Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) told CNN Friday that he believed President Trump’s “rhetoric” may have played a part in the horrific shootings at two mosques in New Zealand that left 49 dead.
"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 said. "I think that the public discourse from the president on down is a factor in some of these actions.”
"We know that at the very pinnacle of power in our own country, people are talking about 'good people on both sides,'" he added, referencing comments that President Trump made about the 2017 violence in Charlottesvillle, Virginia that left one woman dead.
“You mean the president talking about it?” CNN’s Alisyn Camerota commented. “I mean I know it’s hard to even call this out.”
"I think it's more than the president,” Blumenthal replied. “It's the people who enable him, and who fail to stand up to him and speak out and we're seeing some glimmers of spine now, in the United States Congress, some of my colleagues in the last three votes standing up to him and saying no to his trampling on the Constitution."
Sen. Blumenthal often criticizes President Trump and, in response, the president has mocked Blumenthal for lying about serving in Vietnam. Blumenthal claimed he "misspoke" regarding his military service.
I have now spent more time in Vietnam than Da Nang Dick Blumenthal, the third rate Senator from Connecticut (how is Connecticut doing?). His war stories of his heroism in Vietnam were a total fraud - he was never even there. We talked about it today with Vietnamese leaders!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) February 27, 2019