President TrumpDonald TrumpOvernight Defense & National Security — The Pentagon's deadly mistake Overnight Energy & Environment — Presented by Climate Power — Interior returns BLM HQ to Washington France pulls ambassadors to US, Australia in protest of submarine deal MORE on Monday said "fake news" has contributed to growing "anger and rage" in the country in the wake of two mass shootings over the weekend, marking the second time he has criticized media coverage in the aftermath of a tragedy.
"The Media has a big responsibility to life and safety in our Country," Trump tweeted. "Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years. News coverage has got to start being fair, balanced and unbiased, or these terrible problems will only get worse!"
The Media has a big responsibility to life and safety in our Country. Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years. News coverage has got to start being fair, balanced and unbiased, or these terrible problems will only get worse!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 5, 2019
The president's suggestion that press coverage is to blame came after shootings in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, that took place within 24 hours of each other over the weekend.
A gunman killed 20 people and wounded dozens more in an attack at a Walmart in El Paso on Saturday. He allegedly wrote a racist, anti-immigrant manifesto before the attack, which described fears of a Latino “invasion" and references "fake news."
Hours later, a gunman killed nine people and injured dozens more in Dayton.
Pundits and Democratic politicians alike have tied Trump's own rhetoric describing the influx of migrants as an "invasion" and painting immigrants broadly as criminals to that of the El Paso shooter.
The president has offered few public remarks on the shootings, other than to say "hate has no place" in the country. He tweeted Monday that Congress should tie legislation strengthening background checks for gun purchases to immigration reform, two issues that have stymied lawmakers in the pass.
The president repeatedly rails against "fake news" when describing coverage he finds unfavorable. He has described certain outlets as the "enemy of the people," despite warnings from lawmakers and media executives about the dangers of the term.
Trump also blamed the "Fake News Media" for causing "tremendous anger" in the country in the days after a spate of mail bomb threats against prominent Democrats and a shooting that killed 11 people at a Pittsburgh synagogue.
Several Democrats and media commentators have noted that prominent Fox News personalities frequently speak negatively about immigrants, and Trump often quotes those hosts on Twitter.