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Presidential candidates O’Rourke, Booker blame Trump rhetoric for rising nationalism

White House hopefuls Beto O'Rourke and Cory Booker doubled down on their criticism of U.S. President Trump on Wednesday (August 7) for his "hateful words that ultimately endanger the lives of people in our country." Democratic presidential candidates have been vocal in their condemnation of white nationalism and have accused President Donald Trump of stoking racial divisions after two mass shootings in Texas and Ohio over the weekend left at least 31 people dead.

Speaking at a remembrance ceremony at a local school in El Paso, O’Rourke, a former Texas Congressman from the border city accused Trump of intimidation.

“He is trying to intimidate this community, make us afraid – of one another, of our differences, of the border, of, of immigrants. And we will not stand down. Every single one of us standing up to be counted at this defining moment of truth,” O’Rourke said.

In Charleston, South Carolina, Senator Cory Booker said anti-immigrant hatred had been sown from “the highest office in our land”.

“It was sowed by those who spoke the same words the El Paso murderer did: warning of an “invasion.” It was sowed by those who spoke of an “infestation,” of “disgusting cities,” of “rats and rodents” talking about majority minority communities,” Booker said at a speech at a historically black church in Charleston, South Carolina where a white supremacist shot and killed nine people in 2015.

The back-to-back massacres, occurring 13 hours apart, have reopened the national debate over gun safety.

The El Paso massacre is being investigated as a hate crime and the FBI said the Dayton shooter had explored violent ideologies.

(Production: Pavithra George)

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