Buttigieg: 'There's no question white nationalism is condoned at the highest levels of our government'

Presidential candidate and South Bend, Ind., Mayor Pete ButtigiegPeter (Pete) Paul ButtigiegGabbard says she won't participate in next debate even if she qualifies McKinsey allowing Buttigieg to disclose past clients Saagar Enjeti: Elizabeth Warren reveals grim future under her presidency MORE (D) said in the wake of a mass shooting that killed 20 people in El Paso, Texas, that white nationalism “is condoned at the highest levels of our government.”

"It is very clear that the loss of American life ... is symptomatic of the effects of white nationalist terrorism," Buttigieg told host Chris WallaceChristopher (Chris) WallaceChris Wallace: Allegations against Trump 'far broader than the Clinton impeachment' Fox's Chris Wallace: IG report headline is 'It didn't find the things that Bill Barr and Donald Trump alleged' Trump: Fox News 'panders' to Democrats by having on liberal guests MORE on "Fox News Sunday." "There’s no question white nationalism is condoned at the highest levels of our government."


Buttigieg contrasted President Trump’s rhetoric and that of other Republicans with the reception former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke received when he ran for office as a Republican in the 1990s and was rebuffed by the party establishment.

“Right now, you see it being echoed by the White House,” Buttigieg said, citing Trump’s rhetoric about immigration and his insistence that some attendees at the 2017 Charlottesville, Va., “Unite the Right” rally were “very fine people.” 

With such rhetoric coming from the top, Buttigieg said, “there is a measure of responsibility that you just can’t get away from.”

Law enforcement officers have said they are investigating the authenticity of a racist, anti-immigrant manifesto that cites fears of “invasion” purportedly written by the shooter in Saturday's massacre.

Trump has frequently used the “invasion” terminology in reference to immigration, particularly when speaking of a migrant “caravan” ahead of the 2018 midterm elections. After a mass shooting at Christchurch, New Zealand, mosques in March, Trump said he condemned white nationalism but denied it was a major problem.

The country, Buttigieg said on Sunday, must be “prepared to name [white nationalism] and confront it.”

“We need an administration that is ready to do that, and we can’t keep pretending this is just random or that this is something we can’t confront,” he added.

Nine people were killed in a separate mass shooting early Sunday in Dayton, Ohio.