Harris: White supremacy existed before Trump and will continue after he leaves office

Harris: White supremacy existed before Trump and will continue after he leaves office

Sen. Kamala HarrisKamala Devi HarrisThis week: House to vote on legislation to make lynching a federal hate crime Juan Williams: Black votes matter Clyburn: Biden 'suffered' from not doing 'enough' in early debates MORE (D-Calif.) pushed back against questions of whether President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump suggests Sotomayor, Ginsburg should have to recuse themselves on 'Trump related' cases Sanders says idea he can't work with Republicans is 'total nonsense' Sanders releases list of how to pay for his proposals MORE is a white supremacist on Saturday, arguing that asking such questions ignore the "long history" of racism in the U.S.

The 2020 candidate for president explained that racism and hatred are "not new in America" during a press conference at the Iowa State Fair.


"This is not new in America. Hate is not new. Hate that takes the form of racism, anti-Semitism, homophobia, transphobia, Islamophobia is not new in our country," Harris said Saturday.

"I will not take part in a conversation that simplifies this issue," Harris continued. "It happened before this guy was in the White House, it will continue after this guy was in this White House, he is certainly fanning the flames of hate, there's no question about that. But if we're going to have this conversation, let's have it in a meaningful way."

Harris's comments come as some of her fellow 2020 Democratic candidates have referred to Trump as a racist and a white supremacist in the days following two mass shootings which occurred last weekend, one of which was carried out by an attacker who reportedly told police that he was targeting "Mexicans."

The California senator said earlier this week that she believes the president "empowers white supremacists" with his rhetoric targeting immigrants and communities of color.

"The sad thing about this is it's no longer really a debatable point. There is just a long list of statements and tweets and behaviors from this president that make it very clear that he possesses hate and that he is divisive and that he is a racist," she told CNN on Thursday.

“I think it’s important to call it what it is, which is that we have a president of the United States who does not reflect the values of who we are as a people. He is someone who empowers white supremacists and who condones their behavior, and that is not the kind of president that I think most Americans can be proud of, much less support,” she added.