Booker blames Trump for El Paso, Dayton mass shootings
New Jersey U.S. Sen. and presidential candidate Cory Booker said the blame lay with President Donald Trump, following two U.S. mass shootings within 24 hours, which collectively left 29 people dead in El Paso, TX and Dayton, OH.
At least 27 people were treated for injuries in Dayton early Sunday morning after a shooter opened fire in a popular nightlife area and was quickly killed by police. Authorities said nine people were killed, not including the shooter.
Shots were fired Saturday morning in an El Paso shopping area packed with thousands of people during the busy back-to-school season, killing 20 and injuring more than two dozen, many of them critically.
Booker, who recently told Seth Meyer he would like to punch President Trump in the nose, said Trump ultimately was to blame for both shootings because he is "sowing seeds of hatred."
"This harvest of hate violence that we are seeing right now lies at his feet. When you have the president from the highest moral office in our land talking about invasions and infestations and s**thole countries. The kind of things that come out of his mouth. It harms the moral fabric of our nation. He's responsible," Booker said during a Sunday morning TV appearance on NBC's "Meet the Press."
Among other New Jersey reaction to the deadly weekend, Gov. Phil Murphy said the two mass shootings "ought to be the wake-up calls to pull our national leaders out of the gun lobby's trance." His written statement also called for Senate Majority leader Mitch McConnell to 'put commonsense House passed gun safety legislation up for a vote."
Murphy touted recently enacted laws in New Jersey for "leading the way in gun safety."
Rep. Albio Sires (D-NJ 8th) also called for more action on gun laws, in a series of tweets.
"I implore my colleagues who have turned a blind eye in the past, for the sake of our country, let us rise above partisan politics and end gun violence," Sires tweeted.
New Jersey Homeland Security Director Jared Maples said on social media his office was "monitoring" both shootings and urged people to say something if they see something unusual.
Erin Vogt and the Associated Press contributed to this report
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