Democratic Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez accused President Donald Trump of signaling to white supremacists that he would “look the other way” when they commit acts of violence.
Hours after a self-described white nationalist carried out two mosque attacks that killed at least 50 people in Christchurch, New Zealand, a reporter asked Trump if he saw white nationalism as a rising threat around the world.
“I don’t really. I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems,” Trump replied.
Ocasio-Cortez said that Trump’s comments were a “deliberate” message to white supremacists.
“White supremacists committed the largest # of extremist killings in 2017,” she wrote, quote tweeting the Southern Poverty Law Center.
“What the President is saying here: ‘if you engage in violent acts of white supremacy, I will look the other way.’ Understand that this is deliberate. This is why we can’t afford to sit on the sidelines.”
White supremacists committed the largest # of extremist killings in 2017.
What the President is saying here: “if you engage in violent acts of white supremacy, I will look the other way.”
Understand that this is deliberate. This is why we can’t afford to sit on the sidelines. https://t.co/yUwUXzhBoE
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 18, 2019
The suspect in Friday’s deadly mosque attacks published a 74-page hate-filled manifesto just before he opened fire and live-streamed the massacre on Facebook.
The manifesto described immigration in white-majority countries as an “invasion,” language that echoes Trump’s own comments about the undocumented migrants he says are “invading” America across the southern border. The suspect also said he viewed Trump as a “symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.”