Missouri newspaper blasts Trump’s silence on shootings of Indian immigrants – The Hill (blog)

The Kansas City Star on Monday ripped President Trump’s silence on the Feb. 22 shootings of two Indian immigrants in Kansas, calling on the president to denounce the violent act during his Tuesday night address to Congress.

“Trump has offered no words of condolence for the grieving widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who died from his gunshot wounds,” the newspaper’s editorial board wrote.

“The president has expressed no sympathy for Kuchibhotla’s best friend, Alok Madasani, who continues to recover from bullet wounds and the trauma,” it continued.

Trump has not commented publicly on the shooting since it unfolded Wednesday, though he routinely tweets about news events and has, in the past, been quick to react to high-profile shootings on the social media platform.

The Star also slammed Trump for not thanking an American man who helped disarm the gunman, after Kuchibhotla and Madasani were shot. That man was himself shot and wounded.

“Trump usually loves to celebrate all-American heroes. But he’s passed on commending Ian Grillot, a bystander who leapt to take the gunman down before anyone else was harmed.”

White House press secretary Sean Spicer called the incident “tragic,” but dismissed as “absurd” a question about whether the shooting could have been tied to Trump’s remarks and actions on immigration.

The president has long faced accusations that his rhetoric has inspired some supporters to carry out hate crimes. During a news conference earlier this month, Trump called himself “the least racist person.”

The Star, however, urged Trump to take a stand on the Kansas shooting, saying that “people look to the president for strength and guidance” during times of crisis and uncertainty.

“They need to hear their moral outrage articulated, the condemnation of a possible hate crime and the affirmation that the U.S. values everyone’s contributions, whether you’re an immigrant or native-born,” the op-ed said.

“For Trump, this was a crucial opportunity to condemn such hateful acts and to forcefully declare that this is not who we are.”

–Updated at 11:51 a.m.

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