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President Biden. Photo: Drew Angerer via Getty Images

President Biden joined a chorus of public officials on Wednesday in speaking out against the Atlanta-area shootings that left eight victims dead — six of whom were Asian women.

What they're saying: "Jill and I are keeping everyone impacted by the shootings in Atlanta in our prayers," Biden tweeted. "We don’t yet know the motive, but what we do know is that the Asian-American community is feeling enormous pain tonight."

  • "The recent attacks against the community are un-American. They must stop."

Earlier in the day, Biden told reporters, "Whatever the motivation here, I know Asian Americans, they are very concerned, because as you know I have been speaking about the brutality against Asian Americans, and it's troubling."

  • Biden added that he had spoken with the attorney general and FBI director and that determining the motive behind the shootings remained in progress.

Asian American lawmakers along with those from Georgia spoke out against the lethal attack, while others joined in solidarity.

  • Rep. Judy Chu (D-Calif.): "My deepest condolences to the friends and family of those killed in GA last night. And to the millions of Asian Americans living in fear after a year of violence and hate speech, I say you are not alone! It's time for us to unite to #StopAsianHate."
  • Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii): "My heart breaks for the 8 people—including 6 women of Asian descent—who were murdered in Atlanta last night.
    • "This senseless act adds to the pain and suffering of the Asian community during a year of increased racism and attacks targeting AAPIs. Speak up and help #StopAsianHate."
  • Rep. Grace Meng (D-N.Y.): "Our AAPI community is in pain and we are screaming out for help. The anti-Asian rhetoric, hate, and discrimination MUST STOP."
  • Sen. Raphael Warnock (D-Ga.): "My heart is broken tonight after the tragic violence in Atlanta that took eight lives. Once again we see that hate is deadly. Praying for the families of the victims and for peace for the community."
  • Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp (R): "Our entire family is praying for the victims of these horrific acts of violence. We deeply appreciate the quick apprehension of a suspect by @ga_dps in coordination with local and federal law enforcement."
  • Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.): "These shootings are a vicious and vile act that compound the fear and pain that Asian-Americans face each day. It is a profound and cruel injustice that, amid the coronavirus pandemic and economic crisis, the AAPI community also faces the surging threat of violent and deadly attack."
    • "Answers are urgently needed to determine whether this deadly attack was a hate crime, and what can be done to prevent such an act from ever happening again."
  • Vice President Kamala Harris: "Knowing the increasing level of hate crime against our Asian American brothers and sisters, we also want to speak out in solidarity with them and acknowledge that none of us should ever be silent in the face of any form of hate."
  • Former President Obama: "Although the shooter’s motive is not yet clear, the identity of the victims underscores an alarming rise in anti-Asian violence that must end."

Go deeper: AAPI women more than twice as likely to report hate incidents as men, report finds

Editor's note: This article has been updated with Obama's comments.

Go deeper

25 mins ago - World

Biden's ambassador nominee: "China is not an Olympian power"

Nick Burns testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. Photo: Sarah Silbiger/Bloomberg via Getty Images

President Biden's nominee to serve as ambassador to China delivered a stark assessment of the challenges the U.S. faces in confronting Beijing, but stressed that the rising superpower is "not all-powerful" and the West retains "substantial" advantages.

The big picture: Nicholas Burns, a retired career diplomat and former U.S. ambassador to NATO, used his confirmation hearing Wednesday to echo the growing bipartisan consensus that China poses "the greatest threat to the security of our country and the democratic world" in the 21st century.

Scoop: U.S. and Israel to form team to solve consulate dispute

Secretary of State Antony Blinken (left) and Israeli Foreign Minister Yair Lapid (right) meet in Washington. Photo: Andrew Harnik/Pool/AFP via Getty Images

The U.S. and Israel are planning to form a joint team to hold discreet negotiations on the reopening of the U.S. Consulate in Jerusalem, Israeli officials say.

Why it matters: The consulate handled relations with the Palestinians for 25 years before being shut down by then President Donald Trump in 2019. Senior officials in Israeli Prime Minister Naftali Bennett's government see the consulate issue as a political hot potato that could destabilize their unwieldy coalition.

Nikolas Cruz pleads guilty to Parkland school shooting

Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz at the defense table during jury selection at the Broward County Courthouse in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., on Oct. 6, 2021. Photo: Amy Beth Bennett/South Florida Sun Sentinel/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Nikolas Cruz on Wednesday pleaded guilty on all counts for carrying out the 2018 shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that left 17 people dead, including 14 students and three staff members.

Driving the news: Cruz, 23, pleaded guilty at a hearing on Wednesday to 17 murder counts and 17 counts of attempted first-degree murder for carrying out the deadly shooting.

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