Scalise: Trump no more responsible for El Paso than 'Bernie Sanders is for my shooting'

Scalise: Trump no more responsible for El Paso than 'Bernie Sanders is for my shooting'
© Greg Nash

House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseDemocrats question GOP shift on vaccines The Hill's Morning Report - Pelosi considers adding GOP voices to Jan. 6 panel McConnell pushes vaccines, but GOP muddles his message MORE (R-La.) on Sunday dismissed claims that President TrumpDonald TrumpTrump hails Arizona Senate for audit at Phoenix rally, slams governor Arkansas governor says it's 'disappointing' vaccinations have become 'political' Watch live: Trump attends rally in Phoenix MORE’s rhetoric was responsible for last weekend’s mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, comparing it to his own shooting by a former campaign volunteer for Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPoll: 73 percent of Democratic voters would consider voting for Biden in the 2024 primary Overnight Defense: US launches another airstrike in Somalia | Amendment to expand Pentagon recusal period added to NDAA | No. 2 State Dept. official to lead nuclear talks with Russia US launches second Somalia strike in week MORE (I-Vt.) in 2017.

“There’s no place for those kind of attacks and attacking someone based on their ethnicity,” Scalise said on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” adding that assigning blame was “a very slippery slope.”

"The president's no more responsible for that shooting as your next guest, Bernie Sanders, is for my shooting.”

ADVERTISEMENT

Scalise was severely wounded when a gunman opened fire on him and several of his Republican colleagues at a baseball practice in Alexandria, Va., by a man who volunteered for Sanders’s 2016 presidential campaign. Sanders, who is again seeking the White House, condemned the shooter’s “despicable act” on the Senate floor the same morning.

 “What we need to do is to find out those people who have slipped through the cracks, let’s make sure these background check systems work properly and are rooting out the people who shouldn’t be able to purchase a gun,” Scalise said.

Numerous Democratic presidential candidates have drawn a line between a manifesto tied to the suspect in the El Paso killings, who told police he was targeting “Mexicans” and allegedly wrote that he was combating a “Hispanic invasion of Texas,” and Trump's rhetoric on immigration.

Scalise on Sunday demurred when asked by CBS’s Margaret Brennan whether he had spoken with Trump about the presidents’ own repeated invocations of an “invasion” by migrants.