President Donald Trump quoted a questionable news source in a tweet on Wednesday morning, citing their reporting in remarks that insinuated a mass shooter in Dayton, Ohio, had left-leaning viewpoints that motivated him to kill nine individuals.
Trump wrote, quoting the reporting of One America News Network, that the killer “had a history of supporting political figures like Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and ANTIFA.” It was heavily implied in Trump’s tweet that those political figures and the shooter’s own beliefs inspired him to carry out his mass shooting over the weekend.
“I hope other news outlets will report this as opposed to Fake News. Thank you!” Trump wrote to the network’s Twitter account.
OANN has consistently reported questionable content, including spreading conspiracy theories within their stories that have had little-to-no backing in truth. According to the site Media Bias/Fact Check, the news site has a “mixed” rating of providing reliable news reporting “due to promotion of conspiracies, lack of sourcing and a few failed fact checks.”
“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
This appears to be another case of dubious reporting on the part of the news website.
Authorities investigating the Dayton, Ohio, shooting, which was carried out by 24-year-old Connor Betts, have not released any information alleging a political motive behind his killings. Although police have not determined it to be his motivation either, the fact that his sister was among his victims has led some to believe this is more a familial matter than a political one.
Others have said the shooter exhibited violent tendencies long before his attack on Sunday morning. A former girlfriend of his said he was obsessed with mass murders, as well as music that denigrated women sexually. Former high school classmates of the shooter have also said he received a suspension for keeping a “hit list” of people he wanted to hurt, as well as a “rape list” of female classmates he wanted to sexually assault, NBC News reported.
USA Today also reported that police have said Betts researched “violent ideologies” prior to the shooting, but they didn’t elaborate on which ideologies he was looking up, or whether that motivated him to kill.
#Breaking Sources with FBI and Dayton Ohio indicate NO CLEAR Political Motivation for Dayton Shooting's. Don't indicate ties to Antifa or Elizabeth Warren. Note comment from WXIX reporter Tricia Macke when asked about supposed left leaning Motive. pic.twitter.com/JFpPsOvTuX
— RichOnRadio (@RichOnRadio) August 7, 2019
The Dayton shooter did describe himself on social media as a “leftist,” and supported both Bernie Sanders and Elizabeth Warren, progressive candidates for president running in the Democratic primaries. But no evidence left behind by him suggests these individuals, nor his progressive beliefs, played any role in his decision to murder nine individuals and injure dozens more.
While the Dayton shooter didn’t express much in terms of political motivations behind his killings, another shooter from over the weekend in El Paso, Texas, allegedly published a manifesto detailing his views, the New York Times reported.
Among them, Patrick Crusius expressed that his attack, which resulted in 22 deaths within a minute’s time in a Walmart shopping center, was a “response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas.”
The remarks and others within the document, the Times noted, echoed comments that have been made by Trump at campaign rallies in the past, including one instance in which he described a caravan of migrants heading toward the U.S. as “an invasion.”