Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) recently joined the many Democrats linking President Trump’s rhetoric to the tragic shootings in New Zealand. In remarks to CBS Sunday, he argued that Trump “is using language that emboldens” white nationalists.
CBS’s Margaret Brennan asked about President Trump’s comments that white nationalists are a “small group of people that have very, very serious problems.”
“It is on the rise and the president should call it out but sadly he's not doing that,” Kaine said. “We saw in the aftermath of the horrible attack in Charlottesville that he tried to say that the white supremacists, neo-Nazis, neo confederates there were just, you know, good people.”
“When you see church shootings in Charleston, a synagogue shooting in Pittsburgh, you see this hate filled manifesto of the shooter in New Zealand who is murdering Muslims, we have to confront the fact that there is a rise in white supremacy, anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim attitudes,” he argued. “The president uses language often that's very similar to the language used by these bigots and racists. And if he's not going to call it out then other leaders have to do more to call it out and I certainly will.”
When asked what he would attribute the rise in White Nationalism to, Kaine partially blamed President Trump.
“Well they have problems but- I think the president is using language that emboldens them. He's not creating them,” he said. “They're out there. But you know at the same time as he was tweeting out yesterday his support for the family members in New Zealand, and that was appropriate, he was vetoing the Senate's rejection of his emergency declaration from Thursday.”
“He used the word 'invaders' to characterize people coming to the nation's southern borders which was exactly the same phrase that the shooter in New Zealand used to characterize the Muslims that he was attacking,” Kaine concluded. “That kind of language from the person who probably has the loudest microphone on the planet Earth is hurtful and dangerous and it tends to incite violence.”
President Trump tweeted Monday that the “Fake News Media” is “working overtime” to blame him for the attack.
The Fake News Media is working overtime to blame me for the horrible attack in New Zealand. They will have to work very hard to prove that one. So Ridiculous!— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 18, 2019
White House officials, including acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney, condemned the attempts Sunday to link President Trump to the tragedy in New Zealand.