Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Texas) had a message for President Trump ahead of his planned Wednesday visit to El Paso, where a white nationalist mass shooting left 22 dead.
“Tell him not to come here,” Escobar recounted victims of the shooting telling her when she visited them in the hospital.
The congresswoman told MSNBC’s Chris Hayes on Tuesday she believes the president’s words have fueled racism and bigotry in America.
— All In w/Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) August 7, 2019
On Twitter, Rep. Escober explained why she had declined an invitation from the White House to take part in the president’s Wednesday visit to El Paso. The congresswoman said she told the White House she wanted a phone call with the president first.
“My message would’ve been that he needs to understand that his words are powerful and have consequences,” she wrote. “Using racist language to describe Mexicans, immigrants and other minorities dehumanize us.”
Escobar called on Trump to “acknowledge the power of his words” and apologize for his rhetoric:
“I have publicly said he has a responsibility to acknowledge the power of his words, apologize for them, and take them back because they are still hanging over us. I asked for a call so I could say this to him over the phone and ask for a dialogue that could lead to healing.”
In response to her request from the White House, Escobar says she was told the president was “too busy” for a call.
“I declined the invitation because I refuse to be an accessory to his visit,” she added. “I refuse to join without a dialogue about the pain his racist and hateful words & actions have caused our community and country.”