CNN’s John Berman on Friday said that it was time to stop dancing around the fact that President Donald Trump has served as a major inspiration for white nationalists.
During a segment on the massacre of 49 Muslims in New Zealand, Berman pointed out that the alleged shooter praised Trump as a “symbol of white identity” in his manifesto, and said that this isn’t the first time the president has been cited by white nationalists.
“Why do you think there are people — self-proclaimed white supremacists around the world — who see our president in this way?” Berman asked one of his guests, former assistant Secretary of Homeland Security Juliette Kayyem.
“I think what they do is, they are given credence, and I’m being careful here, validity, justification for their horrible violent thoughts because it’s amplified in the public space, either by our president or reporters or analysts on TV or in literature,” she said. “The president is not responsible for what happened in New Zealand… but the president’s language to date has been irresponsible.”
Berman then drew specific parallels between language used by Trump and that used by white nationalists.
“I don’t want to dance around it,” he said. “This killer is using the language of ‘invasion.’ I have seen ‘invasion’ in ads produced by the president of the United States’ campaign. So what do white supremacists hear… when the president of the United States uses words like ‘invasion?’… Look, the Pittsburgh killer talked about invaders, this killer talked about invaders. The killer in New Zealand talked about ‘replacement,’ the people in Charlottesville were saying, ‘Jews will not replace us.’ There is something happening here, there is some commonality here, where if it’s ignored, more people will die.”
Watch the video below.