President Donald Trump called out Democratic leaders on Twitter on Wednesday as he prepared to visit with the victims of another mass shooting. The president traveled to Dayton, Ohio on Wednesday, where nine people were killed late on Saturday night. Beforehand, early in the morning he suggested that the shooter supported some Democratic presidential candidates.
President Trump was online just before 7 a.m. on Wednesday, and stirred up a firestorm online. He quoted the One America News Network, a subscription news channel launched in 2013. The outlet has been accused of promoting conspiracy theories and reporting falsehoods, but the president encouraged his followers to rely on it.
The president posted a quote from a One America News Network report, stating that the shooter in Dayton "had a history of supporting political figures like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren and ANTIFA."
“Meanwhile, the Dayton, Ohio, shooter had a history of supporting political figures like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and ANTIFA.” @OANN I hope other news outlets will report this as opposed to Fake News. Thank you!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2019
"I hope other news outlets will report this as opposed to Fake News," he added. "Thank you!"
Many fired back at this tweet for various reasons. For starters, they noted that it was an over-simplification to say that the shooter, Connor Betts "supported" Sanders, Warren or any other politician. This assertion seems to come from a Twitter accounts that may have belonged to Betts, which expressed some far-left ideology at times including support for Antifa or anti-fascist protests.
Even so, this information was reported by CNN before the One America News Network. Moreover, some felt it was wrong for the president to openly support one news outlet over another, especially since the One America News Network has faced criticism for being pointedly pro-Trump.
I'll use small words so you & your cult can follow along:
If the shooter supported the Dallas Cowboys, then the Cowboys would have NO responsibility.
If the shooter wrote a "why I did this" manifesto based on recent Cowboys tweets, then the Cowboys would be complicit.
Get it?— Translate Trump (@TranslateRealDT) August 7, 2019
In 2017, The Washington Post ran an expose on the One America News Network, giving a look inside its practices, and citing many current and former employees. They stated that network executives have "directed [the] channel to push Trump's candidacy, scuttle stories about police shootings, encourage antiabortion stories, minimize coverage of Russian aggression, and steer away from the new president's troubles."
The president did not respond when these claims were raised again in response to his tweet on Wednesday morning. Many also referred to reports of the shooter in El Paso, Texas on Saturday afternoon, who wrote a manifesto arguing that genocide was a necessary response to ecological disaster.0comments
"If the shooter supported the Dallas Cowboys, then the Cowboys would have NO responsibility," one Twitter user argued. "If the shooter wrote a 'why I did this' manifesto based on recent Cowboys tweets, then the Cowboys would be complicit. Get it?"
CNN was the first to report this fuckface. Sanders AND Warren DO NOT have a record of saying racist and violent things. You do, asshole.— Tony Posnanski (@tonyposnanski) August 7, 2019
The president was met with angry protesters upon arriving in Dayton later on Wednesday.