PHOTOS: President faces protests on visit to cities hit by mass shootings

Demonstrators protest the visit of US President Donald Trump to the site of the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, on Aug. 7, 2019. (Photo: Megan Jelinger/AFP/Getty Images)

President Trump defended his rhetoric Wednesday as he headed out to offer a message of healing and unity in El Paso and Dayton, where he faced hostility from people who fault his own incendiary words for contributing to last weekend’s mass shootings.

The mayors of both cities called for Trump to change the way he talks about immigrants. Multiple protests were planned, and Democratic presidential candidates continued to criticize him, including former Rep. Beto O’Rourke, who will address a counter-rally in his hometown of El Paso during the president’s visit.

Trump denied his rhetoric had anything to do with the violence, claiming instead that he “brings people together. Our country is doing incredibly well.” As he left the White House, Trump strongly criticized those who say he bears some responsibility for the nation’s divisions, returning to political arguing even as he called for unity. (AP)

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EL PASO TEXAS

El Paso residents protest against the visit of President Donald Trump to the city after the Walmart shooting that left a total of 22 people dead, in El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 7, 2019. (Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)
El Paso residents protest against the visit of President Donald Trump to the city after the Walmart shooting that left a total of 22 people dead, in El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 7, 2019. (Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)
El Paso residents protest against the visit of President Donald Trump to the city after the Walmart shooting that left a total of 22 people dead, in El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 7, 2019. (Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)
El Paso residents protest against the visit of U.S. President Donald Trump to the city after the Walmart shooting that left a total of 22 people dead, in El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 7, 2019. (Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)
A demonstrator holds a sign reading 'Stop the Hate' at a protest against President Trump's visit following a mass shooting, which left at least 22 people dead, on Aug. 7, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)
El Paso residents protest against the visit of US President Donald Trump to the city after the Walmart shooting that left a total of 22 people dead, in El Paso, Texas, on Aug. 7, 2019. (Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators stand at a protest against President Trump's visit following a mass shooting, which left at least 22 people dead, on Aug. 7, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Miguel de Anda, born and raised in El Paso, holds a sign reading 'Trump Not Welcome Here' at a protest against President Trump's visit following a mass shooting, which left at least 22 people dead, on Aug. 7, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)
Fernando Garcia, executive director of the Border Network for Human Rights, speaks with the media as people gather to pay their respects at a memorial four days after a mass shooting at a Walmart store in El Paso, Texas, Aug. 7, 2019. (Photo: Callaghan O'Hare/Reuters)
A demonstrator holds a sign depicting an assault rifle at a protest against President Trump's visit, following a mass shooting which left at least 22 people dead, on Aug. 7, 2019 in El Paso, Texas. (Photo: Mario Tama/Getty Images)

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DAYTON OHIO

Demonstrators line the street near Miami Valley Hospital in anticipation of a visit from President Donald Trump on Aug. 7, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Demonstrators line the street near Miami Valley Hospital in anticipation of a visit from President Donald Trump on Aug. 7, 2019 in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo: Scott Olson/Getty Images)
Demonstrators chant as they protest the arrival of President Donald Trump outside Miami Valley Hospital after a mass shooting that occurred in the Oregon District early Sunday morning, Aug. 7, 2019, in Dayton. (Photo: John Minchillo/AP)
Police block the street as demonstrators protest the arrival of President Donald Trump outside Miami Valley Hospital after a mass shooting that occurred in the Oregon District early Sunday morning, Aug. 7, 2019, in Dayton. (Photo: John Minchillo/AP)
Demonstrators gather to protest the arrival of President Donald Trump outside Miami Valley Hospital after a mass shooting that occurred in the Oregon District early Sunday morning, Aug. 7, 2019, in Dayton. (Photo: John Minchillo/AP)
Demonstrators gather in front of an inflatable "Baby Trump" to protest the arrival of President Donald Trump outside Miami Valley Hospital after a mass shooting that occurred in the Oregon District early Sunday morning, Aug. 7, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo: John Minchillo/AP)
Demonstrators gather to protest the arrival of President Donald Trump outside Miami Valley Hospital, Aug. 7, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo: John Minchillo/AP)
A pedestrian passes a makeshift memorial for the slain and injured victims of Sunday's mass shooting, Aug. 7, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo: John Minchillo/AP)
Damon Smith presents what he describes as a positive message before the arrival of President Donald Trump near a makeshift memorial for the slain and injured victims of a mass shooting, Aug. 7, 2019, in Dayton, Ohio. (Photo: John Minchillo/AP)
Demonstrators protest the visit of US President Donald Trump to the site of the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, on Aug. 7, 2019. (Photo: Megan Jelinger/AFP/Getty Images)
Demonstrators chant as they protest the arrival of President Donald Trump outside Miami Valley Hospital after a mass shooting that occurred in the Oregon District early Sunday morning, Aug. 7, 2019, in Dayton. (Photo: John Minchillo/AP)
Demonstrators protest the visit of US President Donald Trump to the site of the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, on Aug. 7, 2019. (Photo: Megan Jelinger/AFP/Getty Images)
Protestors gather around a baby Trump balloon to voice their rally against gun violence and a visit from U.S. President Donald Trump following a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, Aug. 7, 2019. (Photo: Bryan Woolston/Reuters)
Demonstrators protest the visit of US President Donald Trump to the site of the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, on Aug. 7, 2019. (Photo: Megan Jelinger/AFP/Getty Images)
Protestors gather around a baby Trump balloon to voice their rally against gun violence and a visit from U.S. President Donald Trump following a mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, Aug. 7, 2019. (Photo: Bryan Woolston/Reuters)


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