There was a time when Donald Trump and his friends at Fox News criticized President Obama routinely for refusing to refer to the terroristic violence perpetrated by ISIS as “Muslim extremism.” Obama countered that the reference would not help make the United States more secure and, in fact, would lead to growing anti-Islam sentiment against the overwhelming majority of those of Islamic faith, who had suffered enough thanks to stereotyping.
Now, Trump has refused even in the face of terroristic crimes by white supremacists, several of whom have cited Trump as their inspiration, to denounce white supremacism as a whole and Islamophobia specifically. Trump cannot justify that by saying white people have been targeted for violence for no other reason than their race, and he continues to support Islamaphobic sentiments and refuses to address those he said publicly.
“The president is not a white supremacist. I’m not sure how many times we have to say that,” Trump chief of staff Mick Mulvaney said on Fox News when Chris Wallace asked about New Zealand mass shooting and asked why Trump doesn’t give a speech condemning anti-Muslim bigotry. pic.twitter.com/QG4abnm1Ys
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On Fox News, host Chris Wallace interviewed Trump’s current acting chief of staff, Mick Mulvaney, on that failure. Mulvaney bristled and insisted, “I don’t think it’s fair to cast this person as a supporter of Donald Trump.” He skipped over the part where the shooter, who left 50 Muslim worshippers dead or dying in a mosque in New Zealand, said Trump was his hero and his inspiration, even if he didn’t agree with all of his policies.
Wallace acknowledged that Trump did not pull the trigger on that semi-automatic weapon, but called out his rabid Islamaphobic statements.
‘I want to make it clear, I take your point and I want to make it clear the only person responsible for this slaughter is the shooter, not President Trump, but some critics have said that he has contributed over the years to an anti-Muslim climate. Here is one of his statements from the campaign.’
Wallace then showed video of Trump saying during the 2016 presidential elections, “I think Islam hates us.”
Fox's Chris Wallace presses WH Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney on Trump's reasons for not giving public speech decrying white nationalism, Mulvaney says president "not a white nationalist"https://t.co/uH4A4cySzD pic.twitter.com/ZcV80ygJ0f
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Wallace referred to the shooter’s manifesto, citing words and phrases that came directly from Trump that inspired the shooter.
‘Some folks were disturbed that after we saw the manifesto, after the shooting, which said that he was doing this to kill quote “invaders,” the president said this when he was signing his veto message.
‘The president is not responsible for this action [but] has he considered, given the fact that some people seem to feel that he has given them cover, has he considered giving a major speech condemning anti-Muslim white supremacist bigotry?’
Mulvaney dismissed the criticism, saying that the targeting of Trump and his clearly anti-Islam hatred is politically motivated.
‘There’s folks who just don’t like the president, and everything that goes wrong, they’re going to look for a way to tie that to the president, so so they see the word ‘invaders’ in the manifesto…and they say ‘oh there must be some connection between this.’
Chris Wallace plays a video of Trump on the trail saying "I think Islam hates us" and presses Mulvaney on why POTUS hasn't given a major speech condemning white supremacy.
Mulvaney says that POTUS isn't a white supremacist and "isn't sure how many times we have to say that"
— Catie Edmondson (@CatieEdmondson) March 17, 2019
Again, Wallace pushed Mulvaney on why Trump has not specifically called out white supremacy and Islamaphobia, which absolutely are responsible for the deaths and injuries in New Zealand.
‘Let me just ask, to the degree that there was an issue with white supremacist white nationalist anti-Muslim bigotry in this country, and there is, why not deliver a speech condemning it…Why not make a speech, and make it clear that there is no place in America for this kind of hatred?’
Mulvaney once again bristled, saying that Trump is not a white supremacist and that he doesn’t “know how many times we have to say that.” If they have to say it repeatedly, perhaps that would be an indication that this is a problem and that Trump is contributing to it. Mulvaney dismissed that question again, saying that Trump had address all of this in a tweet that at no time mentioned Muslims or white supremacy.
‘Well, I think you saw that yesterday in the tweet. I’m not sure what more you want the president to do. You may say you want him to give a national speech to address the nation, that’s fine, maybe we do that, maybe we don’t.’
For the full segment, see below:
Featured image screenshot via YouTube