Sanders: Trump doesn't 'want to see somebody get shot' but 'creates the climate for it'

Sanders: Trump doesn't 'want to see somebody get shot' but 'creates the climate for it'
© Aaron Schwartz

Sen. Bernie SandersBernie SandersPoll: Support for Sanders among college students reaches highest level since April The Hill's Morning Report — Trump and the new Israel-'squad' controversy Native American advocates question 2020 Democrats' commitment MORE (I-Vt.), a 2020 White House candidate, said Sunday that he believes President TrumpDonald John TrumpWarren unveils Native American policy plan Live-action 'Mulan' star spurs calls for boycott with support of Hong Kong police Don't let other countries unfairly tax America's most innovative companies MORE “creates the climate” for events like last weekend’s mass shooting in El Paso, Texas, but that he does not believe Trump wants “to see somebody get shot.”

“I think that what [Trump] has created in this country with his incredible rhetoric, his racist rhetoric where he calls Mexicans rapists and criminals, where he almost condones in a rally when someone was attacking somebody … he creates a climate where we are seeing a significant increase in hate crimes in this country,” Sanders said on CBS’s “Face the Nation” Sunday.

“He is creating the kind of divisiveness in this nation that is the last thing that we should be doing,” Sanders added. “He creates the climate, but do I think that he wants to see somebody get shot? Absolutely not.”

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The suspect in the El Paso shooting, in which at least 22 people were killed, has been tied to a  manifesto railing against a “Hispanic invasion of Texas.” Several presidential candidates, including Sanders, have paralleled the language in the document to Trump’s frequent use of similar rhetoric. Trump condemned white supremacy in the wake of  shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio and last week accused his critics of making false charges of racism.

CBS’s Margaret Brennan on Sunday also questioned Sanders on the 2017 shooting of her previous guest, House Minority Whip Steve ScaliseStephen (Steve) Joseph ScaliseSunday shows - Trump's Epstein conspiracy theory retweet grabs spotlight Sanders: Trump doesn't 'want to see somebody get shot' but 'creates the climate for it' Scalise: Trump no more responsible for El Paso than 'Bernie Sanders is for my shooting' MORE (R-La.), who mentioned that the gunman had been a volunteer for Sanders’s 2016 campaign. Sanders noted that he had condemned the shooting on the Senate floor that morning.