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Hickenlooper: Trump 'should be ashamed of himself' for white nationalism comments following New Zealand shooting
Former Colorado Gov. John Hickenlooper (D) said Wednesday that President Trump "should be ashamed of himself" for saying last week that he has not seen a rise in white nationalism after a gunman opened fire at two New Zealand mosques, killing 50 worshippers.
"Anytime you are making comments and creating, fanning the flames of hatred, then you're doing a genuine harm to your community," the 2020 Democratic candidate said during a CNN presidential town hall in Atlanta.
"I think President Trump should be ashamed of himself," he added.
Trump faced sharp criticism last week for his remarks, which came hours after the shooting.
"I don't really, I think it's a small group of people that have very, very serious problems," Trump told reporters on Friday when asked if he thought white nationalism was on the rise. "If you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that's the case. I don't know enough about it yet."
A social media account believed to be linked to the suspected gunman, an Australian man, posted a lengthy manifesto in which he said he supported Trump "as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose." The manifesto expressed anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim views.
The president denounced the shooting as "horrible" and offered New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern U.S. aid in the attack's aftermath.