Klobuchar on Trump's rhetoric and hate crimes: 'At the very least, he is dividing people'

Klobuchar on Trump's rhetoric and hate crimes: 'At the very least, he is dividing people'
© Stefani Reynolds

Sen. Amy KlobucharAmy Jean KlobucharFox's Brit Hume fires back at Trump's criticism of the channel Overnight Energy: Warren wants Dems to hold climate-focused debate | Klobuchar joins candidates rejecting fossil fuel money | 2020 contender Bennet offers climate plan O'Rourke says he would 'absolutely' do Fox News town hall MORE (D-Minn.) said on Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpThe Hill's Morning Report - White House, Congress: Urgency of now around budget GOP presses Trump to make a deal on spending Democrats wary of handing Trump a win on infrastructure MORE "at the very least" is "dividing people" when asked whether his rhetoric is a factor in hate crimes.

“I don’t think you can actually take each of the murderous acts and say what role Donald Trump played. But I can tell you this: His rhetoric doesn’t help. And many of these people, whether it was the person who tried to bomb Barack ObamaBarack Hussein ObamaFeehery: A whole new season of 'Game of Thrones' Mercury rollback is a direct threat to our children's health Lightfoot takes office as Chicago's first black woman mayor MORE or this murderer in New Zealand, have cited Donald Trump along the way," she said  on CNN's "State of the Union."

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"So, to me, that means, at the very least, he is dividing people. They are using him as an excuse. And he, at the very least, should be giving strong statements, public speeches defending Muslims in this world," added Klobuchar, who is seeking the 2020 Democratic nomination for president.

Klobuchar's remarks come after shootings at two New Zealand mosques on Friday left 50 people dead and 40 more injured.

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said Friday during an interview on CNN that Trump's rhetoric is a "factor" in attacks like the New Zealand shootings.

"Words have consequences, like saying we have an 'invasion' on our border, and talking about people as though they were different in some fatal way. I think the public discourse from the president on down is a factor in some of these actions," Blumenthal said.

Following the New Zealand shootings, Trump said that he doesn't believe white nationalism is a growing threat.

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