Booker: Trump is 'complicit' in white supremacist violence

Sen. Cory BookerCory Anthony BookerBooker campaign rakes in million after Harris exits 2020 race Sunday talk shows: Lawmakers gear up ahead of Monday's House Judiciary hearing Democrats battle for Hollywood's cash MORE (D-N.J.) on Wednesday accused President TrumpDonald John TrumpPence: It's not a "foregone conclusion" that lawmakers impeach Trump FBI identifies Pensacola shooter as Saudi Royal Saudi Air Force second lieutenant Trump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax 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 Devi HarrisBooker campaign rakes in million after Harris exits 2020 race Democrats battle for Hollywood's cash Yang expands campaign with senior hires for digital operations 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 Ann WarrenTrump calls Warren 'Pocahontas,' knocks wealth tax Warren, Buttigieg fight echoes 2004 campaign, serves as warning for 2020 race Democrats battle for Hollywood's cash MORE (D-Mass.) last year called Trump a "racist bully."

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersWarren, Buttigieg fight echoes 2004 campaign, serves as warning for 2020 race Democrats battle for Hollywood's cash Sanders, Omar to hit campaign trail in New Hampshire 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.