking if there’s anything he can do or if he’s responsible for this when we know the answer. I stand by what I said. https://t.co/zykowSpS6s
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 5, 2019
“We shouldn’t be asking if there’s anything he can do or if he’s responsible for this when we know the answer,” O’Rourke wrote. “I stand by what I said.”