Over the weekend, acting White House Chief of staff Mick Mulvaney laughed off the idea that President Donald Trump is a white nationalist.
“The President is not a white supremacist,” Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday.”
“I’m not sure how many times we have to say that.”
“To simply ask the question every time something like this happens overseas, or even domestically, to say, ‘Oh my goodness, it must somehow be the President’s fault,’ speaks to a politicization of everything that I think is undermining sort of the institutions that we have in the country today,” he added, according to CNN.
The questions came in response to a shooting that left over 50 Muslim worshippers dead in New Zealand. Over the weekend, President Donald Trump tweeted about his Democratic rivals.
Writing in The Washington Post Monday, columnist Greg Sargent argues that Trump’s rhetoric is emboldening hate groups. And it’s time for something to be done.
“President Trump’s extraordinary response to the New Zealand massacre provides an occasion to intensify our scrutiny of a critical question: Are Trump’s words emboldening white-nationalist and white-supremacist activity at home and abroad?” he wonders.
“Trump regularly engages in both veiled incitement of violence and anti-Muslim bigotry with a kind of casual regularity that almost seems designed to lull us into desensitization,” he continues. “That this is losing the power to shock is bad enough. But that’s producing another terrible result: This desensitization leads us to spend too little time focused on the actual consequences these verbal degradations could be having.”
“This is what the White House wants,” he concludes.
Sargent analyzes Mulvaney’s dismissive response, contesting it negatively to the Obama White House, which sought to unify Americans in the face of tragedy.
“We need to ask why Trump and his advisers are not engaged in any similar debates over his language and what impact it might have on the radical right,” Sargent says.
The President himself, however, buys into the hateful rhetoric.
“Trump, of course, genuinely believes “Islam hates us,” and wants us to see Islam as a severe threat. But those beliefs do not require Trump to publicly validate the language of right-wing terrorism. Why does he continue doing this? Why isn’t Trump concerned about its impact? Is anyone else inside the administration concerned about that? What do his own national security officials think about it?”