President Donald Trump on Monday called on Americans to reject racism and bigotry after two mass shootings over the weekend, describing the attacks as “domestic terrorism.”
He also mistakenly offered condolences to victims of a shooting in Toledo, Ohio, when he meant Dayton, Ohio, causing Toldeo to trend on Twitter.
“In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” Trump said in a speech at the Diplomatic Room of the White House. “These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul.”
He closed his remarks, “May God bless the memory of those who perished in Toledo.”
The reaction to Trump’s gaffe was swift, with a number of prominent folks chiming in with their takes on Twitter.
“It doesn’t matter whether Trump says ‘Toledo’ or ‘Dayton’ because the notion he cares about the safety and security of either is a farce He wants Ohio’s electoral votes, and his consideration of the safety of Ohioans ends there,” Newsweek columnist Seth Abramson tweeted.
“It is strange watching this speech being analyzed as a serious text when the president got the name of the city wrong at the end. Presumably someone on his staff wrote Toledo instead of Dayton, and no one caught it, not even the president,” observed CNN’s Brian Stelter.
“Toledo?! Really?” conservative commentator Joe Walsh wrote. “He can’t even get the most basic facts right.”
Presidential candidate and Ohio native Tim Ryan even tweeted, issuing this: “Toledo. Fck me.”
In his own series of tweets earlier in the day, Trump also called on Congress to pass “strong background checks” on gun purchases, perhaps tied to immigration legislation.
He tweeted, “We cannot let those killed in El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, die in vain. Likewise for those so seriously wounded. We can never forget them, and those many who came before them. Republicans and Democrats must come together and get strong background checks, perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform,”
Trump continued, “We must have something good, if not GREAT, come out of these two tragic events!”
Over the weekend, the U.S. was struck by two deadly mass shootings in less than 24 hours that killed at least 30 people and injured dozens more — first at an El Paso Walmart and mall, where 20 people died, and then early Sunday morning outside a nightclub in Dayton, Ohio, which claimed another 10 lives, including the suspect’s.
It also comes one week after a deadly multiple shooting at the Gilroy Garlic Festival in California killed three people.