Leaving for Dayton and El Paso, Trump says his rhetoric not fueling violence

US President Donald Trump is denying that his rhetoric has played a role in contributing to anti-immigrant and white supremacist violence.

“I don’t think my rhetoric does at all — I think my rhetoric brings people together. Our country is doing really well,” he says.

US President Donald Trump speaks to the press as he departs the White House in Washington, DC, on August 7 2019. (MANDEL NGAN / AFP)

Trump makes the comments as he leaves the White House on Wednesday to visit Ohio and Texas, the scene of weekend mass shootings.

He dismisses criticism of him as by “people who are looking for political gain.”

Trump also says there is a “very strong” political appetite in Congress for bipartisan legislation that would address background checks or some restrictions for gun users.

“There’s a great appetite, and I mean a very strong appetite, for background checks. And I think we can bring up background checks like we’ve never had before,” he says.

— with AP

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