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Ocasio-Cortez accuses Trump of looking 'other way' on white supremacism

Ocasio-Cortez accuses Trump of looking 'other way' on white supremacism
© Stefani Reynolds

Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-CortezAlexandria Ocasio-CortezOcasio-Cortez says lawmakers fear colleagues sneaking firearms on House floor Ocasio-Cortez spent inauguration evening supporting striking workers in New York Budowsky: Democracy won, Trump lost, President Biden inaugurated MORE (D-N.Y.) accused President TrumpDonald TrumpMcCarthy says he told Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene he disagreed with her impeachment articles against Biden Biden, Trudeau agree to meet next month Trump planned to oust acting AG to overturn Georgia election results: report MORE of signaling that he will “look the other way” on white supremacism, pointing to his remarks reacting to the killing of 50 people at two mosques in New Zealand last week.

The freshman lawmaker referenced Trump’s remarks last Friday, the day of the shooting, when Trump was asked if he thought white nationalism as a growing threat around the world.

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“I don’t really, I think it’s a small group of that have very serious problems,” Trump said. I guess, if you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that’s the case I don’t know enough about it yet. We’re just learning about the person and the people involved. But it’s certainly a terrible thing.”

Ocasio-Cortez retweeted a tweet from the Southern Poverty Law Center that highlighted the question and the first part of Trump’s response to the question: “I don’t really.”

“What the President is saying here: ‘if you engage in violent acts of white supremacy, I will look the other way,’” Ocasio-Cortez wrote in her tweet. “Understand that this is deliberate. This is why we can’t afford to sit on the sidelines.”

 

Democrats have been raising alarm bells about the threat from white supremacism, which they have linked to Trump.

Democrats, joined by many Republicans, were particularly critical of Trump’s response to a march by neo-Nazis and other affirmed white supremacists in Charlottesville, Va., in 2017. After a woman was killed when a man attending the march drove a car into a crowd of counterprotesters, killing one, Trump said there were good people on both sides of the fights in Charlottesville.

The Southern Poverty Law Center in the tweeted retweeted by Ocasio-Cortez pointed to a rise in white supremacist hate groups between 2017 and 2018.

On Monday, the House Judiciary Committee confirmed it will hold hearings on the threat of white nationalist violence in the wake of the killings in New Zealand.

The committee, chaired by Rep. Jerrold NadlerJerrold (Jerry) Lewis NadlerPelosi names 9 impeachment managers Republicans gauge support for Trump impeachment Clyburn blasts DeVos and Chao for 'running away' from 25th Amendment fight MORE (D-N.Y.), intends to question officials with the Department of Homeland Security and FBI on current agency efforts to address the issue.

Separately, Sen. Elizabeth WarrenElizabeth WarrenOVERNIGHT ENERGY: Biden's Interior Department temporarily blocks new drilling on public lands | Group of GOP senators seeks to block Biden moves on Paris, Keystone | Judge grants preliminary approval for 0M Flint water crisis settlement Senate approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee House approves waiver for Biden's Pentagon nominee MORE (D-Mass.) at a CNN town hall on Monday night said white supremacists “pose a threat to the United States like any other terrorist group.”