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 KlobucharPoll: Nearly 4 in 5 say they will consider candidates' stances on cybersecurity The Hill's Campaign Report: Battle for Senate begins to take shape Native American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment MORE (D-Minn.) said on Sunday that President TrumpDonald John TrumpTrump watching 'very closely' as Portland braces for dueling protests WaPo calls Trump admin 'another threat' to endangered species Are Democrats turning Trump-like? 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 ObamaForget conventional wisdom — Bernie Sanders is electable 2020 Democrats fight to claim Obama's mantle on health care Obama shares summer reading list 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.”