President Donald Trump on Monday called for the nation “to find unity and peace,” in the aftermath of one of the deadliest mass shootings in American history, declaring, “Our unity cannot be shattered by evil, our bonds cannot be broken by violence.”
Speaking somberly from the Diplomatic Reception Room of the White House, Mr. Trump condemned the shooting as an “act of pure evil.” He said he would travel to Las Vegas on Wednesday to meet with families of the victims, law enforcement officials and others who responded to the fusillade of gunfire that rained down on a country music festival on Sunday night.
My warmest condolences and sympathies to the victims and families of the terrible Las Vegas shooting. God bless you!Advertisement
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) October 2, 2017
The president said nothing about the gunman or the circumstances of the attack. He instead saluted the Las Vegas Metropolitan Police Department, expressed condolences to the victims, and offered prayers for the recovery of the hundreds wounded.
“We pray for the day when evil is banished, and the innocent are safe from hatred and from fear,” Mr. Trump said, speaking from a teleprompter.
Acknowledging the senselessness of the act, the president said the nation was understandably groping for meaning. But he urged people not to give in to despair. “Even the most terrible despair can be illuminated by a single ray of hope,” the president said.
“In moments of tragedy and horror, America comes together as one. And it always has,” Mr. Trump said. “We call upon the bonds that unite us, our faith, our family, and our shared values. We call upon the bonds of citizenship, the ties of community, and the comfort of our common humanity.”
Earlier Monday morning, Mr. Trump offered his “warmest condolences” in a Twitter post.