Washington: President Donald Trump is flying Wednesday to the sites of mass shootings in Ohio and Texas, but the divisive Republican risks meeting protests by Americans who blame him for stoking the violence. Trump has been walking a difficult line since the massacres of 31 people over the weekend -- 22 at a Walmart frequented by large numbers of Hispanic people in El Paso, Texas, and nine killed by a second gunman in Dayton, Ohio.
The visits "will be about honoring victims, comforting communities, and thanking first responders & medical professionals for their heroic actions," White House Press Secretary Stephanie Grisham tweeted. But as a politician constantly warning over what he calls an "invasion" of illegal immigrants, Trump finds himself accused by opponents of inspiring the El Paso gunman's anti-immigrant hatred and the country's volatile atmosphere in general.
Protesters are expected to turn out in both places, even if the president is likely to be shielded from even witnessing dissent. At the first stop, Dayton's Democratic mayor Nan Whaley bluntly promised to give Trump a piece of her mind, telling him "how unhelpful he's being." "The people should stand up and say they are not happy," she told journalists Tuesday.