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Democratic presidential candidates Southbend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, Sen. Bernie Sanders, Sen. Elizabeth Warren and former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

Several 2020 Democratic presidential candidates called for tighter gun control Saturday after a mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, blaming the National Rifle Association and President Trump following the latest massacre to rock the U.S.

Details: Some blamed Trump for a rise in white supremacist-related incidents and hate crimes, pointing to the president's singling out people of color in Twitter attacks in recent weeks, and for his administration's strict immigration policies.

Context: Police arrested a 21-year-old white man following Saturday morning's shooting in El Paso, per AP. Hate crime is among the motives police are investigating.

What they're saying
  • Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke said after returning to his hometown of El Paso of Trump, "He is a racist and he stokes racism in this country ... it fundamentally changes the character of this country and it leads to violence."
"We've had a rise in hate crimes — every single 1 of the last 3 years — during an administration where you have a president who's called Mexicans rapists and criminals."
  • Former Vice President Joe Biden told the Public Service Forum, hosted by the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) in Las Vegas, "This is beyond anything that we should be tolerating. ... We can beat the NRA. We can beat the gun manufacturers."
  • Southbend, Indiana, Mayor Pete Buttigieg told the forum, "America is under attack from homegrown white nationalist terrorism."
"White nationalism is evil, and it is inspiring people to commit murder, and it is being condoned at the highest levels of the American government ... The president of the United States is condoning white nationalism. ... We are the only country in the world with more guns than people. It has not made us safer. We can respect the Second Amendment and not allow it to be a death sentence for thousands of Americans."
  • Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) tweeted Americans must reject the "dangerous and growing culture of bigotry espoused by Trump and his allies." Instead of "wasting money putting children in cages" the U.S. needed to "address the scourge of violent bigotry and domestic terrorism," Sanders said.
"After every tragedy the Senate, intimidated by the NRA’s power, does nothing. This must change. We need a president and congress that listen to Americans, not the ideology of a right-wing extremist organization. We must pass common sense gun safety legislation. ...
"We must treat this violent racism like the security threat that it is. That means investing in law enforcement resources to combat the growing population of white nationalists who are engaging in violence."

Sen. Kamala Harris (Calif.) tweeted that Trump must "have the courage to act" on gun violence. (Harris has pledged previously that if elected, she would use executive action within her first 100 days of office to impose gun control.)

"We shouldn't have to live in fear of mass shootings. Congress must have the courage to pass reasonable gun safety laws. If they won't act, I will."

Sen. Sen. Elizabeth Warren (Mass.) tweeted, "Far too many communities have suffered through tragedies like this already. We must act now to end our country's gun violence epidemic."

Sen. Amy Klobuchar (Minn.) told the AFSCME forum, "The NRA have long dominated American politics to the point where they have stopped sensible legislation that would have prevented deaths and prevented killings. They have done it time and time again."

The other side
  • When asked earlier this month if he's concerned that many people saw his tweets as racist, Trump replied: "It doesn’t concern me because many people agree with me."

Go deeper: In photos: Shooting sparks chaos at El Paso Walmart and shopping mall

Go deeper

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Biden holds first phone call with Putin, raises Navalny arrest

Putin takes a call in 2017. Photo: Handout/Anadolu Agency/Getty

President Biden on Tuesday held his first call since taking office with Vladimir Putin, pressing the Russian president on the arrest of opposition leader Alexey Navalny and the Russia-linked hack on U.S. government agencies.

The state of play: Biden also raised arms control, bounties allegedly placed on U.S. troops in Afghanistan and the war in Ukraine, according to a White House readout. The statement said Biden and Putin agreed maintain "consistent communication," and that Biden stressed the U.S. would "act firmly in defense of its national interests in response to actions by Russia that harm us or our allies."

Biden signs racial equity executive orders

Joe Biden prays at Grace Lutheran Church in Kenosha, Wisconsin, on September 3, 2020, in the aftermath of the police shooting of Jacob Blake. PHOTO: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

President Joe Biden on Tuesday signed executive orders on housing and ending the Justice Department's use of private prisons as part of what the White House is calling his “racial equity agenda.”

The big picture: Biden needs the support of Congress to push through police reform or new voting rights legislation. The executive orders serve as his down payment to immediately address systemic racism while he focuses on the pandemic.