DONALD Trump has insisted the United States must condemn “in one voice” racism, bigotry and white supremacy, following the weekend shootings that left 31 people dead and dozens wounded.

The president’s scripted remarks, in which he also said “hate has no place in America”, came after two days of muted response to the attacks. They included a solitary denunciation of white supremacy, a subject he has been reluctant to criticise.

Trump also suggested earlier on Twitter that a background check bill on firearms ownership could be paired with his long-sought effort to toughen the nation’s immigration system, but did not say how or why he was connecting the issues.

Trump condemned mass shootings in Texas and Ohio as barbaric crimes “against all humanity” and called for bipartisan co-operation to respond to an epidemic of gun violence.

But while he said he wants legislation providing “strong background checks” for gun users, he provided scant details and has reneged on previous promises after such shootings.

Trump blamed video games and mental illness for violence but made no mention of more limits on sales of firearms. “We vow to act with urgent resolve,” he said, speaking from the White House. “In one voice, our nation must condemn racism, bigotry and white supremacy.”

Trump added that he had directed the FBI to examine steps to identify and address domestic terrorism. “These sinister ideologies must be defeated. Hate has no place in America,” he said.

He suggested earlier on Twitter that a background check bill could be paired with his long-sought effort to toughen the nation’s immigration system, but did not say how or why he was connecting the issues.

Both shooting suspects were US citizens and federal officials are investigating anti-immigrant bias as a potential motive for the massacre in El Paso, Texas.

The attack in the border city killed 22 – two victims died in hospital yesterday – and wounded more than two dozen, many of them critically. It has been reported that the 21-year-old suspect, Patrick Crusius, authored a racist, anti-immigrant document that laid out a dark vision of America overrun by Hispanic immigrants.

Hours after the El Paso attack, in Dayton, Ohio, a gunman wearing body armour and carrying extra magazines opened fire in a popular nightlife area, killing nine and injuring at least 26 people.

The attacks came less than a week after a 19-year-old gunman killed three people and injured 13 others at the popular Gilroy Garlic Festival in California before dying from a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

Trump has frequently sought to tie his immigration priorities – a border wall and transforming the legal immigration system to one that prioritises merit over familial ties – to legislation around which he perceives momentum to be building.

The president offered few specific solutions to address violence, and signalled he would oppose large-scale gun control efforts pushed by Democrats, saying “hatred pulls the trigger, not the gun”.

Trump called for law enforcement and social media companies to do more to combat extremism and spot warning signs of violence online.

He also called for a reduction in the “glorification” of violence in American culture, laws to make it easier to commit those with mental illness and “red flag laws” to separate such individuals from firearms.

Trump directed the Department of Justice to seek and prioritise the enforcement of the death penalty in cases of hate crimes and mass shootings.

Last night, high school classmates of the Ohio gunman, Connor Betts, 24, said he was suspended years ago for compiling a “hit list” and a “rape list”, and questioned how he could have been allowed to buy the military-style weapon he used.

The accounts emerged after police said there was nothing in Betts’s background that would have prevented him from purchasing an AR 15-style rifle with an extended ammunition magazine.

Former classmates said Betts was suspended during their junior year at suburban Bellbrook High School after a hit list was found scrawled in a school toilet. That followed an earlier suspension after Betts came to school with a list of female students he wanted to sexually assault, according to two of the classmates.