CNN's Bash Blames Trump for NZ Massacre: Trump's Rhetoric Riles Up ‘Nut Jobs’

Even if a shooting happens in another country, the anti-Trump media here at home are quick to put the blame entirely on President Trump. After the horrific massacre at two mosques in New Zealand, CNN’s Chief Political Correspondent Dana Bash and political analyst John Avlon complained that Trump’s rhetoric was responsible for the alleged suspect’s violent act of terrorism, which killed 49 people. Bash made a direct link between what Trump says at his rallies and how “nut jobs” like this shooter, are inspired by his words.

Hosts John Berman and Alisyn Camerota began the segment lamenting that the shooter’s alleged manifesto, which was posted online, contained rhetoric that was similar to things President Trump has said in rallies and ads.

Some of the same language the president used in his campaign ad before the midterms. It's just rife with that stuff of someone who just, he’s a white supremacist,” Camerota gushed. Referring to Trump, Avlon added that when “powerful people” “echo it with their megaphones that has a real effect in people's minds because it legitimizes it.”

Bash then ranted that while it was the shooter’s fault this happened, Trump wasn’t entirely off the hook, because he could “do more.” She also claimed that what Trump says to appeal to his base is also appealing to “nut jobs” who want to commit violence:

The question is can he and will he do more to bring together -- try to bring together people. That's the opposite of what we saw in Charlottesville and it is the opposite of what we see when the political calendar gets close to election day.

When he knows what riles up his base and the problem is riling up the base using terms like invaders in ads that he tweets out also reaches people who are nut jobs. That's the balance that I think we are all getting at here that everybody hopes he strikes better.

At this, Camerota tried to deflect criticism from the network, insisting they weren’t the ones making the connection to Trump, but the shooter was:

I just want to be clear. We are not assigning responsibility, we’re not drawing the connection. They are. The gunman is,” she insisted, referring to the shooter’s rambling manifesto which did name-drop Trump, (and also criticized him) but also a host of other people and entities to which the media is conveniently ignoring.

Avlon added that Trump had a special responsibility to make sure his rhetoric to his base wasn’t inspiring terrorists:

“That's right. It speaks to special responsibilities leaders have to consider the impact of their words and their rhetoric. You know, sometimes people will just dismiss it as, oh, that's a play to the base, that’s just a little bit of red meat rhetoric. But ideas can become actions. And there’s a special responsibility,” he lectured.

To read the full transcript, click "expand:"

CNN New Day

3/15/19

8:28:14AM-8:32:16AM EST

ALISYN CAMEROTA: You have just been looking through the so-called manifesto that authorities believe at the moment, though these are early hours, are connected to this gunman and he talks about invaders. The language in it is language we have heard before very close to home. Some of the same language the president used in his campaign ad before the midterms. It's just rife with that stuff of someone who just, he’s a white supremacist.

JOHN AVLON: We need to be careful about what's in here. But the language is all resonant of white nationalist, white identity politics, extremism that goes back to the Christian militia movement in the 1990s. There is a flow-through of this. You can see it. Some of the rhetoric at Charlottesville. Some of the rhetoric we’ve seen outside tree of life. It's all of a piece. That speaks to the troubling nature of what we are confronting. Not to say there is responsibility for incitement but it is part of a conversation occurring on the extremes in the deeper recesses of the internet. In these identity groups that feel deeply aggrieved that are striking out against feelings of change often directed at Muslims and migrants.

JOHN BERMAN: It’s in the deep recesses but sometimes it bubbles into broad daylight. Sometimes you talk about invaders, you talk about replacements. When you talk about birthrights. I mean in that manifesto, which your hand is on, we’re not quoting from, but it is all over it.

JOHN AVLON: Yes. This is rhetoric we have seen percolating. Sometimes it gets picked up by powerful people. When they echo it with their megaphones that has a real effect in people's minds because it legitimizes it. This is what we are seeing in these early hours, this horrific massacre on mosques.

ALISYN CAMEROTA: Dana, your thoughts?

DANA BASH: Yeah, look, this is tough, it’s very tough. You do not want to assign blame as Adam Kinzinger was saying to you very forcefully in the last segment, John Berman, to President Trump or anyone in particular for somebody who is a nut job and an animal and every other synonym you can come up with. But we also have, until recently, become more used to when these things happen presidents to come out and unify and use language of unity and coming together.

President Trump did that in this tweet this morning. The question is can he and will he do more to bring together -- try to bring together people. That's the opposite of what we saw in Charlottesville and it is the opposite of what we see when the political calendar gets close to election day. When he knows what riles up his base and the problem is riling up the base using terms like invaders in ads that he tweets out also reaches people who are nut jobs. That's the balance that I think we are all getting at here that everybody hopes he strikes better.

CAMEROTA: I just want to be clear. We are not assigning responsibility, we’re not drawing the connection. They are. The gunman is. The terrorist is the person who brings up how much he likes what President Trump is saying. The Tree of Life synagogue shooter is the person who talked about how he likes the language of what President Trump is using with invaders. The crazed attempted terrorist who sent the attempted bombs to CNN had his van plastered with all of the pro-Trump, pro-Pence stuff. They are drawing the connection. We are reporting the connection.

AVLON: That's right. It speaks to special responsibilities leaders have to consider the impact of their words and their rhetoric. You know, sometimes people will just dismiss it as, oh, that's a play to the base, that’s just a little bit of red meat rhetoric. But ideas can become actions. And there’s a special responsibility.

 
NB Daily Guns New Zealand shooting CNN New Day John Avlon Dana Bash
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