Trump smirked at idea of shooting migrants at rally three months before El Paso massacre

‘How do you stop these people?’ US president said about undocumented Mexicans

Zamira Rahim
Monday 05 August 2019 04:31 EDT
Donald Trump laughs at Florida rally as supporter suggests shooting immigrants

Donald Trump laughed and joked after a supporter suggested shooting Mexican migrants at a rally in May 2019.

The clip of the interaction is once again spreading across social media, as the US reels from the El Paso massacre.

“When you have 15,000 people marching up, and you have hundreds and hundreds of [immigrants], and you have two or three border security people that are brave and great – and don’t forget we don’t let them and we can’t let them use weapons,” Mr Trump said, to an audience of thousands in Florida.

“We can’t. Other countries do, we can’t. I would never do that. But how do you stop these people?”

In response someone from the audience shouted: “Shoot them!”

Mr Trump then appeared to laugh before shaking his head and saying: “That’s only in the Panhandle you can get away with that statement.”

The crowd then erupted into laughter and cheers, and Mr Trump added: “Only in the Panhandle!”

The Florida Panhandle is a region in the north west of the state.

The interaction was remembered with anger online, in the aftermath of the El Paso massacre.

At least 20 people were killed when a white male opened fire at a Walmart in the Cielo Vista mall on Saturday.

Several people are injured and being treated in hospital. Police said that at least three Mexicans were among the dead.

The suspected gunman, Patrick Crusius, is an alleged white supremacist.

In the wake of the massacre politicians condemned Donald Trump’s racism and congress’s failure to take action on gun control.

Pete Buttigieg, a presidential primary candidate, said the US was “under attack from white nationalist terrorism”.

He said that the attacker was “abetted by weak gun laws” and added: “If we are serious about national security, we must summon the courage to name and defeat this evil.”

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Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke, who represented the district where the attack took place, said the US president bore some responsibility for the attack which left 20 people dead.

“He is a racist, and he stokes racism in this country,” he added.

“It does not just offend our sensibilities; it fundamentally changes the character of this country and it leads to violence.”

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