Booker: Trump is 'complicit' in white supremacist violence

Sen. Cory BookerCory BookerSenate Democrats call for diversity among new Federal Reserve Bank presidents Progressives push back on decision to shrink Biden's paid family leave program Emanuel to take hot seat in Senate confirmation hearing MORE (D-N.J.) on Wednesday accused President TrumpDonald TrumpHillicon Valley — Presented by Xerox — Twitter's algorithm boosts right-leaning content, internal study finds Ohio Democrat calls Vance an 'ass----' over Baldwin tweet Matt Taibbi says Trump's rhetoric caused public perception of US intelligence services to shift MORE of being "complicit" in white supremacist violence.

“For him to fail even to condemn Nazis or even to talk about white supremacy as a problem in this country, to me, that is being complicit in the violence that is happening, and I find that unacceptable and repugnant," Booker, a 2020 presidential candidate, said during a CNN town hall in Orangeburg, S.C.

"I will be a president that faces the threats to this country, including violence coming from right-wing extremist groups.”

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Booker on Wednesday also criticized the Department of Homeland Security's 2017 decision to cut grant money from some organizations that counter violent extremism.

“To cut funding to investigate these domestic terrorist groups, these white supremacist groups, is making us less safe,” he said.

Booker's comments came weeks after Trump said he hasn't seen a rise in white nationalism following the deadly shooting at two mosques in New Zealand that killed 50 people.

“I don't really, I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems,” Trump told reporters earlier this month when asked if he sees a rise in white nationalism. "If you look 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 connected to the shooting's primary suspect posted a lengthy manifesto expressing anti-immigrant and anti-Muslim views shortly before the massacre. The individual also wrote that he supported Trump “as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose” but not as a “policy maker and leader.”

Booker, who has been a vocal critic of Trump's, has previously said that racists believe Trump is a racist, but has declined to directly label Trump one.

Many of his fellow 2020 Democratic candidates have been much clearer in labeling Trump a racist.

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala HarrisKamala Harris engages with heckler during New York speech Biden's safe-space CNN town hall attracts small audience, as poll numbers plummet I voted for Trump in 2020 — he proved to be the ultimate RINO in 2021 MORE (D-Calif.) said last month that it was was not possible to reach any other conclusion but that Trump is a racist.

"When you talk about him calling African countries s-hole countries, when you talk about him referring to immigrants as rapists and murderers, I don’t think you can reach any other conclusion," Harris said. 

Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenSinema's office outlines opposition to tax rate hikes The CFPB's data overreach hurts the businesses it claims to help Runaway higher ed spending gains little except endless student debt MORE (D-Mass.) last year called Trump a "racist bully."

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersOvernight Health Care — Presented by Carequest — Study finds Pfizer vaccine almost 91 percent effective for 5 to 11 year olds The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Uber - Manchin, Sanders in budget feud; Biden still upbeat Democratic frustration with Sinema rises MORE (I-Vt.) has also said that he believes Trump is a racist.

"We must be honest and straightforward and say that we have a president who is a racist," Sanders said last year.