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Trump calls mosque attacks ‘horrible, horrible thing’

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By Jane C. Timm

President Donald Trump on Friday called the deadly shootings at two mosques in Christchurch, New Zealand a “horrible, horrible thing,” saying he’d spoken with the country’s prime minister “to express the sorrow of our entire nation.”

But the president said he didn’t view white nationalism — the suspected shooter appeared to post a lengthy manifesto detailing his white-supremacist views before the attack — as a rising threat around the globe.

“I think it’s a small group of people who have very, very serious problems,” Trump said in response to a question from a reporter at the White House.

Trump made the remarks after vetoing a piece of legislation that would have terminated the national emergency he declared after Congress refused to give him the funds he wanted to build a wall on the southern border.

He said the declaration was necessary to stave off an “invasion” at the nation’s southern border.

The president had tweeted earlier in the day to offer his “warmest sympathy and best wishes” to the people of New Zealand, with many other current and former officials also using Twitter to express their dismay, condemn the attacks and offer condolences.

Vice President Mike Pence said on Twitter, “We condemn this attack on people of faith in the strongest terms.”

“God be with you,” he wrote.

Former President Barack Obama issued his condolences in a tweet as well.

“We grieve with you and the Muslim community,” Obama said on Twitter. “All of us must stand against hatred in all its forms.”

First lady Melania Trump tweeted prayers as well.

“My deepest condolences to the families who lost loved ones in the horrific shooting,” she wrote in a tweet. “We pray & grieve with you and stand against all of the hatred.”

On Thursday night, immediately after reports of the shooting surfaced, Trump tweeted a link to Breitbart News, which was posting coverage about the attacks. He later deleted the tweet; his Friday morning tweet was his first comments.

On Friday, 49 people were murdered in what Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern called “an extraordinary and unprecedented act of violence.” One 28-year-old man was charged with murder and is due in court on Saturday. Three other people have also been arrested.

Arden said it was “one of New Zealand’s darkest days.” New Zealand’s national security threat level has been raised to high.

Some Democrats touched on the suspected shooter’s apparent manifesto that details a white supremacist worldview and includes a sprawling array of anti-immigrant, anti-Muslim and white-supremacist references.

Although not confirmed by authorities, the 74-page manifesto titled “The Great Replacement” was posted online beforehand and matched several known details about the suspect and the attack.

Democrats zeroed in on Islamophobia in particular.

“The rising tide of white supremacy and Islamophobia around the globe must be met with our determination to work against hate,” Democratic presidential contender Sen. Cory Booker, D-N.J., wrote in a tweet.

That message was echoed by another 2020 contender, former Texas Rep. Beto O’Rourke.

Hillary Clinton, the 2016 Democratic nominee, said her “heart breaks for New Zealand.”

“We must continue to fight the perpetuation and normalization of Islamophobia and racism in all its forms. White supremacist terrorists must be condemned by leaders everywhere. Their murderous hatred must be stopped,” she tweeted.

Minnesota Attorney General Keith Ellison, who is Muslim, tweeted to encourage people to embrace each other.

Another 2020 hopeful, Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., tied the attack to U.S. shootings at a church in Charleston, South Carolina, and a synagogue in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

“Everyone should have the right to worship without fear, and an attack on a place of worship is terrorism perpetrated against all of us. My heart goes out to the people of New Zealand today,” she said in a tweet.

Other Trump administration officials reacted Friday, as well.

Secretary of Homeland Security Kirstjen Nielsen expressed sympathy for the victims and families, and said on Twitter that there are no threats against the U.S., but encouraged vigilance.

White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders also released a statement.

“The United States strongly condemns the attack in Christchurch. Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families. We stand in solidarity with the people of New Zealand and their government against this vicious act of hate,” she said.



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Politics

Brexit extension EXPLAINED: Which is most likely – two, three months, one or two years?

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MPS have voted to back an extension on Article 50 – effectively asking for a delay to Brexit. But how long could the delay be?

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No deal Brexit plans get MAJOR BOOST – UK agrees £30bn agreement with Iceland and Norway

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THE UK’s Trade Secretary boosted no deal Brexit plans by announcing a new trade agreement with the two Scandinavian countries as the Government looks to secure 39 EU trade deals before Brexit day.

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Booker denounces Trump’s rhetoric as ‘causing pain and fear’

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By Ludwig Hurtado

Democratic presidential candidate Cory Booker said in an interview set to air Monday night that President Donald Trump’s rhetoric “hurts people” and is “causing pain and fear.”

“Racists think he’s racist, and his language hurts people,” the New Jersey senator said when asked by MSNBC’s “Hardball” host Chris Matthews if he believes Trump is racist. “His language is causing pain and fear. The way he’s talking is making people afraid.”

In making the criticism, Booker, who spoke with Matthews while in Davenport, Iowa, referenced an increase in hate crimes around the country, saying, “people are afraid to go worship at a mosque or a synagogue because hate is on the rise, and these hate incidents are rising.”

“We have a president that can’t stand up with any moral authority and remind us that injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere and it’s despicable,” he added.

Booker’s comments come in the wake of the New Zealand mosque massacre on Friday, in which a white supremacist allegedly killed 50 people. The alleged shooter wrote in an apparent manifesto that he supported Trump “as a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose,” although he said he disagreed with his policies.

Trump, who has made inflammatory comments about immigrants, Muslims and white nationalists, condemned the shooting on Friday. But when asked if he believes white nationalist terrorism and violence is a rising concern globally, the president said, said, “I don’t really.” He added that he thinks “it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.”

On Monday morning, Trump tweeted, “The Fake News Media is working overtime to blame me for the horrible attack in New Zealand. They will have to work very hard to prove that one. So Ridiculous!”

There have been several white nationalist or white supremacist attacks in the U.S. over the past few years, including the massacre of 11 worshippers at a Pittsburgh synagogue last fall and the murder of nine black churchgoers at a congregation in Charleston, South Carolina, in 2015.

At a campaign event in Detroit on Monday, Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke also condemned Trump’s rhetoric.

“A president who calls Mexican immigrants rapists and criminals, a president who wants to ban all Muslim travel to the United States of America because, the implication being, Muslims are somehow more dangerous or violent than people of other traditions of faith, a president who calls Klansmen, and Nazis and white nationalists ‘very fine people’ is giving permission to others in this country and around the world to commit acts of hatred,” the former Texas congressman said.

Beto O’Rourke speaks with Chuck Todd in Iowa for “Meet The Press.”NBC News

O’Rourke noted that a mosque in his home state was burned to the ground on the day that Trump signed his Muslim travel ban.

“It’s not just the words,” O’Rourke said. “It’s the actions that follow.”

Acting White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney defended Trump during a pair of interviews on the Sunday political talk shows.

“You’ve seen the president stand up for religious liberty, individual liberty,” Mulvaney said on “Fox News Sunday.” “The president is not a white supremacist. I’m not sure how many times we have to say that. And to simply ask the question, every time something like this happens overseas, or even domestically, to say, ‘Oh, my goodness, it must somehow be the president’s fault,’ speaks to a politicization of everything that I think is undermining sort of the institutions that we have in the country today.”



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