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ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS, SAYING: "He's a man who cozies up to the white supremacists, he calls them 'fine fellows.'" The Democrats' 2020 contenders are turning up the heat on President Donald Trump in the wake of the massacres in El Paso and Dayton.
Senator Elizabeth Warren and Beto O'Rourke now flatly accuse Trump of being a "white supremacist." They say his incendiary rhetoric about immigrants and minorities is dividing Americans and helping to fuel violent attacks like the two that killed 31 people over the weekend.
Warren is refusing to back down on a swing through Iowa on Thursday.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) SEN.
ELIZABETH WARREN, (D) MASSACHUSETTS, SAYING: "This is what he's done.
The wink and the nod.
And he can't keep it both ways.
He can't keep stirring it up, give aid and comfort, be embraced by the white supremacists.
And then say, 'But not me.'
No he's responsible.
He's the president of the United States." The stepped up attacks on Trump come as nearly two dozen DEMOCRATS prepare to descend on Iowa for the State Fair in Des Moines this weekend, with outrage over the mass shootings growing even louder.
Many of the White House hopefuls are pointing the finger at Trump, as they focus on the state that kicks off the U.S. primary season.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) JOE BIDEN, FORMER VICE PRESIDENT, SAYING: "I believe everything the president has said encourages white supremacists." Trump has denied any connection between his rhetoric and the recent violence.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "I think my words bring people together." But Democrats see an opening to remind voters of Trump's history of speaking in racially charged terms, including his questioning of whether former President Obama was born in the U.S. and how he entered the 2016 election.
(SOUNDBITE) (English) U.S. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP, SAYING: "When Mexico sends its people, they're not sending their best.
They're bringing drugs.
They're bringing crime.
They're rapists." In the wake of El Paso and Dayton, the 2020 candidates and many other Democrats ARE also demanding swift action to address gun violence.
They'll press their point at a hastily arranged forum on gun safely in Iowa on Saturday.