Transcript for President Trump calls for death penalty in wake of deadly mass shootings
This is an ABC news special were. Now reports George Stephanopoulos. Good morning we're back on the air right now because president trump about to address the nation in the wake. Those twin shootings over the weekend El Paso, Texas Dayton Ohio 29 dead. 53 wounded this week in this weekend in the latest mass shootings in this country that have rocked the country shaken the country. To its core and raise real questions for president trump one of the reasons he's coming out to address the country this morning questions about whether his rhetoric is fueling. Some of this violence also questions about what Washington and the president. We're gonna do about. Guns in this country right now in the wake of these deadly shootings and herewith are. She knew what us corresponds to see Vega the president did put out a tweet this morning suggesting he does want some action suggesting that he wants some. Action map perhaps on background checks but. He also would then tirade these shootings to potential immigration reform. That's not gonna fly on capitol here that there's really no incentive at this point far far and Republicans on the hill to move forward on gun control so it remains to be seen. Exactly how president trump is gonna move forward where this church. Twelve of the nation's deadliest mass shootings happened so far under president trumps administrative watch we will be looking today to see if he read uses the words. Domestic terrorism to address these shootings particularly the one in El Paso. And white nationalist we'll see if he calls them out here comes the president the vice president. Good morning. My fellow Americans this morning. Our nation is overcome with shock cholera and sorrow. This weekend more than eighty people were killed or wounded. Into. Evil attacks. When Saturday morning in El Paso, Texas. A wicked man went to he Wal-Mart store where families were shopping. With their loved ones. He shot and merited twenty people. And injured 26 others. Including precious. Little. Children. Then in the early hours of Sunday morning Dayton Ohio. Another twisted monster opened fire on a crowded. Downtown street. He murdered nine people. Including his own sister. And injured 27 others. The First Lady and I join all Americans. In praying and grieving. For the victims their families and the survivors. We will stand by their side forever we will never for get. These barbaric slaughters. Are an assault upon our communities. An attack upon our nation. And a crime against all of humanity. We are outraged and sickened. By this monstrous evil. The cruelty. Hatred. And malice. The bloodshed. And the terror. Our hearts are shattered for every family whose parents. Children husbands and wives were ripped from their arms and their lives. America weeps for the fall and we are a loving nation and our children are entitled to grow up in a just peaceful. And loving society. Together we locked arms to shoulder the grief. We ask god and heaven to ease the anguish. Of those who suffer. And we vowed to act with urgent. Resolved. I want to thank the many law enforcement personnel who responded to these atrocities. With the extraordinary grace and courage. Of American heroes. I have spoken with Texas governor Greg Abbott and Ohio governor Mike to one. As well as bear Dee Margo of El Paso, Texas. And Mair Nan Whaley. Of Dayton Ohio to express our profound sadness. And unfailing support. Today we also send the condolences. Of our nation to president. Over door of Mexico. And all the people of Mexico for the loss of their citizens in the El Paso shooting. Terrible terrible thing. I have also been in close contact with attorney general Barr. And FBI director ray. Federal authorities are on the ground. And I have directed them to provide any and all assistance. Required what ever. Is needed. The shooter in El Paso. Posted a manifesto on line. Consumed by racist hate. In one voice our nation must condemn racism. Bigotry. And white supremacy. These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred walks the mind ravages the heart. And devour is the sole. We have asked the FBI to identify all further resources. They need to investigate and disrupt hate crimes. And domestic. Terrorist what ever they need. We must recognize that the Internet has provided a dangerous avenue to radicalize disturbed minds. And performed demented acts. We must shine a light on the dark recesses of the Internet. And stop mass murders before they start. The Internet likewise is used for human trafficking in illegal drug distribution. And so many their heinous crimes. The perils of the Internet and social media cannot. Be ignored and they will not be ignored. In the two decades since column by. Our nation has watch Cha with rising Nara. And dread as one man's shooting has followed another. Over and over again decade after decade. We cannot allow ourselves to feel powerless. We can and will stop this evil contagion. In that task we must honor the sacred memory of those we have lost by acting as one people. Open wounds cannot heal if we are divided. We must seek real bipartisan. Solutions. We have to do that in eight bi partisan manner. That will truly make America safer. And better for all. First we must do a better job if identifying and acting. On early warning signs. I am directing. The Department of Justice to work in partisan partnership with local state. And federal agencies. As well as social media companies to develop tools that can detect a man shooters before they strike. As an example the monster. In the Parkland high school in Florida. Had many red flags against him in yet nobody took decisive action nobody did anything why not. Second we must stop the glorification of violence in our society. This includes the gruesome and grisly video games that are now commonplace. It is too easy today for troubled youths. To surround themselves were they culture. That celebrates violence. We must stop or substantially. Reduce this and it has to begin immediately. Cultural change is hard. But each of us can choose to build a culture that celebrates the inherent worth and dignity of every human life that's what we have to do. Third. We must reform our mental health laws to. Better identify mentally disturbed individuals. Who may commit acts of violence. And make sure those people. Not only get treatment but when necessary. Involuntary. Confinement. Mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger. Not to gun. Fourth we must make sure that those judged. To pose a grave risk to public safety. Do not have access to firearms. And that if they do those fire rams can be taken him through rapid due process. That is why I have called for red flag laws also known as extreme. Risk protection orders. Today I'm also directing the Department of Justice to propose legislation. Ensuring that those who commit hate crimes and mass murders. Face the death penalty. And that this capital punishment be delivered quickly decisively. And without years of needless delay. These that I just a few of the areas of cooperation. That we can pursue. I am open and ready to listen and discuss all ideas that will actually work and make a very big difference. Republicans and Democrats have proven. That we can join together in a bipartisan fashion to address. Just this plank. Last year we enact did he stop school violence. And fix knicks acts into law. Providing grants to improve school safety. And strengthening critical background checks for firearm purchases. At my direction. The Department of Justice band bump stocks. Last year we prosecuted a record number of firearms offenses. But there is so much more that we have to do. Now is the time to set destructive. Partisanship. Aside so destructive. And find the courage to answer hatred with unity devotion and love. Our future is in our control. America will rise to the challenge. We will always have and we always will. Win the choice is ours and ours alone it is not up to mentally ill monsters it is up to us. If we were able to pass great legislation. Heir to all of these years. We will ensure that those who ware who attacked. Will not have died in vain. May god bless the memory of those who perished in Toledo. May god. Protects them. May god protect. All of those from Texas to Ohio. May god bless the victims and their families may god bless. America thank you very much thank you. There along vice president apparently in the diplomatic room at the white asked her for giving a percent ten minutes of remarks. I'm what he called the two evil attacks this weekend in El Paso, Texas Dayton Ohio say they were carried out by wicked men a twisted monster in the president. In his strongest language yet condemning racism and white supremacy said that all our nation must condemn. Racism bigotry and white supremacy. Then laid out about a six point program on what we can do to address this violence sing more says she should do more to call out. People who they think might be prone to violence say we have to stop the glorification. Of violence on the Internet and social media also. We should strengthen our mental health laws so that people who might be prone to violence because of a mental imbalance are also identified and treated. So there should be no access to firearms for those prone. To violence and also called. For the death penalty for those who commit hate crimes in and asked for process to accelerate. The sentencing there as well. What he did not call for was any new background check legislation or any new gun control legislation in those few minutes where he did speak of course that's. What Democrats and others have called for in the wake. The these latest mass shootings on one leg bring our team and for all this right now David Muir Warner's ankle David Muir. Is down there in El Paso David I know you've been speaking with the residents citizens officials there. In the last 24 hours what were they expecting to hear from the president do you think they heard what they needed to hear. We'll tell you George you know the one thing that is inescapable here on the ground and El Paso is something that the police chief. Flat out said to me in conversations with him the last 24 hours Greg Allen. You know this suspect in this case 21 year old Patrick Cruces came from Allen Texas. 600 miles away ten hours to get here it's just outside of Dallas by the way he could have gone to Dallas or elsewhere. But he chose El Paso authorities believe because of the makeup of this community George because of its proximity to be US Mexico border. And of course. What they're concerned about here is the rhetoric in this country when it comes to immigration. When it comes to race and it we did hear the president there talk about video games about social media about mental health as you pointed out George. But we didn't hear from the president is anything about the temperature of the rhetoric right now here in America and whether or not. That's playing any sort of role they do believe here on the ground I had a a woman talked to be a short time ago she and her mother were on the floor the cafe here in the Wal-Mart behind me. She showed me the video the gum and actually walking towards the cafe towards them. The only beauty turned around was because people were running to get out they meet noise he turned around and continued his firing. But she looked to be assisted in a we're scared here El Paso. But we need to be protected they're aware of how heightens. The anger is in this country that hatred in this country and they're desperate for solutions and for more to be done George. Even here in in El Paso even pilgrim on the ground also in Dayton. And the cause for action immediate in that city that. That's right jury that every time we turn up to one of these cities where mass shooting like if it happened people are always in shock. We are deathly feeling more of us into frustration and hear from people then we have ever before frustration for something to change something to be different. Last night they held a visual for all of the victims. This particular attack in as the governor of Ohio took the stage he was overpowered by chance that do something. People want something substantial. Words were not enough. And there's a real fear that this these mass shooting and the quantity of mass shootings that we keep seeing is becoming our new normal. A new normal in places that we've otherwise felt safe. And the question is where Kenyan goat that you don't have to worry about something like this happening. Towards the big question right now want to bring in our Chief Justice correspondent Pierre Thomas for more on this as well one of the other phrases we heard. From the president today Pierre was domestic terrorism. The FBI the Department of Homeland Security entire Department of Justice have been warning that this is a major threat right now and it's growing. Absolutely George the FBI. Is reporting to us that they've seen a surge in. Hate crimes reported by local police that's a real ongoing correct there are currently about 850. Open. Domestic terrorism cases that the nation is facing. And doors there are quite concerned that. Hate is fueling people going out in actually killing people. We recently have seen peace significant spike also in. People showing up in public places. Like schools malls workplaces to kill we use to average about six of those a year we're now up to thirty times a year where people are showing up in these scenarios George and law enforcement today is warning that because of what we saw. This weekend that there might be more potential for more domestic terrorism and copycats and Peter and that's six point program the president laid out right there does that echo. What you've been hearing from those in the department dresses they're saying this is what we need to be doing right now. It's among the things that we are hearing people talk about and one of the things that everyone and I'm talking to emphasizes that. Often these killers are. Putting something on line or telling relatives and friends something that is overtly violent and often times. People are not coming for to tell law enforcement. All law enforcement is emphasizing in these moments people have got to even if it's a friend even if the family members they've got to come forward and tell long for. OK Peter thanks very much for her Cecilia Vega as well you did see those words from the presidency condemning racism bigotry and white supremacy. As as recently as just a few weeks ago though he was downplaying the problem of way to. National yet the pattern here is this why I'm so the president today. And directly confronts you said his strongest word yet yet against white nationalism and racism in this country. And we saw him say similar words after Charlottesville. And then right after that we heard him say. That those those famous words that there were very fine people in both sides. Our Terry Moran was in the White House just a couple of months ago and asked the president does he believe white nationalism. Is a growing threaten the president minced zero words and he said no I do not believe it is. David senate I I do I think a lot of people will particularly the Democrats in the 22 when he race right now will appeared the president's words as antique. That they lacked self reflection I think they might challenge him and say because aided this talent this tenor and missed home. They're laying the blame directly at his feet this morning for the forum for where we are in this country. Question is what you how is his Ritter contributed to the environment even though he can't be responsible for the murder itself and one of the questions will be. Diocese does his this rhetoric we've seen today continue in the coming days including on his Twitter feed. When a bring in Mary Bruce or senior congressional correspondent as well notably. Mary did not the president did not have an explicit call for new gun legislation there printing on background checks that's one of the things that the Democrats and. Demanding. Yet George you heard the president saying that they need real bipartisan solutions and vowing to act with urgency. But here in the house and they have passed a bipartisan bill bipartisan legislation that would require universal background checks those are measures that we know that an overwhelming majority. Of Americans support it was past several months ago in the house but over in the senate. Republican leader Mitch McConnell has refused. For months to even call this out for a vote and the president himself. Has previously threatened to veto this legislation now earlier this morning the president tweet in suggesting that he may be open now to strengthening background check but it was not mentioned at all. In his remarks from the White House just now so a bid makes messaging perhaps coming from the White House. And now court leading Democrats are trying to up the pressure they are demanding the Mitch McConnell bring lawmakers back here to Washington. The finding something to address rising gun violence. But as we've seen time and time again it does not seem that there's the political will or interest from Republican leaders to be addressed then stricter gun measures at this time. That's a question I want ST does it feel different on capitol of course everyone's aware and the reason is does it feel different on Capitol Hill this time. That the pressure might actually build in a way that Mitch McConnell will feel forced. To accede to those calls and bring the congress back. So far George we are seeing an all too familiar pattern play out here and in less UC increasing pressure coming from Republicans in coming from the president himself. It is very hard to see how Mitch McConnell is going to all of a sudden go ahead and and comply would democrats' request that lawmakers come back here. To try and tackle this Mitch McConnell we've seen him come out and call this violent senseless and sickening sending thoughts and prayers to the victims. But when I asked his team what he plans to do about it whether he's going to bring. Lawmakers back here to Washington they say McConnell does not have any additional comment at this time George. You'll see how that plays out during the day again present sharp now speaking out against the racism bigotry and white supremacy. And evil that we've seen this weekend in El Paso, Texas also Dayton. Our we're gonna continue to cover this all day long honey she's live of course David Muir Reuters I forgave him here is in El Paso tonight for world news tonight. But with David Muir and we're gonna leave you now for many of the on the West Coast there will be Good Morning America. This has been a special who. From ABC.
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