Donald Trump has lashed out at mayor Nan Whaley and senator Sherrod Brown, accusing the two Ohio Democrats of misrepresenting a meeting they had with the president during his visit with survivors of the shooting there on Wednesday.
In a series of tweets, the president falsely attacked Mr Brown as a failed presidential candidate, and called their joint press conference in which they called for gun control measures following the shooting that killed nine "a fraud".
"Just left Dayton, Ohio, where I met with the Victims & families, Law Enforcement, Medical Staff & First Responders. It was a warm & wonderful visit. Tremendous enthusiasm & even Love. Then I saw failed Presidential Candidate (0%) Sherrod Brown & Mayor Whaley totally misrepresenting what took place inside the hospital," Mr Trump tweeted.
He continued: "Their news conference after I left for El Paso was a fraud. It bore no resemblance to what took place with those incredible people that I was so lucky to meet and spend time with. They were all amazing!"
Shortly after Mr Trump arrived in Ohio on Wednesday — where he was welcomed on the airport tarmac by Mr Brown, Ms Whaley, and others — the two Democrats spoke forcefully in favour of gun control, which the president and other Republicans have largely refused to consider in the wake of mass shootings like the one on Sunday in Dayton, and the one just 13 hours prior in El Paso, Texas. Those shootings saw a total of 31 people dead between them.
"I said, Mr President, respectfully, the most important thing you can do for these police officers is to take assault weapons off the street," Mr Brown — who said the president was comforting during his visit with the shooting survivors — said during the press conference, while calling for background check legislation and other bills to be brought up to a vote in the US Senate.
Mr Trump has been criticised for his anti-immigrant rhetoric, and his refusal to bring forward gun control measures, in the aftermath of the two shootings.
While he has denounced white supremacy and nationalism since the shootings, the president's critics have nevertheless pointed towards his long history of inflammatory remarks on the campaign trail and as president.
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