Two families of the victims of Saturday's mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, refused to speak with President Donald Trump during his official visit on Wednesday. However, The Washington Post reports that eight victims and their families did not agree to meet with the president.
Officials at the University Medical Center said that Trump spoke to families and listened to traumatic stories.
"I think one of the most important things anybody can do, whether you’re the president or a family member or a visitor is to listen," Ryan Mielke with UMC said, according to CBS Austin. "I think any support whether it’s the president, whether it’s your neighbor, your mayor. Hearing those words of support to families in need is important."
But not all families felt that way.
“Some of them said they didn’t want to meet with the President,” the hospital’s spokesperson told the Post. “Some of them didn’t want any visitors.”
A girl who was shot in the leg and released from the hospital said her father remains in critical condition and said her family refused to speak to Trump, according to CBS Austin.
"The whole family said if he wants to go into the room, no. We don't want him in the patient's room. And we respect all of our family's opinion," said Leticia Mariscal. "Because of the way he talked against Mexicans, against Hispanics so we don't want to talk to a person that are against our Mexicans."
The family of Jorge Calvillo, who died in the shooting, similarly did not want to speak with Trump on Wednesday. Calvillo's brother remains in the hospital. The family said it is offended that Trump came to El Paso after controversial comments he made in the past.
"I wish he wouldn't have needed to come. I think he just came to do a circus. He was the one who brewed up all of this hatred against Mexicans I guess he forgot what he said," said Saul Chavez.
Earlier this year in his State of the Union address, Trump described how the Texas border city had "extremely high rates of violent crime" and was considered "one of our nation's most dangerous cities."
"With a powerful barrier in place," he said, lobbying for his border wall, "El Paso is one of the safest cities in our country. Simply put, walls work and walls save lives." A few weeks later, at a rally he held on the city's outskirts, he said, "Murders, murders, murders," in reference to immigrants.
Two patients who’d already been discharged from UMC reportedly did come back to see Trump. Officials with the hospital said UMC welcomes Trump and appreciated his support. Mayor Dee Margo said in a balanced statement, "This is the office of the mayor of El Paso in an official capacity welcoming the office of the president of the United States, which I consider is my formal duty."
But others in the city weren't as diplomatic.
"Absolutely everything that Trump stands for was concentrated and fired at the citizens of El Paso that day at Walmart," Christopher Bailey, 43, a project coordinator for an El Paso health clinic, told The New York Times. "Shame should be hung around the neck for every supporter that continues to justify his language and his presidency."
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