Trump: 'This Has Been Going on for Years...We Have to Get It Stopped'

By Susan Jones | August 5, 2019 | 4:56am EDT
President Donald Trump and First Lady Melania Trump return to the White House on August 4, 2019. (Photo by Alastair Pike/AFP/Getty Images)

( - President Donald Trump spoke briefly to reporters Sunday on his way back to the White House from his country club in New Jersey.

He said he will be "making a statement" on this Monday morning about the two mass shootings this weekend, one in an El Paso Walmart where 20 people were killed, and one in a Dayton bar, where nine people were slaughtered. Many more were injured in both places.

"Hate has no place in our country," the president said. He said the violence is a "mental illness problem," and he noted this has been "going on for years," although some of the Democrat presidential candidates, including Beto O'Rourke and Pete Buttigieg, blamed Trump's "white nationalism."


This is what the president said on Sunday, on his way back to Washington:

Thank you very much. I want to extend our condolences to the people of El Paso, Texas and Dayton, Ohio. They're incredible people, and they've been through a lot. I just want to also thank the law enforcement in both places, the job they've done is incredible. I also want to congratulate them. I mean, nobody could have done what they've done.

This could have been -- as bad as it was, it could have been so much worse. I have to thank them. The job they've done is incredible. They were right on the ball in El Paso, and they were there so quickly.

And Dayton, in less than a minute. Think of the damage he did in such a short period of time. In less than a minute, the law enforcement acted and killed him. And it would have been unbelievable. It was horrible, but it would have been so much worse -- it could have been so much worse.

I just want to say that these are two incredible places. We love the people. Hate has no place in our country. And we're going to take care of it.

I spoke with Attorney General Bill Barr at length. I spoke to Christopher Wray, director of the FBI. I spoke to the governors -- both governors. And we're doing a lot of work. A lot of people working right now. A lot of law enforcement people and others. I spoke to members of Congress about whatever we can do, and a lot of things are being done right now as we speak.

I'll be making a statement tomorrow some time, but just on behalf of our first lady and myself, condolences to all. We have to get it stopped. This has been going on for years -- for years and years in our country. We have to get it stopped. So thank you very much, and I will be making a statement tomorrow at about 10 o'clock. And I'll see you there. Thank you all very much.

"The gun problem -- what are you going to do about it," a reporter asked the president, to which he replied:

We're talking to a lot of people, and a lot of things are in the works and a lot of good things. And we have done much more than most administrations, and we have really not talked about it very much, but we've done actually a lot. But perhaps more has to be done.

But this is also a mental illness problem. If you look at most of these cases, this is mental illness. These are really people that are very, very seriously mentally ill, so a lot of things are happening -- a lot of things are happening right now, and I will see you tomorrow at ten o'clock. Thank you.


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