Al Franken urges Trump to give new speech after shootings: 'Try to make it sound like you're sincere, even if you're not'

Former Sen. Al FrankenAlan (Al) Stuart FrankenThe Hill's Morning Report - Presented by the UAE Embassy in Washington, DC - Trump, Biden clash over transition holdup, pandemic plans The Hill's Morning Report - Fearing defeat, Trump claims 'illegal' ballots The Hill's Morning Report - Biden inches closer to victory MORE (D-Minn.) on Wednesday called on President TrumpDonald John TrumpBiden team wants to understand Trump effort to 'hollow out government agencies' Trump's remaking of the judicial system Overnight Defense: Trump transgender ban 'inflicts concrete harms,' study says | China objects to US admiral's Taiwan visit MORE to make a second speech in response to two mass shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, and “make it sound like you’re sincere.”

“Do it from the Oval Office, not from one of your golf courses. And try to make it sound like you’re sincere, even if you’re not. That will require some work,” Franken wrote.


“But it will be worth it. Understand how desperate all of us are for some reassurance that there are indeed limits to your unfeeling cruelty,” he added.

In the blog post, Franken criticizes Trump for what he calls lack of sincerity or expression in Trump’s original speech, writing that his “expressionless face appeared to be mounted on a swivel-head, turning mechanically from one prompter to another in a way that suggested that he was reading the words for the first time.”

Trump was under particular pressure to address the El Paso shooting, in which the suspect has been tied to a racist, anti-immigrant manifesto that speaks of a Hispanic “invasion,” which Trump’s critics have noted is similar to rhetoric the president has used about migrants despite his condemnation of white nationalism in the speech.

“When more than thirty people are randomly gunned down by two men in two American cities within hours of each other, and one of the killers had written a manifesto borrowing heavily from your own words, it’s time to step up and at least say something that, while not particularly comforting, (not your forte), at least sounds sincere,” Franken writes.

Franken served in the Senate from 2008 to 2018 before resigning in January 2018 over multiple allegations of sexual misconduct.