DAYTON, Ohio — President Donald Trump is traveling to Ohio and Texas Wednesday to visit Dayton and El Paso in the days after both communities were hit by deadly mass shootings.
President Trump and the First Lady left Washington, D.C. shortly after 9 a.m. and arrived at Dayton’s Wright-Patterson Air Force Base around 11 a.m.
Roughly 400 protesters and counter-protesters gathered in the Oregon District (where the shooting took place) to greet the president, but Dayton police later confirmed he would not visit the site, presumably due to safety risks.
Instead, the White House confirms Mr. and Mrs. Trump went to Miami Valley Hospital to meet with injured victims of the shooting, along with Ohio Gov. Mike DeWine and U.S. Sens. Sherrod Brown and Rob Portman, among others. The private visit lasted around 90 minutes (with another 200 protesters outside) before the president's motorcade departed for Air Force One.
WKYC’s Sara Shookman is in Dayton and will be live with updates in our 6, 7 and 11 p.m. newscasts tonight. She also streamed multiple times from the Oregon district.
Prior to leaving Washington, Trump dismissed criticisms of his rhetoric and handling of the shootings as "political," claiming he instead "brings people together. Our country is doing incredibly well."
Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley said Tuesday any potential protesters have a right to exercise free speech during President Trump's visit.
"I know that he's made this bed, he's got to lie in it," Whaley said Tuesday. "His rhetoric has been painful for many in our community and I think that people should stand up and say they're not happy if they're not happy he's coming."
Zeke Miller and Jill Colvin of the Associated Press contributed to this report.