Sunday on CNN, 2020 Democratic presidential hopeful Sen. Kamala Harris (D-CA) said in the wake of the most recent mass shootings in Texas and Ohio, there were consequences to President Donald Trump “sowing hate and division in our country.”
Partial transcript as follows:
TAPPER: So law enforcement officials are investigating this document, this screed that they believe was written by the suspected terrorist who conducted the El Paso massacre. It’s filled with white nationalist, white supremacist racist hatred towards immigrants, specifically towards hispanics. You’re a former prosecutor, was this a hate crime? Was this an act of domestic terrorism? What’s your take on the legality of it?
HARRIS: Based on everything I know, yes, and yes and yes. Hate crime and act of domestic terrorism. On that point, you know, I’m in Las Vegas, as you mentioned, big rally last night. Las Vegas experienced one October, the deadliest mass shooting in recent history. A couple days ago I was in Colorado, and Columbine happened there, and in my home state, in Gilroy, So let’s talk about it. When we’re talking about domestic terrorism, we also have to recognize under this administration, they have not put resources into investigating and dealing with these cases as they are, what they are, which is to your point domestic terrorism. There also has to be some accountability by this administration to call these cases what they are. This is where we also have to acknowledge that we have a president of the United States who using the microphone — which is probably one of the most powerful tools in the hand of the president of the United States, and uses that microphone that is in a way about sowing hate and division in our country, not acknowledging domestic terrorism when it occurs and in a way that’s highly irresponsible and not a reflection of the values of who we are as an American people.
TAPPER: Your 2020 opponent Beto O’Rourke told me this morning President Trump is not only encouraging rhetoric, but is also responsible for racist violence because he’s creating this atmosphere. Do you agree? What role, if any, do you see the president playing? Obviously the shooter is responsible for the shooter, but in terms of the environment of hatred, what is your view of that?
HARRIS: My view is pretty simple and direct, which is there is a consequence to the words that the president of the United States speaks. And when she uses the microphone elevating public discourse and speaking to our better selves and our higher angels, there will be a consequence for that as well. We have a current president of the United States who does not understand the responsibility that comes with the office, which is to be a leader on every level, including encouraging, challenging us toss be our best selves. We have an occupant in the White House in Donald Trump who completely and continually goes to the lowest denominator, so yes, I believe there’s consequences to his words.
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