Dayton mayor: Trump visit after shooting was 'difficult on the community'

Dayton mayor: Trump visit after shooting was 'difficult on the community'
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Dayton, Ohio, Mayor Nan Whaley (D) said President TrumpDonald John TrumpDeWine tests negative for coronavirus a second time Several GOP lawmakers express concern over Trump executive orders Beirut aftermath poses test for US aid to frustrating ally MORE’s visit to the city last week after a recent mass shooting was “difficult on the community” in light of the strong divisions about his presidency.

Whaley said Trump’s trip to Dayton, which came after a shooter killed nine people, was likely appreciated by victims and first responders but potentially aggravated existing political differences in the city.

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“I think that the victims in the hospital appreciated the president of the United States coming. I think that the first responders appreciated it,” she told reporters at a news conference Tuesday.

“I think it was difficult on the community because he has such a — everyone has such strong feelings about the president, both positive and negative. So when we’re talking about bringing the community together, he’s not helpful there,” she said. 

The remarks followed similar comments Whaley made last week shortly after Trump’s visit. The president also traveled to El Paso, Texas, the same day as Dayton to meet with survivors of a mass shooting there that killed 22 people.

Whaley and Trump feuded briefly last week after a news conference the mayor and Sen. Sherrod BrownSherrod Campbell BrownOvernight Defense: Guardsman to testify Lafayette Square clearing was 'unprovoked escalation' | Dems push for controversial Pentagon nominee to withdraw | Watchdog says Pentagon not considering climate change risks to contractors Democrats urge controversial Pentagon policy nominee to withdraw Chamber of Commerce, banking industry groups call on Senate to pass corporate diversity bill MORE (D-Ohio) gave in which they said the president had been “comforting” and the victims were appreciative but adding that some in the community had reservations about his visit.

Trump later tweeted that Whaley and Brown were “totally misrepresenting what took place inside of the hospital” and that the news conference was “a fraud.”

Whaley responded that the tweets “did a disservice” to his trip Dayton. 

“If those tweets weren’t mentioned at all his trip would be fine, and instead there’s a big discussion about what was the purpose of this trip,” she said in a conference call with reporters. “And that’s unfortunate for the victims and first responders who do deserve a visit by the president.”