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- Language in the manifesto linked to the suspect in a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, echoes the rhetoric of President Donald Trump.
- Trump in a tweet on Monday appeared to blame the media for recent violence in the US, and like the manifesto decried "fake news."
- The manifesto cited the "invasion" of immigrants as the inspiration for the shooting, which left 20 dead.
- Trump has routinely characterized immigrants as an "invasion."
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President Donald Trump’s tweet that seems to lay blame for recent violence in the US on the media echoes the manifesto of the suspect in the mass shooting at a Walmart in El Paso, Texas, on Saturday that left at least 20 people dead.
The manifesto also contains language that’s nearly identical to the president’s trademark anti-immigrant rhetoric.
Trump on Monday morning tweeted, "The Media has a big responsibility to life and safety in our Country. Fake News has contributed greatly to the anger and rage that has built up over many years. News coverage has got to start being fair, balanced and unbiased, or these terrible problems will only get worse!"
Comparatively, the shooting suspect’s manifesto stated, "Some people will blame the president or certain presidential candidates for the attack. This is not the case. I know that the media will probably call me a white supremacist anyway and blame Trump’s rhetoric. The media is infamous for fake news. Their reaction to this attack will likely just confirm that."
In the wake of the shooting, a number of Democratic politicians and some media figures have placed blame on Trump, who has a record of avoiding criticizing white nationalism and whose political messages and policies have been typified by an anti-immigrant stance.
The shooting suspect’s manifesto said the attack in El Paso was a "response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas," which mimics Trump’s demonization of undocumented immigrants as an "invasion."
Natalie Martinez, a researcher on online extremism for liberal group Media Matters for America, found that Trump has run 2,200 Facebook ads since May 2018 characterizing immigration as an "invasion." Trump has also described immigrants as an "invasion" in tweets and public remarks.
In a speech in November 2018, Trump said, "At this very moment, large, well-organized caravans of migrants are marching towards our southern border. Some people call it an ‘invasion.’ It’s like an invasion. They have violently overrun the Mexican border."
The El Paso shooting suspect’s manifesto said he wanted to defend the US from "cultural and ethnic replacement brought on by an invasion," adding, "immigration can only be detrimental to the future of America."
After the shooting in El Paso, which was also closely followed by a deadly mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, Trump in early-morning tweets on Monday called for the implementation of new gun control legislation involving "strong background checks" and "perhaps marrying this legislation with desperately needed immigration reform."
In a televised statement on Monday morning, Trump decried racism and white supremacy.
"The shooter in El Paso posted a manifesto online consumed with racist hate. In one voice our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy," Trump said.
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