In an interview broadcast Sunday, acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney defended President Trump pushing back against accusations that the commander-in-chief is a white supremacist, The Hill reports.
Mulvaney went on Fox News Sunday to discuss the president’s latest comments made in response to the New Zealand mosques massacre.
“The president is not a white supremacist. I’m not sure how many times we have to say that,” he told host Chris Wallace.
Mulvaney then went on to argue that the fact that Trump is being connected to the perpetrator of the heinous crime suggests that there is a “politicization of everything.”
As previously reported by The Inquisitr, 28-year-old Brenton Tarrant allegedly gunned down and killed at least 50 people at two New Zealand mosques on March 15. The alleged shooter expressed admiration for President Trump in his manifesto.
In the aftermath of the tragic event, Trump expressed condolences and condemned the attack, but refused to acknowledge that far-right extremism is causing violence, downplaying the threat of white supremacy during an Oval Office press briefing.
“I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. It’s certainly a terrible thing,” he said. In subsequent statements Trump echoed the shooter’s manifesto, warning of an illegal immigrant “invasion.”
Fox News’ Wallace reminded Mulvaney that Trump has indeed used hateful rhetoric, playing a clip in which the president states that “Islam hates” America, and reminding the White House chief of staff about Trump’s very recent “invasion” comments.
Wallace than asked Mulvaney whether Trump will deliver a speech condemning anti-Muslim bigotry and white supremacy. The White House chief of staff seemingly dodged the question.
“I’m not sure what more you want the president to do,” he asked.
Hours after Trump warned about an "invasion" of immigrants, CNN's Erin Burnett asked if he was foregoing "dog whistles" for open "white supremacy" https://t.co/JvIkzdrxaA
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) March 16, 2019
“You may say you want to give him a national speech to address the nation. That’s fine. Maybe we do that. Maybe we don’t,” Mulvaney continued, adding that President Trump is “doing everything” he can to prevent tragedies like the New Zealand shooting from happening in the United States.
According to Mulvaney, it is “unfair” to suggest that Trump bears a part of the blame for the shooting, as much as it is “unfair” to call the shooter a Trump supporter based on a single reference in his manifesto.
As The Hill notes, this is not the first time for President Trump to be accused of spreading hateful rhetoric and pushing white supremacist talking points. In the aftermath of the Charlottesville white supremacist rally, Trump argued that “both sides” were to blame for the violent confrontation with counter-protesters.