White House acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney insisted on Sunday that President Donald Trump’s racist rhetoric doesn’t play a role in kind of white nationalist violence that may have led the El Paso shooter to open fire at a Walmart and kill 20 people.
Mulvaney told NBC News host Chuck Todd that Trump’s repeated attacks against nonwhite members of Congress and immigrants are unconnected to the El Paso shooting, which authorities are now investigating as a possible hate crime against Latinos and immigrants.
“Do we have white supremacists who are crazy and nuts and dangerous? Yes we do,” Mulvaney said. “But my goodness gracious, how quickly we move to politics this morning.”
“You don’t accept the fact that the President’s rhetoric has been a contributing factor at all?” asked Todd.
“I blame the people who pull the trigger, Chuck,” Mulvaney responded, calling the El Paso shooter a “sick person.”
2020 candidate Beto O’Rourke, who represented El Paso while serving in Congress, said on Sunday that Trump “encourages” white nationalist violence.
During a Florida rally in May, Trump chuckled at a supporter’s suggestion to “shoot them” as a solution to immigration.
Last week, Mulvaney told Fox News host Chris Wallace that he was “spending way too much time reading between the lines” when Wallace pointed out the racism in Trump’s tweets about Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and several other nonwhite members of Congress.
Watch Mulvaney below:
Mick Mulvaney: Trump's rhetoric isn't to blame in El Paso shooting pic.twitter.com/j59lIAYTlv
— TPM Livewire (@TPMLiveWire) August 4, 2019