Hours after a white nationalist terrorist in New Zealand murdered at least 49 Muslims at a mosque, CBS This Morning on Friday jumped at the opportunity to hype any connection between the killer and Donald Trump. Reporter Nikki Battiste admitted that “CBS News has not been able to confirm” all the details of a manifesto apparently posted by the shooter.
But that didn’t stop her from linking Trump, the Second Amendment and the terrorist: “The manifesto makes several references to the United States. In one portion, the author responds to a self-directed question about whether he supports President Trump. He writes, ‘As a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose, sure. As a policy maker and leader, dear God, no.’”
She continued: “He says his goal of the attack was 'to create conflict between the two ideologies within the United States on the ownership of firearms.'”
Both ABC’s Good Morning America and NBC’s Today covered the shooting without drawing connections to Trump. However, on MSNBC’s Morning Joe, contributor Donny Deutsch speculated that Trump’s statement might be weak because Muslims were the victims of this attack.
Over on CNN late Thursday night, guest Mehdi Hasan blamed “far-right terrorism” and attacked, “I think to kind of talk about the story we talked about before in terms of Trump's rhetoric as well. Western government has turned a blind eye to domestic terrorism, to domestic far-right terrorism.”
A transcript of the CBS segment is below:
CBS This Morning
NIKKI BATTISTE: Good morning. The 74-page manifesto was posted on line around the time of the attack. CBS News has not been able to confirm it if it was posted by Brenton Harrison Tarrant but it lays out the alleged motive, citing anti-immigrant sentiment and revenge for past terror attacks in Europe. In a rambling manifesto, a white Australian man who claimed responsibility for the attack, calls himself a fascist who hopes to ensure the existence of “our people” and a “future for white children.” The manifesto's anti-immigrant rhetoric grew sharp criticism from Australia’s prime minister.
AUSTRALIAN PRIME MINISTER: We stand here and condemn absolutely the attack today by an extremist, right-wing, violent terrorist.
BATTISTE: The manifesto makes several references to the United States. In one portion, the author responds to a self-directed question about whether he supports President Trump. He writes, "As a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose, sure. As a policy maker and leader, dear God, no." It also cites the Second Amendment and chose guns as his method of killing to divide the country. He says his goal of the attack was “to create conflict between the two ideologies within the United States on the ownership of firearms.” One woman claiming to be the shooter's former boss said she never saw any warning signs.