Ocasio-Cortez: Trump's immigration rhetoric 'directly responsible' for El Paso mass shooting

Ocasio-Cortez: Trump's immigration rhetoric 'directly responsible' for El Paso mass shooting
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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez endorses Engel primary challenger Forget politics — America needs a realistic debate about our energy future Ocasio-Cortez to Washington Redskins on 'Blackout Tuesday' post: 'Change your name' MORE (D-N.Y.) late Monday said that President TrumpDonald John TrumpFormer employees critique EPA under Trump in new report Fired State Department watchdog says Pompeo aide attempted to 'bully' him over investigations Virginia senator calls for Barr to resign over order to clear protests MORE's divisive rhetoric on immigration was "directly responsible" for the mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, that left at least 22 people dead. 

The freshman New York congresswoman made the comments while speaking at a vigil in Brooklyn for the victims of the shooting in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, according to the New York Daily News

“I’m tired of the questioning if the president is racist. He is,” Ocasio-Cortez told a crowd of about 500 people, the newspaper noted. 

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Ocasio-Cortez also repeatedly decried white supremacy. 

“There are so many different issues that are weaving themselves into a braid of violence into our country. One of them is white supremacist terrorism,” she said, adding later that “white supremacy is an international terrorist problem." 

The statement appeared to be a reference to shootings at mosques in New Zealand earlier this year that killed more than 50 people. 

The comments from Ocasio-Cortez came after a weekend where mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton left at least 32 people dead. The incidents have sparked discussions about the regularity of mass shootings in the country, as well as issues surrounding gun legislation and white supremacy. 

The suspect in El Paso is believed to have posted a racist, anti-immigration manifesto on the fringe social networking platform 8chan before carrying out the massacre. Among other things, the alleged shooter described Hispanic migrants coming to the U.S. as an "invasion," language that some Democratic lawmaker say echoes Trump's. 

Trump on Monday called on the nation to condemn bigotry, hate and white supremacy. He added that federal law enforcement would receive whatever it needs to combat the threat posed by white nationalists and domestic terrorism. 

“In one voice, our nation must condemn bigotry, hatred and white supremacy,” Trump said in a nationally televised address from the Diplomatic Room of the White House. "These sinister ideologies must be defeated.” 

Acting White House chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick Mulvaney12 things to know today about coronavirus Mulvaney: 'We've overreacted a little bit' to coronavirus The Memo: Trump agenda rolls on amid pandemic MORE said Sunday that it wasn't "fair to try and lay" the shooting at the "feet of the president."