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US ambassador: No credibility to New Zealand attack suspect citing Trump as symbol of ‘white identity’

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Scott Brown, the U.S. ambassador to New Zealand, said Sunday that he doesn’t “give any credibility” to a suspect in the deadly New Zealand mosque shootings referring to President Trump as a symbol of “white identity.”

“I don’t give any credibility whatsoever to the ramblings somebody who’s rotten to the core and clearly is an extremist of the worst kind who could walk into two mosques and, without any care whatsoever, kill people,” Brown said during an interview on CNN’s “State of the Union” when pressed by host Jake Tapper.

{mosads}”I don’t give any credibility to it. I’m not going to read it. I encourage others not to read it. I’m not going to give him the time of day,” he added.

One of the suspects in the shootings that left 50 people dead and dozens injured said in his manifesto that he supported Trump “as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose” but not as a “policy maker and leader.”

Tapper on Sunday also pressed Brown over Trump’s response to the shooting. The president said Friday after the shooting that he doesn’t think white nationalism is an increasing threat.

“I don’t really. I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. It’s certainly a terrible thing,” the president said.

Tapper asked Brown if he agreed with Trump’s assessment.

The ambassador, however, replied that he wasn’t focused on Trump’s response.

“I’m focused on what we’re doing here,” he said, adding that he hasn’t seen a rise of white nationalism in New Zealand.

Tapper also asked Brown whether he would like to see Trump “specifically say that he’s standing with our Muslim brothers and sisters.”

“There’s been no time in my political or diplomatic life where I have ever questioned our government — whether it’s this government or any other prior government’s commitment to end racism, stop bigotry, to really deal with Islamophobic attitudes,” Brown said.

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