It didn’t take long for some mainstream media members and Democrats to blame President Donald Trump for the horrific massacre on Friday that targeted Muslims in mosques — leaving at least 49 people dead and at least 48 others wounded.
At least one gunman targeted, shot and killed Muslim worshippers in two mosques.
A 28-year-old Australian who claimed responsibility for the terror attacks in New Zealand is in custody. He also live-streamed the brutal massacre.
The suspect issued an 87-page manifesto outlining his radicalization and hatred for Muslims and immigrant minorities.
Witness Carl Pomare told Radio New Zealand he saw hundreds of people “running for their lives” as the massacre unfolded.
“We saw these people hit the ground. They were being shot in front of us,” Pomare said.
He also told Newstalk ZB that “we saw them being shot” and “mowed down as they were running away.”
“I said to my mate, ‘We need to do something,'” Pomare added.
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New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said in a speech after the terror attacks, “This is one of New Zealand’s darkest days.”
“These are people who I would describe as having extremist views, that have absolutely no place in New Zealand and in fact have no place in the world,” Ardern added.
Trump took to Twitter on Friday to express his condolences and stand in solidarity with New Zealand following the horrific tragedy.
“My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured,” the president wrote.
“The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!”
My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2019
But some liberals and media members were already pinning the blame for the massacre on Trump.
Some accused the president of triggering the shooter with his strong rhetoric against illegal immigrants.
Some also claimed Trump was Islamophobic because of his travel ban against immigrants from key countries compromised by terrorism.
Who is the white supremacist suspected in New Zealand's horrific mosque shootings? https://t.co/XoTaEBZNKs
— USA TODAY (@USATODAY) March 15, 2019
Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) actually blamed Trump’s rhetoric for the shooting during an interview on CNN.
“Words do have consequences, and we know that at the very pinnacle of power in our own country, people are talking about ‘good people on both sides,'” Blumenthal said, referring to Trump’s controversial comments following the violent white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia in the summer of 2017.
“I think it’s more than the president. It’s the people who enable him, and who fail to stand up to him and speak out,” Blumenthal said. “I think that the public discourse from the president on down is a factor in some of these actions.”
NBC News national security analyst Ned Price claimed on MSNBC that “the tragic reality is that President Trump, whether intentionally, or I think in a lot of cases even inadvertently, has provided a lot of fodder for people like this.”
“This was the same president who praised ‘good people on both sides’ in the aftermath of Charlottesville,” Price continued. “So this is a president who has given plenty of rhetorical ammunition I think to terrorists like this, terrorists and extremists who are looking for fuel for their motivation.”
CNN anchor John Berman also tried multiple times to get Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-Iowa) to pin part of the blame on Trump.
“You asked for God to change people’s hearts … I have a question for you. Does God need to change people’s language?” Berman asked. “And I ask you that because this killer apparently in a screed, some people call it a manifesto, said he is a supporter of President Trump as a symbol of white identity.”
Kinzinger replied, “I think God needs to change people’s hearts, and I bet He does. He needs to change their language. But you cannot put this on President Trump.”
“I’m not putting it on President Trump. There is one man who pulled the trigger here,” Berman insisted before trying again to get the congressman to blame Trump.
“The language [the shooter] uses in this manifesto is all about ‘invaders’ … It’s also language that President Trump used in a campaign ad before the midterm election. The word ‘invader’ means something to white supremacists around the world,” Berman said.
Kinzinger argued, “That doesn’t put it on President Trump … What I know this. It cannot be connected. We cannot sit here and say, ‘What is it that President Trump is doing that’s triggering these people?’ This is an evil man that made a decision to murder 49 people. And that is on him, frankly, and the evil in his heart.”
“If this monster is hearing something in the word ‘invader’ and the president is using the word ‘invader,’ can the president really not do anything?” Berman pressed. “Does the president need to stop — if people are perceiving the language to mean something, does he need to stop using it?”
Check out more in the video below: