White House adviser Kellyanne Conway suggested on Monday that everyone should read alleged New Zealand mosque shooter Brenton Tarrant’s white supremacist manifesto, Huffington Post is reporting. If they do so, she says, they will see that the alleged shooter and his ideals have nothing to do with Donald Trump.
Conway appeared on Fox & Friends on Monday morning in what is described by Huffington Post as an attempt to defend Trump from being associated with the alleged New Zealand shooter and his ideology. Prior to allegedly carrying out the mosque shootings, Tarrant posted a 74-page manifesto in which he bemoans the state of the white race and “white lands” due to “invaders.” At one point in the manifesto, Tarrant name-checks Donald Trump, calling him “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.”
Tarrant, however, goes on to say that he doesn’t admire Trump as a policy-maker and a leader.
Conway urged everyone to read the manifesto so that they can see for themselves that Tarrant’s mention of Trump is only in passing.
“Everybody scoured it, searched for Donald Trump’s name, and there it is one time.”
She then went on to explain that, if you read the manifesto closely, his political ideals aren’t conservative and that he is “not a Nazi,” according to Think Progress. She went on to claim that Trump “condemns hate and evil and bigotry.”
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Conway is correct in that the manifesto, which Huffington Post describes as a “winding and bigoted piece of propaganda whose stated goal is to indoctrinate its readers and dog-whistle fellow extremists,” does only mention Donald Trump once. However, writer Andy Campbell suggests that Conway is missing the point.
“In any case, the manifesto doesn’t offer the insight about Trump that Conway is implying; rather, it hails the president and other conservative leaders and talking heads as protectors of white supremacy.”
Think Progress writer Zack Ford is similarly confused by what point Conway was trying to make in directing Fox & Friends viewers to a piece of racist propaganda. He notes that Trump has been widely criticized for not directly confronting the Islamaphobia that spurned the shooting, and that Trump instead spent much of the weekend trying to convince Fox to bring back Jeanine Pirro. Pirro was suspended last week after suggesting that Minnesota Representative Ilhan Omar was openly defying the Constitution and advocating for Sharia Law by wearing her hijab on the floor of the House.