- The Washington Times - Tuesday, August 6, 2019

Sen. Cory A. Booker said Monday President Trump’s condemnation of racism and “sinister ideologies” in the wake of the El Paso, Texas, and Dayton, Ohio, mass shootings can’t make up for a “catastrophic failure” of leadership.

The New Jersey Democrat and presidential hopeful who wanted Mr. Trump to be forthright about white supremacy now says more is needed — a personal apology.

“Reconciliation, the kind of healing that we need, starts first with someone standing up and saying ‘I’ve been wrong,’ ” Mr. Booker said. ” ‘I’ve made mistakes. What I’ve said before has been unacceptable.’ … If he wants to show that he’s changed, then this is about reconciliation. Speak to how you have contributed to the hate and the division and the bigotry and racism. [Speak to] How you have done things that make people with violent instincts and violent intentions all the more likely to do the kind of heinous things [we’ve seen].”

Mr. Booker’s criticism followed the president’s plea for Americans to come together after a weekend in which 22 were fatally shot at a Texas Walmart and another nine died in an Ohio gunman’s rampage.

“In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy,” Mr. Trump said in a speech on Monday. “These sinister ideologies must be defeated.”

The president also called for bipartisan legislation for stricter background checks and “extreme risk protection orders.”

Mr. Booker was unimpressed.

“There is no repentance in this,” he said. “There is no contrition in this, and there is no reconciliation from this president … who owes the American people so much more than he’s giving. We are seeing a catastrophic failure in presidential leadership right now.”

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