El Paso shooting

Beto O'Rourke says President Trump "had a lot to do" with El Paso shooting

In the wake of the deadly shooting in El Paso that authorities are investigating as a possible hate crime, Beto O'Rourke told CNN's "State of the Union" on Sunday that the question of whether President Trump is a white nationalist "cannot be open for debate."

El Paso shooting

More than 20 people were killed in an Aug. 3, 2019, shooting rampage at a Walmart in El Paso. The gunman was arrested and charged with capital murder for the shooting in El Paso, which is recovering from what federal law enforcement has classified as an act of domestic terrorism. 

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As authorities investigate a mass shooting at an El Paso Walmart that left 20 people dead and more than two dozen others injured Saturday, police say the 21-year-old North Texas man arrested may have written a manifesto revealing that the crime was racially motivated.

Many officials, including Beto O'Rourke — the former El Paso congressman and current Democratic candidate for president — have cited President Donald Trump's divisive rhetoric for inspiring such acts.

Asked on CNN's "State of the Union" program Sunday morning whether Trump is a "white nationalist," O'Rourke told host Jake Tapper, "The things that he has said both as a candidate and then as the President of the United States this cannot be open for debate."

Later in the morning, O'Rourke appeared on CBS's "Face the Nation" and was asked whether the president was indirectly responsible for the El Paso shooting.

“Anyone who describes those who do not match the majority of this country as somehow inherently dangerous or defective sows the kind of fear, the kind of reaction that we saw in El Paso,” he said.

Watch the full clip above.

Disclosure: Walmart has been a financial supporter of The Texas Tribune, a nonprofit, nonpartisan news organization that is funded in part by donations from members, foundations and corporate sponsors. Financial supporters play no role in the Tribune's journalism. Find a complete list of them here.

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