As is becoming a customary practice following recent tragedies, the national media suggested today that President Trump bore responsibility for the mass shooting at a San Diego synagogue.
Many of these reporters and commentators pointed to President Trump recently defending his controversial Charlottesville comments. On MSNBC, contributor Eddie Glaude Jr., for example, said, “Remember, Donald Trump, just over the last couple of days had been defending what he was saying in Charlottesville, and it echoed, called back into our memory. Right? Something that happened not too long ago. What happened in Pittsburg. Donald Trump, and all of this hate that’s part of the environment of today and he bears some responsibility for it all.”
On CNN, Rick Wilson said Trump is “radicalizing” users of the 8chan web forum: “They’re out there, the same kind of radicalization is happening. It happens in part because there’s a climate set at the top of unbelievable, constant lies and hostility and division in this country, not only as policy, but with his affect.”
The Intercept’s Mehdi Hasan said Trump is providing the “mood music” that’s inspiring a white nationalist “epidemic.”
“This is an epidemic and we have a president who will not — not only will not acknowledge that we have an epidemic of white nationalist after New Zealand, he is providing the mood music for it,” Hasan told MSNBC. “That is the reality we face and that is very scary reality.”
In another MSNBC segment, panelist and communications director for Justice Democrats, Waleed, Shahid, said Trump “seemed to support” the message of recent anti-Semitic terrorists.
“This is sadly one of its most dangerous periods that American Jews have ever had to face in this country with this attack, and the conspiracy theories cited by these Neo-Nazis in Pittsburgh, New Zealand and outside San Diego now all say the same thing, which is that this crazy story about how somehow Jews are letting in immigrants into this country which is similar to what Republicans ran on in 2018, saying that George Soros was supporting and funding the migrant caravan that Trump never condemned and seemed to support when asked about it,” Shahid said. “So the thing that I don’t understand is why there aren’t more Democratic leaders willing to publicly say this president has emboldened Neo-Nazis and white nationalists in this country?”
After Trump himself condemned the tragedy, a CNN panel advised viewers not to believe him. Host Don Lemon asked “How do we believe” his condemnation in light of his recent defense of the Charlottesville comments?
“You don’t believe him,” CNN’s Ana Navarro said.
ABC’s Matthew Dowd said Trump’s rhetoric gave “permission” for the synagogue killer: “I think the president needs to look in the mirror and understand that the rhetoric, the words he uses in all of this inflame a big part of what’s going on in America, give permission to the most craziest people in America.”
Dowd suggested Trump’s rhetoric may have pushed the killers at both the Chabad of Poway and Tree of Life synagogues to violence.
“What I think part of this is, yes, it occurred at a synagogue and, yes, this person individually was anti-Semitic but he also was a person that hated immigrants,” Dowd told This Week. “And what happened at the Tree of Life synagogue; well that guy was driven by what the Tree of Life synagogue was doing to help refugees and immigrants. And when you relate those two things somebody who is anti-immigrant in California, the anti-immigrant hate and refugee that’s going on in the country, what happened at the Tree of Life, and then you couple that with the President's language it's a big problem.