US President Donald Trump said on Monday that Americans must “condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy” after a gunman killed 20 people in an attack in Texas that authorities said appeared to be a racially motivated hate crime.
Trump did not directly address accusations that his anti-immigrant and racially charged comments have contributed to a rise in hate crimes.
“These sinister ideologies must be defeated,” he said in remarks at the White House.
“Hate has no place in America. Hatred warps the mind, ravages the heart and devours the soul.”
On Saturday, a gunman killed 20 people at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, in what authorities said appeared to be a racially motivated hate crime. Just 13 hours later, another gunman in downtown Dayton, Ohio, killed nine people. Dozens also were wounded in the attacks.
Trump said he was directing the Department of Justice to investigate domestic terrorism, and propose legislation to ensure that those who commit hate crimes and mass murders face the death penalty.