During an appearance on MSNBC, former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele blasted President Donald Trump for seemingly refusing to denounce white nationalists, The Hill reports.
“Why would we be surprised that a self-proclaimed nationalist would not speak out against a self-proclaimed white nationalist?” Steele asked.
His comment was in reference to Trump’s alleged refusal to explicitly denounce Coast Guard Lieutenant Christopher Paul Hasson, who is being accused of plotting to commit an act of white nationalist terrorism.
As reported by Vox, the self-proclaimed white nationalist was arrested on charges of illegal weapons and drugs possession, but those charges are, according to prosecutors working on his case, the “proverbial tip of the iceberg” because Hasson is, in fact, a “domestic terrorist, bent on committing acts dangerous to human life.”
The Silver Spring, Maryland resident was allegedly plotting to kill a number of prominent Democrats, journalists, and judges he perceived as leftists.
Senators Chuck Schumer, Elizabeth Warren, Kamala Harris, Richard Blumenthal, and Corey Booker all made it to Hasson’s kill list, as did Ilhan Omar, Maxine Waters, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, and Nancy Pelosi. Journalists Chris Cuomo, Ari Melber, and Chris Hayes were also on his list.
Many of the individuals the white nationalist wanted to kill are perceived as enemies of President Donald Trump. In his kill list, Hasson listed Senator Elizabeth Warren as “poca warren,” in an obvious reference to a nickname Trump often uses to smear and insult the Democratic senator — Pocahontas.
“I think it’s a very sad thing when a thing like that happens,” Trump said of the white nationalist’s plot on Friday, calling the news a “shame.” The president also refused to take any blame for Hasson’s unsuccessful attack, claiming that his rhetoric could not have inspired the white nationalist.
Echoing the president’s statements, White House Press Secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders downplayed accusations that Trump’s hostility toward media causes attacks such as Hasson’s, arguing that the president has only condemned violence against members of the press, and not encouraged it.
Trump’s reaction to Hasson’s plan to commit a terrorist act, according to former Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, demonstrates that the president considers white nationalists “his people.”
Furthermore, according to Steele, Trump refused to thank law enforcement for preventing the attack because he is “not happy” with what they did.
“These are his people. And he’s not going to thank law enforcement because he’s probably not happy about what law enforcement did.”
“Why are we acting like this is a space that Donald Trump is going to go in on behalf of the American ideal? No, he’s not,” the former RNC chairman concluded.