Sunday on CBS’s “Face the Nation,” Sen. Tim Kaine (D-VA) said President Donald Trump’s rhetoric emboldens white nationalists and incites violence when discussing the mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand.
Partial transcript as follows:
MARGARET BRENNAN: Late last night we spoke with Virginia Democratic Senator Tim Kaine, he had just returned from a visit to the Venezuelan border and spoke to us from Bogota, Colombia. We asked Senator Kaine about President Trump saying that he did not think white nationalism was a rising threat around the world.
KAINE: Margaret, it is on the rise and the president should call it out but sadly he’s not doing that. 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. But 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. 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.
BRENNAN: Well the president did say it was a horrible thing that happened but he said that the White Nationalism issue is just a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. What do you attribute the rise to?
KAINE: Well they have problems but- I think the president is using language that emboldens them. He’s not creating them. 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. And 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. 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.
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