Friday on CNN’s “New Day,” Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) said President Donald Trump’s rhetoric was “an element” in the mass shooting at two New Zealand mosques that left 49 dead.
Partial records as follows:
BLUMENTHAL: A heartbreaking day, and naturally our prayers head out to individuals of New Zealand, particularly the loved ones and survivors and victims. But words do have effects and we understand that at the very peak of power in our own country individuals are talking about good people on both sides.
CAMEROTA: You suggest the president talking about it. I suggest I understand it’s tough to call this out. I’ve heard this from a visitor today, they’re having a hard time calling this out for some factor.
BLUMENTHAL: I think it’s more than the president. It’s individuals who enable him and who fail to stand up to him and speak out. And we’re seeing some twinkles of spine now in the United States Congress, some of my associates in the last 3 votes withstanding him and saying no to his trampling on the Constitution. But it is also more than words. The president has defied Constitutional standards and principles in stating a nationwide emergency. Words have consequences, like stating we have an “invasion” on our border and speaking about individuals as though they were different in some fatal way. I believe the general public discourse from the president on down is an element in some of these actions.
CAMEROTA: I suggest, we don’t need to guess, in fact, at this. We don’t have to link the dots ourselves. This is what the suspects state. This man put out, according to authorities, put out this manifesto where he connects the dots between the rhetoric that he likes to hear and his violent action. I’m questioning what you believe the president’s quote to Breitbart, that he said. I just wish to read it to you. This was from this week. He said, “I can tell you I have the support of the cops, the assistance of the military, the assistance of the Bikers for Trump, I have the difficult people. However they do not play it tough up until they go to a certain point and then it would be extremely bad, really bad.” How do you translate that?
BLUMENTHAL: I analyze that type of comment as a danger to the tranquil transition of power in our democracy. That is among the essential concepts of our Constitution that we have that sort of peaceful shift of power and respect for the rule of law, which that sort of remark absolutely betrays. We are at a break the glass moment for our democracy. And so on an issue like transparency of the Mueller report, which I believe is important so that America knows the truths and proof that are discovered there, on a problem like the statement of a national emergency when there is one, usurping the powers of Congress on spending, ensured by the Constitution. We require to speak up and stand apart. And I believe my Republican coworkers need to show a bit more backbone.
CAMEROTA: However if this is a break the glass minute, do you hear what President Trump stated there, as that he would not give up power, as if there will not be a serene transfer of power in 2020 if he loses?
BLUMENTHAL: There are twinkles and tips of that reality, and that’s what is so actually worrying, even frightening, in a remark of that kind. Because it encourages people who may, in reality, state, “We are going to withstand, we’re going to go to the streets, we are going to stop that kind of tranquil shift of power.
( h/t RCP Video)
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