Minnesota Democratic Sen. Amy Klobuchar said President Donald Trump’s rhetoric exacerbated tensions and called for him to condemn bigotry against Muslims.
“I don’t think you can actually take each of the murderous acts and say what role Donald Trump played, but I can tell you this: his rhetoric doesn’t help,” Klobuchar said on CNN’s “State of the Union” Sunday. “And many of these people, whether it was the person who tried to bomb Barack Obama or this murderer in New Zealand, have cited Donald Trump along the way.”
Klobuchar spoke with CNN from Iowa as she vies for her party’s presidential nomination to challenge Trump next year. She said after the recent attack on Muslims in New Zealand, it was “on all of us to condemn this hate,” including Trump.
“He, at the very least, should be giving strong statements, public speeches, defending Muslims in this world,” Klobuchar said.
Trump said on Friday after the shooting he had called New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern, but when asked about white nationalism, he said he did not regard it as a growing threat.
Available data suggest white nationalism is a rising, violent threat in the United States, as CNN noted in a fact check on Trump’s comments.
In Sunday’s interview, Klobuchar also defended the late Arizona GOP Sen. John McCain, who Trump attacked on Twitter over the weekend. Klobuchar called the tweets “outrageous” and invoked McCain’s memory as she called for unity in the wake of the New Zealand massacre.
“John believed, as I believe, that when a tragedy happens like in New Zealand, you do all you can to reach out to that country and you do all you can to stand up for the simple belief that people are different in our country, but we were all part of a greater America,” Klobuchar said.