President Donald Trump is “impotent” when it comes to condemning terrorist attacks by white nationalists, a New York Times contributing op-ed writer said following the worst mass shooting in New Zealand’s history.
The opinion writer, Wajahat Ali, told CNN anchor Don Lemon on Friday night that Trump “goes hard in the paint when it comes to ISIS” and when a terrorist plowed through a crowd in Spain, “he was tough.” Ali also brought up Trump proposing a Muslim travel ban and ending the diversity lottery program after the October 2017 terrorist attack in New York City by an Uzbek immigrant.
“When a white nationalist does it, he’s impotent,” Ali noted. “When [Russia President Vladimir] Putin interferes in the election, he’s impotent. The question is, why?”
Yes, I said it!
— Wajahat Ali (@WajahatAli) March 16, 2019
“The question is why are the KKK, the alt-right, and white supremacists who chant — wait for it — the ‘Jews will not replace us’, throwback to the replacement theory, that’s what they chanted in Charlottesville, and they killed Heather Heyer, an anti-racist protester. He says they’re very fine people. Both sides are to blame,” Ali continued on Trump.
Ali said he wants Trump to be “the president of all Americans, not just his base and white nationalists who, by the way, see him as a figurehead, as an enabler.” To back up this claim, Ali noted that the major white supremacist website Daily Stormer said Trump is their guy.
The opinion writer’s comments came in light of the massacre at two mosques in Christchurch on Friday, in which at least one shooter killed 49 people and injured 40 others. New Zealand’s prime minister called it an act of terror.
A suspect in the mass shooting reportedly showed admiration for Trump in a 74-page manifesto.
“As a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose? Sure,” he wrote of Trump. “As a policy maker and leader? Dear god no.”
Ali said “there is a reason” why the suspected shooter named Trump in his manifesto.
“What could be the common purpose that the President of the United States, Donald Trump, who says Islam hates us and called Mexicans rapists and criminals, could have with a White nationalist shooter?” Ali said.
“I think its fairly obvious what that is,” Lemon said.
Trump strongly condemned the New Zealand attacks on Twitter Friday morning.
“My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques,” Trump tweeted. “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!”
Ali also called Trump “a racist,” as other critics have based on the president’s comment that both sides were to blame in a deadly white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, in August 2017.
“He’s not racially charged. He doesn’t have racial trip-ups. He doesn’t have racial flare-ups. I don’t know what the hell a racial flare-up is. You don’t go to CVS to get whitewash for a racial flare-up,” Ali said of the president. “He’s a racist.”
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