Trump slams Obama over shootings
US President Donald Trump has hit back at Barack Obama's comments slamming his rhetoric, saying he is the "least racist person" and complaining that mass shootings were happening on his predecessor's watch.
Mr Obama issued a statement yesterday not naming Mr Trump but telling voters to "soundly reject" leaders who feed "a climate of fear and hatred".
Mr Trump fired off some early morning tweets, maintaining his claim to be "the least racist person", pointing to the fact that "Black, Hispanic and Asian Unemployment is the lowest (BEST) in the history of the United States!'
He also shared commentary from the morning show Fox & Friends in which its hosts questioned whether it was appropriate for former presidents to attack the current sitting president.
"Did George Bush ever condemn President Obama after Sandy Hook. President Obama had 32 mass shootings during his reign. Not many people said Obama is out of Control. Mass shootings were happening before the President even thought about running for Pres," Mr Trump tweeted.
Fox & Friends claimed that there have been 17 mass shootings under Mr Trump's time in office, while Mr Obama was president during 32 mass shootings. However, those figures were disputed by Mother Jones, which tracks mass shootings, and said 29 had happened during Mr Trump's tenure, while 37 had occurred during Mr Obama's time as president.
Democrats have attacked Mr Trump following the El Paso shooting, which killed 22 people, for inciting racial tensions in the country. The El Paso shooter is believed to have written a manifesto in which he sprouts white supremacist views and claims the country is being "invaded", a word that Mr Trump has used often to characterise the migrant crisis.
Mr Obama perhaps had the strongest words.
"We should soundly reject language coming out of the mouths of any of our leaders that feeds a climate of fear and hatred or normalises racist sentiments; leaders who demonise those who don't look like us, or suggest that other people, including immigrants, threaten our way of life, or refer to other people as subhuman, or imply that America belongs to just one certain type of people," Mr Obama said in a statement posted on his official social media accounts. "It has no place in our politics and our public life. And it's time for the overwhelming majority of Americans of goodwill, of every race and faith and political party, to say as much - clearly and unequivocally."
"We are not helpless here. And until all of us stand up and insist on holding public officials accountable for changing our gun laws, these tragedies will keep happening," he said of the environment that has allowed mass casualties to occur.
Mr Trump initially blamed the internet, social media, computer games and "mental illness" for the two mass shootings that killed 30 people this weekend before speaking out against white supremacy.