Fox News politics editor Chris Stirewalt said during a panel discussion about the recent mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that President Donald Trump is undoubtedly stoking racial divisions for his own political benefit.
Stirewalt, following a clip of 2020 Democratic presidential candidates accusing Trump of emboldening the El Paso gunman with his anti-immigrant rhetoric, said Trump does indeed exploit “racial animus,” noting the president’s attacks on several congressional Democrats as examples.
“Look, the reality here is pretty clear: There’s no question the president exploits racial animus for his political advantage going into 2020,” he told Fox News’ Shannon Bream on Monday’s “Special Report.” “He knows how to do it and he does it very effectively.”
Though Trump condemned white supremacy and bigotry in a speech from the White House on Monday, many Democrats have said he must do more, including toning down his own rhetoric and pushing for more substantial gun control legislation to be passed.
But Stirewalt suggested the president “ain’t gonna fix” the epidemic of gun violence and called on “individual Americans” to do so instead.
“The truth here is this isn’t about Donald Trump,” Stirewalt said. “It’s not about the presidency. It’s not about the federal government particularly. These are problems that have to be solved by individual Americans in their communities.”
“Our fixation, worship of or hatred of the presidency ― no president will fix this,” he continued. “Donald Trump ain’t gonna fix it. The reality is Americans together have to fix it themselves.”
Bream went on to suggest “the breakdown of the family” and other cultural institutions as a factor contributing to the rise of mass shootings.
Several other countries have passed strict gun control measures in the wake of mass shootings on their soil. Weeks after a gunman opened fire at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand, killing dozens of people, the country’s Parliament voted to ban most semiautomatic and military-style weapons.
The U.S. has experienced dozens of mass shootings in recent years, yet Congress has passed little meaningful gun control legislation.
Trump during his speech Monday blamed mass shootings on video games, white supremacy and the internet. He cast little blame on guns or his own hateful rhetoric.