Donald Trump is to visit the sites of mass shootings in Ohio and Texas amid warnings he will not be welcome.
The attacks in El Paso, where Hispanic people appear to have been targeted, and Dayton left 31 people dead.
Before leaving for Ohio, he said he was concerned about “the rise of any group of hate… whether it’s white supremacy, whether it’s any other kind of supremacy, whether it’s Antifa”.
However, he has been accused of stoking hatred against Hispanic communities.
The Democratic congresswoman who represents El Paso, Veronica Escobar, is refusing to meet him, saying his “racist and hateful words & actions” had caused pain to her community and her country.
The El Paso shooting is being treated as a possible hate crime. Much of the city identifies as Hispanic and the suspect is thought to be the author of a text posted online which said: “This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas”.
The text echoed some of the US president’s language, with Trump has frequently used the term “invasion” to describe the situation on the US-Mexico border.
Police have still to establish a conclusive motive for the Dayton attack but say they have uncovered evidence “that the shooter was exploring violent ideologies”.
Attempts by Trump and others to link the shootings to mental illness have been criticized by healthcare professionals.
On Wednesday, the president said he did not “want guns in the hands of sick people” and was “looking to do background checks”.
He could face protests in Dayton where Mayor Nan Whaley, a Democrat, has urged people to “stand up”.
In El Paso, Beto O’Rourke, a native of the city and Democratic presidential hopeful, said Trump had “no place” there.
This president, who helped create the hatred that made Saturday's tragedy possible, should not come to El Paso. We do not need more division. We need to heal. He has no place here.
— Beto O'Rourke (@BetoORourke) August 5, 2019
Both he and Escobar have said they will attend a community event intended to honor those who died and “confront white supremacy”.
In a tweet on Tuesday night, the president mocked O’Rourke’s Spanish nickname, “Beto” and suggested he should “be quiet”. The Irish congressman’s birth name is Robert, but he was given the nickname as a child as he has the same name as his grandfather.
Beto (phony name to indicate Hispanic heritage) O’Rourke, who is embarrassed by my last visit to the Great State of Texas, where I trounced him, and is now even more embarrassed by polling at 1% in the Democrat Primary, should respect the victims & law enforcement – & be quiet!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) August 7, 2019
El Paso’s Republican Mayor, Dee Margo, said it was his “formal duty” to welcome Trump but added he would “continue to challenge any harmful and inaccurate statements made about El Paso”.
Trump this year inaccurately described El Paso as one of the most dangerous cities in the US as he sought to advance his border wall scheme