Democratic presidential candidate Beto O'Rourke suggested on Sunday that Fox News and President Donald Trump are helping to indoctrinate white nationalists like the man who killed 20 people in El Paso, Texas on Saturday.
During an interview on CNN, O'Rourke insisted that new gun control laws are needed to prevent the sale of "weapons of war."
The candidate also said that Americans "have to acknowledge the hatred, the open racism that we’re seeing."
"There is an environment of it in the United States," he said. "We see it on Fox News, we — we see it on the Internet and we see it from our commander-in-chief."
"He is encouraging this," O'Rourke continued. "He doesn’t just tolerate it, he encourages it, calling immigrants rapists and criminals and seeking to ban all people of one religion. Folks are responding to this. It doesn’t just offend us, it encourages the violence we’re seeing including in my home town of El Paso yesterday."
O'Rourke noted that the El Paso shooter had cited the Christchurch shooter, who cited Trump in his manifesto.
"This anti-immigrant rhetoric, and again it is not just President Trump, but he’s certainly as the person in the position of greatest public trust in power most responsible for it," he added. "This is Fox News, this is what we’re seeing on the Internet, this is the toleration of intolerance and racism in this country, and this is what we’re seeing here today and it will continue to happen unless we call it out and unless we change it."
O'Rourke told CNN that he considers the president to be a "white nationalist."