Democratic presidential frontrunner Joe Biden has come out swinging against President Donald Trump in the wake of this week’s mass shootings. The former Delaware senator held back no punches after claiming that Trump’s rhetoric has incited white supremacist ideology, and thus is partially to blame for numerous acts of violence in recent weeks, per CNN.
“It’s both clear language and in code, this President has fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation,” Biden told his supporters earlier today at a rally in Iowa for his 2020 Democratic presidential campaign.
President Trump has received particular heat for his anti-immigrant remarks, which many believe helped spur alleged El Paso, Texas, gunman Patrick Crusius to take the lives of 22 people, of which a majority were Latinx. Crusius published a manifesto online minutes before the murder spree, speaking of a “Hispanic invasion” and declaring that getting “rid” of people was necessary for sustainable living, per The New York Times.
Crusius’s alleged manifesto, titled “The Inconvenient Truth,” also referenced the Christchurch, New Zealand, shootings that claimed the lives of 51 Muslims. Similarly, Trump has also been attacked for comments that many have seen as Islamophobic.
“How far is it from Trump saying this is an invasion to the shooter in El Paso declaring, ‘This attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas?’ How far apart are those comments?” added Biden, drawing a direct link Trump’s words and the suspected El Paso shooter’s.
Though Trump has denounced white supremacy — as well as all violent actions — Biden claimed that the president’s rebuke was not enough.
“His low energy, vacant-eyed mouthing of the words written for him condemning white supremacists this week… I don’t believe fooled anyone at home or abroad. The energetic embrace of this President by the darkest hearts and most hate-filled minds in this country say it all,” the veteran politician concluded.
Over the past nine months, the FBI has arrested around 90 people for domestic terrorism charges, according to Director Christopher Wray, via The Washington Post. The FBI added that it was currently investigating 850 domestic terrorism cases, and that 40 percent of those had a racial motivation. Of those 40 percent, the bureau added that a majority had to do with white supremacy.
Meanwhile, investigators are still looking into the motive of accused Dayton, Ohio, shooter Connor Betts. Though Betts had intensely liberal leanings and supported Elizabeth Warren for president, police currently do not believe there was a political aspect to the attack, which claimed the lives of nine people.