2020 presidential candidates Beto O’Rourke, Julian Castro and Kamala Harris each suggested Thursday at the Democratic debates that President Donald Trump inspired the El Paso shooter.
O’Rourke said in his opening remarks at the debate hosted by ABC News that the El Paso shooting caused two things to become “crystal clear” to him and “produced a turning point for this country.”
“The first is just how dangerous Donald Trump is,” O’Rourke said. “The cost and the consequence of his presidency.”
“A racism and violence that had long been apart of America was welcomed out into the open and directed to my hometown of El Paso, Texas, where 22 peoplewere killed, dozens more injured by a man carrying a weapon he should never have been able to buy in the first place, inspired to kill by our president,” O’Rourke said.
But the El Paso shooter specifically said that he was not inspired by Trump.
“My ideology has not changed for several years,” 21-year-old Patrick Wood Crusius wrote in his manifesto. “My opinions on automation, immigration, and the rest predate Trump and his campaign for president. I putting this here because some people will blame the President or certain presidential candidates for the attack.”
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