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A visibly emotional Beto O'Rourke, responding to a mass shooting that has left at least 20 dead in his hometown of El Paso, Texas, said on CNN's "State of the Union" Sunday that President Trump is a "white nationalist" and that he is "encouraging" more racism and violence in this country.

"The things that he has said, both as a candidate and then as the president of the United States, this cannot be open for debate. You, as well as I, have a responsibility to call that out, to make sure that the American people understand what is being done in their name by the person who holds the highest position of public trust in this land. He does not even pretend to respect our differences or to understand that we are all created equal.
He is saying that some people are inherently defective or dangerous — reminiscent of something that you might hear in the Third Reich, not something that you expect in the United States of America — based on their religion, based on their sexual orientation, based on their immigration status, based on the countries that they come from. Calling those in Africa shithole nations and saying that he'd like to have more immigration from Nordic countries, the whitest place on planet Earth today. So again, let's be very clear about what is causing this and who the president is. He is an open avowed racist and is encouraging more racism in this country."

The big picture: O'Rourke is far from the only 2020 candidate to label Trump a racist and condemn him for his divisive rhetoric in the aftermath of the twin shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio. The El Paso shooter allegedly posted an anti-immigrant manifesto online hours before opening fire at a Walmart, and he later told police that he "wanted to shoot as many Mexicans as possible," according to ABC News.

The other side: White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney defended Trump against allegations of white nationalism on ABC's "This Week" and argued that O'Rourke is only making these accusations because he is running for president.

"Here's the question you can ask Beto and I would if he were sitting here.  ... Look, did anyone blame Bernie Sanders for the congressional baseball game shooting? No, I don't think so. Did anyone blame Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez for the crazy guy who tried to blow up the DHS office in Washington state, taking I think a homemade bomb and an AR-15 to shoot up what he called a concentration camp, the exact same rhetoric that AOC was using? ... There's no benefit here to try to make this a political issue. This is a social issue, and we need to address it as that."

Go deeper: 2020 candidates blame NRA and Trump after El Paso mass shooting

Go deeper

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Illustration: Shoshana Gordon/Axios

True crime documentaries, podcasts and social media campaigns are bringing new attention to real-world legal proceedings — and are often affecting the outcome.

Why it matters: New media platforms can instantly put a national spotlight on cases that have long been forgotten or buried under red tape.

Updated 4 hours ago - Health

The next big bottleneck in the global vaccination effort

Illustration: Rae Cook/Axios

The world still needs more coronavirus vaccines, but an additional bottleneck has emerged in many low-income countries: They need help getting shots in arms.

Why it matters: Increasing vaccination rates across the world is both a humanitarian necessity and the best way to prevent dangerous new variants from emerging, but it increasingly requires complex problem-solving.

Updated 5 hours ago - Health

COVID-19 Omicron variant cases identified in Europe, U.K.

People wearing masks walk in London on Nov. 25. Photo: Li Ying/Xinhua via Getty Images

Health officials in the United Kingdom, Italy and Germany announced on Saturday that they've detected the first known cases of the new COVID-19 Omicron variant.

Why it matters: The discoveries come as the world scrambles to respond to concerns over the new variant, discovered in South Africa earlier this week.