President Donald Trump incorrectly identified the Ohio city where a gunman opened fire early Sunday morning, mistakenly referencing Toledo rather than the city of Dayton during his official remarks on Monday morning.
Nine people were killed in the attack and at least 14 other people suffered gunshot wounds, according to the Dayton Police Department.
“May God bless the memory of those who perished in Toledo. May God protect them,” Trump said from the White House. “May God protect all of those from Texas to Ohio. May God bless the victims and their families.”
Toledo is about 150 miles from Dayton.
Trump appeared to read from a teleprompter during the address. A tweet from a Reuters reporter appears to show Trump going off-script when mentioning Toledo.
HuffPost has reached out to the White House for a copy of Trump’s prepared speech.
The president’s statement comes after two shootings left a total of 29 people dead in Dayton and El Paso, Texas, this weekend, unsettling the nation and again increasing fears about the spread of violent white nationalism. The motives of the shooter in the Dayton massacre remain unclear, but the suspect behind the El Paso event is believed to have posted a racist, anti-Semitic screed on 8chan shortly before he went on a rampage at a Walmart, killing 20 people and injuring 26 more.
Trump blamed the spread of white supremacy for the massacres, calling the shooters “evil” and “wicked,” but he also placed blame on mental illness, video games and the internet in general.
He did not mention his own racist rhetoric or his administration’s support for gun rights.
“The perils of the internet and social media cannot be ignored, and will not be ignored,” the president said. He later added that: “Mental illness and hatred pull the trigger ― not the gun.”
Trump isn’t the only lawmaker to confuse the locations of the shootings. This weekend, former Vice President Joe Biden misidentified them during a fundraising event, although he later corrected himself.
Lawmakers have roundly criticized the president for his limited remarks after the shootings, and many Democratic presidential candidates expressed frustration and anger at Trump’s minimal response to the shootings. Rep. Tim Ryan (D-Ohio), who is seeking to be the Democratic nominee and unseat Trump in 2020, had a short reply to the Toledo flub:
Ryan later expanded upon his tweet during an appearance on CNN, slamming Trump and saying that the president had showed “diminished mental capacity to be able to lead.”