President Donald Trump plans to visit El Paso, Texas on Wednesday at an event intended to honor the victims of this weekend’s mass shooting. But according to Rep. Veronica Escobar (D-Tex.), those victims don’t want the president there.
During an interview on Tuesday night with MSNBC’s Chris Hayes, Escobar said she was told this “totally unsolicited” from victims in the hospital, saying, “They grab my arm and tell me, tell [Trump] not to come here.”
Escobar was asked about her earlier comments, when she said Trump is painting “a target” on the backs of Hispanic communities. Escobar then told a story about a Vietnam veteran who told her that “he is made to feel like he is not an American. And he feels that under this president,” Escobar said.
— All In w/Chris Hayes (@allinwithchris) August 7, 2019
Escobar also told Hayes that she turned down the president’s invitation to accompany him during his visit because the White House said Trump was “too busy” to speak with her by phone beforehand. Escobar added on social media posts:
“I declined the invitation to accompany the president because I refuse to be an accessory to his visit. I refuse to join without a true dialogue about the pain his racist and hateful words and actions have caused our community and this country.”
The White House invited me to join @realDonaldTrump during his visit to El Paso. My response was clear. I requested a phone call with him today in order to share what I have now heard from many constituents, including some who are victims of Saturday’s attack.
— Rep. Veronica Escobar (@RepEscobar) August 6, 2019
Presidential candidate and former Texas representative Beto O’Rourke tweeted his support for Escobar, saying he plans to join her in skipping the president’s visit to instead spend time “with fellow El Pasoans” dealing with the aftermath of this weekend’s shooting.
Thank you for your leadership, @RepEscobar. When President Trump comes to El Paso tomorrow, I will be joining our strong, beautiful, binational community at #ElPasoStrong. I hope to see you there. https://t.co/kAkNhaSoMk https://t.co/NXqRqUjiSf
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 7, 2019