President Trump has claimed his rhetoric is not to blame for mass shootings in the US.
Mr Trump told reporters in Washington that his verbal style “brings people together”.
It follows claims he stoked anti-immigrant sentiment before last weekend’s shootings in Ohio and Texas – where more than 30 people died.
Dismissing suggestions he bears some responsibility for divisions in the US, he said his critics were “looking for political gain”.
As he arrived in Ohio, protesters chanted “do something” and flew a blimp of the president, wrapped with the message: “Stop being a baby and stand up to the National Rifle Association.”
A man held a banner reading “No Gun No Trigger” – a reference, perhaps, to Mr Trump’s comment earlier in the week that “mental illness and hatred pulls the trigger – not the gun”.
Image: Donald Trump has said there is ‘no political appetite’ to ban assault rifles
Mr Trump and the first lady visited survivors at Dayton’s Miami Valley Hospital, where at least 200 protesters gathered outside.
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They stopped “between rooms to thank the hardworking medical staff. Very powerful moments for all!”, tweeted White House press secretary Stephanie Grisham.
Nine people were shot dead outside a bar in Dayton by suspect Connor Betts, 24, who was killed by police within 30 seconds of beginning the attack.
Mr Trump will also be met by protests when he arrives in El Paso in Texas later.
Twenty-two people were killed in the city by suspected gunman Patrick Crusius, 21, during a massacre at a Walmart store.
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Former Texas congressman Beto O’Rourke has been among those criticising the president in recent days, saying his language against minorities promotes racial division and violence.
The Democratic presidential hopeful has organised a demonstration in El Paso to coincide with Mr Trump’s visit.
The president has insisted he is “concerned about the rise of any group of hate” in the US.
Mr Trump has been criticised for depicting immigrants as “invaders” and telling four non-white Democrat congresswomen to “go back” to “their broken and crime-infested countries”.
He has also been embroiled in a row with African-American Democrat congressman Elijah Cummings, describing his district in Maryland as a “disgusting, rat and rodent infested mess”.
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Before leaving Washington for Dayton, the president said: “My critics are political people. These are people that are looking for political gain.”
And while he said he was “looking to do background checks” on gun purchases after the shootings, Mr Trump claimed there was “no political appetite” to introduce legislation banning assault rifles.
“I can tell you that there is no political appetite for that at this moment – but I will certainly bring that up,” he said.
“There is a great appetite, and I mean a very strong appetite, for background checks.”
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Mr Trump has placed the blame for the shootings over the weekend on mental health, video games and the internet, saying it is “radicalising disturbed minds”.
He will meet first responders, law enforcement and some of those caught up in the attacks during his visits to Ohio and Texas.
Mr Trump said: “It’s a terrific opportunity, really, to congratulate some of the police and law enforcement. The job they’ve done was incredible. Really incredible.”
Source : Sky News