Scalise: Trump Is Not Responsible for El Paso Tragedy, Any More Than ‘Bernie Sanders is for My Shooting’

In June 2017, a crazed Bernie Sanders supporter open fired on Republican members of Congress who were practicing for their annual Washington, DC baseball game, where House Minority Whip Steve Scalise was severely wounded.

No one reasonable tried to blame Bernie Sanders at the time, in the way many are trying to blame the recent mass shooting in El Paso, Texas on President Donald Trump. This was a point Scalise sought to remind everyone of during his Sunday appearance on CBS’s Face the Nation.

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Blaming Trump

CBS News host queried Scalise, “I do want to ask you, because you’ve voiced some concern about tone and conversation about these killings in this country. In the case of El Paso, it is the largest anti-Latino attack this country has ever seen. The killer said that he went to a border town to kill Mexicans. Given this particular context, can you understand the sensitivity to language used by the president when he refers to migrants as ‘invading this country?”

“Well, first of all, I- I- my heart breaks as everybody’s does when you see what happened,” Scalise responded. “There’s no place for it, whether it’s somebody that’s racist that- that hates a certain ethnic group. There’s no place for those kind of attacks and attacking people based on- on their ethnicity.”

‘The Shooter Is Responsible’

Then he explained the ridiculousness of blaming this tragedy on the President (emphasis added).

“But to try to assign blame to somebody else I think is a very slippery slope because the president’s no more responsible for that shooting as your next guest, Bernie Sanders, is for my shooting,” Scalise said.

“And he’s not, by the way, responsible, the shooter is responsible,” he emphasized.

“What we need to do is find out those people that have slipped through the cracks, and we’ve seen it in shooting after shooting; Sutherland Springs, Charleston, even in Dayton,” Scalise continued. “He had a hit list and a rape list and yet none of that was in the system. Let’s make sure these background check systems work properly and are rooting out the people that shouldn’t be able to legally purchase a gun but currently are because the system hasn’t worked.”


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Scalise Doesn’t Back Down

When Brennan doubled down again about Trump’s rhetoric somehow stoking this incident, Scalise did not take the bait.

“Well, first of all, the president was very clear just the other day that there’s no place for this,” Scalise said. “He spoke out against racism, he spoke out against these kind of attacks.”

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“And so to try to assign blame, you know, go look at some of these presidential candidates who made some of the most ridiculous statements,” he continued. “I know they’re running for president, and they might not like Donald Trump’s views, but stop this- this ridiculous assessment of blame to somebody other than the person who’s responsible.”

Brennan tried a few more times to lay blame on the President, with Scalise not having it. Ultimately the only person responsible is the shooter.

Steve Scalise should know.

is a professional writer and editor with over 15 years of experience in conservative media and Republican politics. He... More about John Hanson

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