Senator Bernie Sanders on Sunday said that while he knows President Donald Trump does not want to "see people mowed down and killed" in the way that victims in last weekend's mass shooting in El Paso, Texas were by a racist gunman—one who has since told authorities he was specifically targeting Mexican shoppers at a local Wal-Mart—the Democratic candidate does believe the president's "racist rhetoric" and behavior is certainly fueling such violence.
Trump, said on CBS's "Face The Nation" on Sunday morning, "creates a climate where we are seeing a significant increase in hate crimes in this country—hates crimes against Muslims, against Mexicans, against Jews. He is creating the kind of divisiveness in this nation that is the last thing we should be doing."
When asked if he thinks @realDonaldTrump is responsible for the El Paso shooting, @BernieSanders says the president “creates the climate, but do I think that he wants to see somebody get shot? Absolutely not.” pic.twitter.com/CTSWkD5E3a— Face The Nation (@FaceTheNation) August 11, 2019
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While Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell remains under fire for his refusal to bring lawmakers back from August recess to pass gun control legislation already passed by the U.S. House of Representatives, Sanders cast that as a failure of leadership and said it is clear that the American people are ready for serious gun law reform.
"The American people are sick and tired of powerful corporate interest determining what goes on in Washington," Sanders said. "You know that's whether it's the healthcare industry, whether it is the fossil fuel industry, whether it is the NRA. Poll after poll shows that, overwhelmingly, the American people want to expand background checks. They want to do away with the gun show loophole. They want to do away with the straw man provision. And more and more people agree with something that I have been saying for thirty years, is that assault weapons are weapons of war—they are military style weapons designed to kill people as rapidly as possible—they should not be sold and distributed in this country."
Sanders called on McConnell to "do the right thing, do what the American people want—bring us back to Washington right now. Let's pass what was passed in the House, let us go further."