Donald Trump has said his rhetoric “has no impact on the country” following accusations that he stoked anti-immigrant sentiment in the run-up to mass shootings that left more than 30 people dead in Texas and Ohio.
The president is expected to be met by protesters when he arrives in the border city of El Paso later, where 22 people were killed by suspected gunman Patrick Crusius, 21, during a massacre at a Walmart store on Sunday.
Mr Trump will first head to Dayton in Ohio, where nine people were shot dead outside a bar by suspect Connor Betts, 24, just a few hours later.
Speaking at the White House ahead of his departure, the Republican dismissed suggestions that he bears some of the responsibility for divisions in the US, claiming his critics were “looking for political gain”.
And while he said he was “looking to do background checks” on gun purchases in light of the shootings, he claimed there was “no political appetite” to introduce legislation banning assault rifles.