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After massacre, Trump downplays white nationalism threat

NEW YORK: President Donald Trump performed down any danger posed by way of racist white nationalism on Friday after the gunman accused of the New Zealand mosque massacre called the president "a symbol of renewed white identity."

Trump, whose own previous responses to the motion have drawn scrutiny, expressed sympathy for the sufferers who died as "places of worship turned into scenes of evil killing." But he declined to enroll in expressions of mounting worry about white nationalism, pronouncing that "I don't, really" when requested whether or not it used to be a rising danger world wide.

"I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess," Trump stated. "If you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that's the case. I don't know enough about it yet. But it's certainly a terrible thing."

Trump used to be requested about white nationalism and the capturing deaths of 49 other folks at mosques in Christchurch after he formally vetoed Congress' resolution to block his declaration of a national emergency on the Mexico border. His veto, geared toward releasing money to build extra miles of a border wall towards unlawful immigration, is anticipated to survive any congressional effort to overturn it.

Questioned in regards to the accused gunman's reference to him, Trump professed lack of information.

"I didn't see it. I didn't see it," he stated. "But I think it's a horrible event ... a horrible, disgraceful thing and a horrible act."

The man accused of the shootings, whose name used to be now not straight away launched, left in the back of a long record that outlined his motivations. He proudly said that he used to be a 28-year-old Australian white nationalist who hates immigrants and used to be set off by way of assaults in Europe that were perpetrated by way of Muslims. In a unmarried reference, he mentioned the U.S. president.

"Were/are you a supporter of Donald Trump?" used to be one of the questions he posed to himself. His resolution: "As a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose? Sure. As a policy maker and leader? Dear god no."

The White House straight away denounced the relationship. But the mention from the suspect, who embraced Nazi imagery and voiced strengthen for fascism, however solid an uncomfortable light on the manner that the president has been embraced by way of some on the some distance right.

Trump, who as a candidate proposed a ban on all Muslims coming into the United States, has drawn criticism as being gradual to condemn white supremacy and related violence. After a 2017 clash between white nationalists and anti-racist protesters in Charlottesville, Virginia, that left one demonstrator useless, Trump stated there were "very fine people on both sides" of the disagreement. He also didn't straight away reject the strengthen of David Duke, a former KKK Grand Wizard, right through his presidential campaign.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, D-Conn., tied Trump's inflammatory language to the violence half an international away.

"Words have consequences like saying we have an invasion on our border and talking about people as though they were different in some fatal way," Blumenthal stated on CNN. "I think that the public discourse from the president on down is a factor in some of these actions."

Former Texas Rep. Beto O'Rourke, who declared his Democratic candidacy for president this week, stated, "We must call out this hatred, this Islamophobia, this intolerance, and the violence that predictably follows from the rhetoric that we use."

The White House, in feedback prior to the ones remarks, rejected any hyperlink to Trump.

"It's outrageous to even make that connection between this deranged individual that committed this evil crime to the president who has repeatedly condemned bigotry, racism and made it very clear that this is a terrorist attack," Mercedes Schlapp, the White House's director of strategic communique, advised newshounds. "We are there to support and stand with the people of New Zealand."

Trump himself telephoned New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, providing condolences, prayers and any lend a hand the U.S. could possibly provide. She advised newshounds she replied, "My message was: to offer sympathy and love to all Muslim communities."

Trump's hardline immigration rhetoric and calls to return America to its traditional past have been embraced by way of many on the conservative fringes, including some who troll on-line with racist imagery, as well as white supremacists who've appeared to have interaction in violence.

In Florida, Cesar Sayoc, who had embellished his van with Trump propaganda, used to be accused of mailing explosives final fall to Democratic Party officials and media contributors, lots of whom have been criticized by way of the president. The president stated Sayoc have been "insane" long prior to he was a Trump fan.

Last month, a former Coast Guard authentic used to be accused of stockpiling guns in a plot to kill media contributors and liberal politicians as a part of a plan to turn out to be the U.S. into a white ethno-state. It took more than a week for Trump to answer the plot, which he deemed "a shame."

Many experts who observe violent extremists have recognized white nationalism as a rising danger within the U.S. and in a foreign country. In January, as an example, the New York-based Anti-Defamation League stated that domestic extremists killed a minimum of 50 other folks within the U.S. in 2018, up from 37 in 2017, and stated, "White supremacists were responsible for the great majority of the killings, which is typically the case."

Some critics have accused U.S. authorities of now not dedicating good enough sources to stem a danger of domestic terrorism. However, The Washington Post reported final week that interior FBI knowledge confirmed extra domestic terror suspects were arrested final yr than the ones allegedly impressed by way of international terror groups.

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