Transcript for Protests in El Paso and Dayton in response to President Trump's arrival
Everybody welcome to the briefing her mom Devin Dwyer in Washington great to have you with us on this Wednesday the president of the United States is visiting with victims. Today from two of those mass shootings over the weekend in El Paso Dayton Ohio. And stirring up some controversy along the way protests greeting him in both places. His officials lawmakers city officials in both places and the president. Is both welcome there but also. A lightning rod for some the controversy around his rhetoric that some are saying contributed to these violent acts will get. More get into moron that's in the controversy. Or around his visit today coming up at first. Moments ago families in the community and El Paso were coming together. As the president of the United States makes his visit nor Marcus Moore was there brings us inside that rally Marcus. I'm Marcus Moore in El Paso, Texas where we are covering the the aftermath of the response to that massacre that happened over the weekend. That left more than what do you. People think that at a Wal-Mart yet again we are having Washington park here in El Paso where among hundreds of people to gather to. Check out against paint you. Young woman thing on the music to listen all the things there in our community we anticipate that that'll walk the longer we want congressman who has prop El Paso. Will be speaking as well that's good woman and her dog and this. Seen in response to the president's planned visit today. Com he's expected to visit the hospital which you can't see it from here but it's off in the distance run number of people have been recovering now from hurriedly brought this up from that shooting. But you can see all the people who have gathered here many of them would. They come here with their friends and family and it really is quite out quite a crowd here a little taken over until this baseball field. And and it will it is seen in the flags and also the flies there immediately kinds talking about another in the process. There are a lot of anger yet here limits followed and sadness after the as after the shooting how many people here. Are. Angry that the president is coming to L Castro because they feel like his rhetoric. Played a role in the shooting that happy. And on Saturday and it's one of the reasons why I don't see all of these people here all men women and children who have come out here. To have their voices heard and be part of this part of this rally. That once again to of the organizers have described as an anti hate. And that anti gun violence rally out that's why they're here yeah they are desperate for a change and they're hoping that lawmakers. We'll hear their voices as they continue the process of trying to steal from Saturday's massacre. I'm Marcus Moore in OPEC. So Texas and you're with ABC news lives. Our thanks to Marcus Moore there it is clear that the president has heard these demands for action before leaving for Ohio and Texas this morning he spoke to reporters on the South Lawn said. Yet he's looking at bringing people together to do take some action. On background checks here's at the president's. Political appetite for that of the ball that it. Your own or like there's no political appetite Robert from the standpoint of legend like this but I. At that would bring that up Bob would get up but rather bright midday break appetite. You have very strong appetite. For back Brad Jack. We can bring up. Background check likely that that people are I think both Republican and Democrat. Let's bring in our White House reporter Jordan Phelps now for a little bit more on this Jordan. The big question here is what does the president actually mean. When he says he wants background checks of course background checks. Are correlated at the practice for most gun sales there's been talk of expanding then there's been talk of beefing up. The background check system. But he's very ambiguous your we've heard this from the president before but not a lot of leadership that any query from the White House. Yeah and just to hear the president today saying that he is in favor of background checks. Because it was unclear for much of this week whether he was in fact in support of that remember on Monday morning he tweeted out that he wanted to see background checks. Expanded I think he made no mention of an in his address in the nation and brought it up sends us for the president air saying something specific he'd be willing to get behind. In terms of legislation so that counts for something but damning it isn't clear exactly what the White House is talking about with friends and mention a lot specifically these red flat lies. I so it's unclear perhaps the president is complaining those two issues but we do know that president trump had conversations with senators mansion. And to me who are leaders on gun reforma on Capitol Hill is specifically for. A bill that would. Reform. This system background checks to include some loopholes that are currently excluded like gun shows Internet sales. I assume they're some openness to that idea potentially. But DeVon the president said that he is and said midst of conversations with leadership in congress and he said he'd be willing to call back. Members of congress from August recess if they're able to get close to a deal. But DeVon your right to point out that the president has said this before he sent he's in support of background checks. But it hasn't led to any legislation ever passing at least not yet nor or. Even any meetings or gatherings or any sense of urgency one usually would look to the president of the United States to lead on something like this the president's words carry a lot of weight certainly would his own party in the senate Jordan. He did get an earful from a democratic senator there in Dayton Ohio Sherrod Brown of Ohio. Caught up with president front on the tarmac user to greed and said it was important to have a bipartisan showing today but he did deliver a message. On background checks and other gun legislation here's what he said he told president. Both the mayor and I asked residents to call us room. To bring this in an act session this week. You tell us and it didn't want to see. Background checks pill is already passed the house and what's or I asked the president's promise to me. To the American. Wall sign that bill after he's spoken out in support of. And Jordan area back to you on this because as surged senator brown poured out the president. Hasn't actually said he would sign any specific legislation and he's sort of a quicker catered on this idea of purging Mitch McConnell to bring the senate back or to take some steps you've talked to Kellyanne Conway about that. Yeah I haven't if it's really unclear at this point we've obviously seen a president called for bold action before especially after Parkland. Heat entertained ideas. As dramatic as an assault weapon ban but then the president met with the NRA leader and that kind of fizzled. So it's unclear at this point if there is anything specific. That the president day is behind here. And Jordan before we let you go here on the president's trip the president we should say has been meeting with. Families he visited a hospital in Ohio he's meeting with the families hot in Texas as well in both places being kept away from the cameras doing this in private. And in fact. The mayor and the senator said the president well was greeted respectfully. It was appreciated that the office of the president was there. But there's been some controversy now this afternoon after what the president's social media director and spokeswoman tweeted. About this visit. Yet Dem anyways just minutes really after they left that Dayton hospital that they were back on Air Force One and we saw a series of tweets. Fired off any attack note from the president. I'm director of social media dance can you know there. And Stephanie Gresham the white house Press Secretary accusing these two politicians and miss characterizing the president's visit. Saying that the president got a hero's welcome essentially. I inside that hospital number one damning it's hard to head checked that since the White House didn't allow any cameras and an amber Tim this is coming as the president. If they are meeting with than those in warning those grieving. I and so there's sort of a disconnect here between again that message of unity. And I mean the console aren't cheap that the president is putting off officially and an onboard air force wind. Is that staff are tweeting up things like this and the president I should know also. Tweeting that he was watching Joseph Biden's speech in calling it so boring. Now a lot of different divisive myths and politics. At least from the White House side of this and we should say for the record we. I've covered the entirety here and ABC news live of the senator brown and mayor where at least press conference and at no time. I do they suggest the president was unwelcome today in fact mayor Whaley had this to say about how the president was received inside that hospital. The victim and the first responders were grateful. That the president of the United States came today. So some some gratitude there for the record certainly dissonance with what was treated. Thanks to Jordan Phelps for that moving on now. As we learn new details about the motives in both of these shootings over the weekend there are new questions. About what law enforcement knows about these troubling trends true troubling trends. I that are reflected in both of these killers in both of these cities are pure Thomas Chief Justice. Correspondent is here 'cause peer you pointed out. Here in the newsroom last nights are struck a lot of us that. What we are sort of lumping these two shootings together for their for the devastation that was waged by guns or should very different. In very concerning trends in both instances. Exactly. In terms of El Paso. What you saw in Peoria unit to what do you think are two pretty clear cut acts of domestic terrorism both are being investigated as sucks. And then in Dayton the police came out yesterday and said that he was obsessed with previous mass shootings. And I can tell you that that is an ongoing phenomenon that we're seeing over and over again where. Mass shooters are looking at the work studying the work a previous mass killers and trying to emulate. And sometimes I don't do it so we have the trend in Dayton to underscore that of copycats this in this. And in his you've reported in the past young people troubled young people looking back at column by oh yeah there's an intolerance are hunting us literally from their graves. I mean. Many of these school shootings gore attempted. Acts of violence in schools. When they go back and look at their files the kids look at their social media they find a fascination with the killers of Carl online. We know for factor in the Newtown. Killing weren't that young man killed all those elementary. Schoolchildren and sandy hook. That he had information about to Virginia Tech killer he also the information about the column on killers. Look at what happened in El Paso. He that accused killer there had information about the New Zealand killer who allegedly killed all those Muslim worshippers if you just a few months ago. And then that killer had information about this the massacre at the 2 AME church. In Charleston, South Carolina they feed on each other and and these troubled people or are studying these incidents law enforcement has been telling you for years that that's a problem. And then there's the issue of course in El Paso of white supremacy which has been on the rise we talked about it extensively yesterday but remind us again the numbers. Are actually up there's a concrete. I statistical. Showing that we're not just talking about this we're not making enough it's actually on a. Price is right the FBI. Tracks information about hate crimes. Basing this surge in those numbers now there's some. Our question as to whether simply more more law enforcement agencies are coming online to the FBI program that tracks and it they're simply providing more information about how are you read it. It says it's out there. It says that people are reporting acts of hate. And we know when we look at these recent spate of killings many of them have them involved people who identify with white supremacist tree of life synagogue. As I said the Charleston a church massacre but we just saw in El Paso so this is real. Law enforcement officials are quite concerned about it and again when you throw in. All the different things that the FBI is dealing went right now. It's tremendous pressure you have prices which has not gone away you have al-Qaeda in some chances are there was testimony last week that there are making eight there was surgeons. Now you go in. 850 some odd domestic terrorism cases that are opened at they're pursuing and the phenomenon of copycat killers so. Very sensitive to trends that are troubling since you're here though and since there's so much talk right now on background checks of one ask you about. What we know about the guns in this case both for automatic weapons spokesperson assault what assault weapons of semiautomatic weapons weapons of war in both cases. Do we know what do we know we had about how they were required worthy legally required did both of these men pass the background checks. But as far as we know. Who police and authorities incentive both these weapons were bought legally. So. Background checks are not necessarily to be and all the key if if you're talking law enforcement what they're saying is that. We have to have a better system of people hearing about. Beings or that have been written or said by the perpetrators. Before they act in the same way that they go after al-Qaeda and ices and try to learn about them before they act. They've got to come up with a better mechanism that currently exists. To find out about these people before they are now is much more difficult when you start him on domestic terrorism because there's no federal domestic terrorism statute does exist. And so has as an example there's no law. That allows the government to charge someone for quote providing material support. No you always hear about his case is right for charging someone would providing materials and we're actors aren't as bright well. There's no such law debt unheated Assad's sons kkk or neo Nazis did it doesn't exist. And before I let you go over very quickly one of the things that were seen in Texas we heard from will Kerr a correspondent on the ground there in El Paso. That there has been a spike in gun purchases people have been flocking to the gun stores there to buy guns. We see it in the Wal-Mart there in fact the Wal-Mart after the shooting is still continuing to sell the guns. Does that trouble law enforcement after a shooting like this we've seen in some in different cities people rush out to bio weapons. Afraid that there will be back much. Well hunt. The United States we have the secretary. Which means that people can buy and own weapons. And there are some people who are purchasing weapons because they're free for the families. Legitimately so sometimes you see a surge in gun sales. After the attacks are just because people are buying up assault rifles because if they own something maybe coming that we will no longer be able to purchase those. I think Ari Carl correctly that after sandy hook and all those. Young children were murdered. By that killer that there was a massive search around christmastime and people buying so. It's just it's just it's it's crazy here and shocking really afterwards summing lives lost your times thanks for. Throw your reporting and for coming in at the president's rhetoric the influence in the impact that it is having has been front senator of course and our. Democratic campaign on on the campaign trail for president Democrats condemning it many Republicans. If quietly critical of the president are largely standing by silent. But how were independent voters this campaign season viewing the president's rhetoric on race. In racism particularly in some of the largely white swing districts of the midwest. We were up in Detroit Michigan last week for the debate we caught up with voters in one of the critical independent swing districts McComb county. And we met mayor Michael Taylor of Sterling Heights a 36 year old lawyer who supported Donald Trump and Tony sixteen. But says his rhetoric right now means he can't support the president in 20/20 has little that conversation. I think it's easy it is to criticize Donald Trump for this terribly. You know racist things he says mean spirited things he says that you know bullies people he calls people names I know I don't like that don't know. No person should like that we have my at the analogy is as. If my nine year old daughter was saying that's well and the principal called us would be shocked disappointed and they take disciplinary action again mr. so it if I. You know I wouldn't bite my nine year old saying it why should the president be saying it but I'm telling you if you think that. There are lots of less than nothing it's there's there's a lot of people here tens of thousands of people who are still deciding I pull that trigger or trump again. The lever for trump again or my gonna go with somebody on the democratic side and if the Democrats come and say if you vote for trump you are racist. That's not gonna sit well with those voters because they're not sure yet. They might vote for term they might not vote for trump doing some of these people see themselves. In down home. They don't want to be called a racist maybe rethink some things he's seen now. I think sometimes. You know that. Look they're our they're bigoted people are there people who hold bigoted beliefs church certainly and I think. One of my biggest criticisms is that the president is that he he gives a safe harbor for those people. I don't think he has to come out every game and just about white nationalism and and and continue to say that but where he's got to do more vet right he's got to make sure. That those white nationalist don't have a voice and their power doesn't increase arise. I don't I don't personally think that his support is based. Race or its base them. This belief that while brown and black people or immigrants should be welcome here I think it's really more based on. Look I want an economy that works for me. And this is a guy that even though he's a billionaire from New York City gets it and he he talked to me. The view from McComb county Michigan mayor Michael Taylor thanks to him meanwhile the 20/20 Democrats. Are out in force today talking about the tragedies in both El Paso in Dayton Donald Trump's rhetoric a short time ago. Former vice president Joseph Biden took the stage at an event in Iowa giving a fiery attack on the president for his rhetoric. And saying he is fanning the flames of white supremacy in this nation. Offers. No moral leadership. Seem to have no interest in unifying this nation. No evidence that the presidency. Has awakened. His conscience in the least. Indeed. Wherever president with a toxic total. Was publicly on apologetic. Embraced the political strategy of hate. Racism and division. It's gonna are political reporter Jeff cook on the ground and El Paso, Texas he's been following former congressman battle work. Around his hometown today Jaffray to see you. It's a first is what ask you Jeff and another music's pioneer mr. Can you give us a sense. Whether the people there who are still struggling to cut you could become members of the tragedy are talking about Donald Trump's rhetoric if that's something that that that is. I'm being tossed about right now hours the focus really just done reading. You know in the the that the first the first three or three days or so after the attack this this community was really focused on grieving but there seem to be a shift today. And focusing on action this rally behind me is pretty focused. On how they're going to attack the Republican Party and Donald Trump keep this from happening again most assigns or hearsay thing. God targeting the president today we talked to. Civil congress for congress is on or hands he said then he's canceling his appearance at Iowa state fair and work remain in the unique for several more days. Going to be down there indeed basically taking himself off the trail and Jeff. It what it what it better it was also it's a pretty strong words for the president I know we don't have any sound queued up but. It does he plan to meet the president or be near the president when he comes into his city today. EU and all of snow as a as of now so for he says stick to community events like this is not expected to meet some. Today bombed today. Earlier this morning the president didn't target and a former Texas congressman's. Net and if the committee front of his name and and saying it should be quiet and that O -- responded by saying that he won't be silent in the community won't be silent here. Yeah he certainly want to know and I think that we were there we have it up right now from president pump this morning was shocking to a lot of people as he prepares to. As he travels to these two cities in talks about wanting to be a uniter rather than a divider dad thinks Jeff standby when comebacks you of one of an out of noted Justin Gomez he's with. A Cory Booker down South Carolina visited the site. Of another horrific race based mass shooting. Today via an annual AME church. I just in what was quarry brokers message there about president from from this rhetoric. 7 senator broker this morning really put out a message for people to just go to action to stop staying quiet about racism. And actually speak to your neighbors speak to everyone around you about. It is staying quiet about it the problem is never going to be resolved. The senator also took aim subtly at president trump calling him out for. His tweets his rhetoric on the campaign tries we see some of the other twenty coming when he when he Democrats have done. I've been with the senator for the past three games here South Carolina and this is something that is definitely on both. John here so this issue. Yeah let's take a listen Justin to some of what port Booker had considered it that mother Manuel Indian troops in South Carolina. We can't. You know anti immigrant patriot. He had did not start with the hand that pujols who triggered. It did not begin when a single white supremacist. Got into the car to travel ten hour. Kill that many human beef and cook. It was planted in fertile oil because the contradictions. That shadow this country since its founding. Me a horror. A horrible politics. So from the highest office in Overland. C squeeze and rhetoric. Hateful world. Good alternately endangered the lives. People are actually. Can't Bob Beers and unless you love your fellow country men and woman all of this. And just and cover quickly back to you what we've seen such an array gun violence gun safety proposals from. All the candidates that come up in the debate last week you and I were talking about at their Detroit. I remind us we're court Cory Booker stance on this because he's been again re upping his proposal to counter some of the violence we've seen so many cities. Get the fetters a very big advocate for gun control legislation. This morning he called for increased matter background check. To put some of those who post Yeltsin won the DOJ NBI. Investigate domestic terrorism study it as well. It's calling for a lot of along the campaign trail and in my could do one more thing that stood out. Very passionate Graham one line that really sit out you ask people on what this PS if the answer to the questions of racism and white supremacist. If yes then the real question isn't who is or isn't a reason. One book they're really sums up everything that happened inside that church is. That is it really want people go out there and be active to condemn. Justin Gomez are political reporter on the Booker campaigned on in South Carolina thanks let's just remember him guy Jeff cook. Back in he's down El Paso covering events there and of course federal war and to pick up and Najaf where just. So many calls now for people to do something about it. And you look at the other candidates that you cover in this race who Leon Castro his. His brother. Joaquin Castro congressman has stirred up some congress controversial don't ask you veterans put up the street. He says we all need to shine a spotlight on people who support financially. This hateful rhetoric and shine a spotlight on and he is tweeted out the names of 44 donors. To Donald Trump in the stated taxes says their contributions are fuming in the campaign of hate. That labels Hispanic immigrants. As invaders that has really drawn a lot of blow back from Republicans Jeff. I just. It certainly has problems. Republicans on the hill helping our on the country's poorer or were pretty unhappy about working Castro. The congressman and twin brother Leon Castro and also serves as chairman. Campaign. Of reports that federal work that's come out saying that. Targeting kids Morgan people who recess are looking. Supporting. And on The Who she says partially to point senseless he saw and a half days ago but what he's got a little bit farther as he said I Baidu. Publishing the names there are publicly available but putting off on what are the names of San Antonio is this year's even know homemaker retirees. And certainly been down by both sides shining the spotlight putting those donors out there but certainly makes. Others donors very uncomfortable we'll see if that's part of the solution to all this shining a spotlight Jeff cook things for your reporting from El Paso, Texas. And they go for watching the briefing room here today a lot to cover with these two shootings will be back here tomorrow at 3:30 eastern time continuing live coverage. Of all the fallout from the situation in El Paso and in Texas here on ABC news live in an ABC news app. I'm Devin Dwyer Washington to see you back here tomorrow.
This transcript has been automatically generated and may not be 100% accurate.