Credit: Screen grab from YouTube
Dem Senator Knows Who to Blame for New Zealand Massacre: Americans Who Support Trump

Dem Senator Knows Who to Blame for New Zealand Massacre: Americans Who Support Trump

“Words do have consequences.”

Sen. Richard Blumenthal immediately blamed President Donald Trump and his supporters for a massacre Friday at two Zealand mosques.

Appearing on CNN shortly after the news broke, the Connecticut Democrat referenced Trump’s 2017 comments that “both sides” shared responsibility for a rally in Charlottesville, Virginia, that included white supremacist groups.

“Words do have consequences, and we know that at the very pinnacle of power in our own country, people are talking about ‘good people on both sides,'” Blumenthal told anchor Alyson Camerota.

WATCH: CNN makes the New Zealand shooting all about Trump

The senator, a frequent Trump critic and target, also apportioned some of the blame to “the people who enable” Trump.

“I think it’s more than the president, it’s the people who enable him, and who fail to stand up to him and speak out,” Blumenthal said.

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Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez made a similar point on Twitter. She linked the attack in New Zealand to white supremacist shootings in the United States, and said that Trump has defunded federal programs designed to combat “the spread of white supremacist hate groups.”

The freshman New York Democrat, who frequently fights with conservatives online, went on in a series of tweets to instruct white Americans on how to “address the problem of white supremacy and violence.”

She later called attention to Trump’s travel ban, which she said proved his “hostility to Muslim people.”

On Friday, Ocasio-Cortez had bizarrely used the shootings to criticize the National Rifle Association.

Both Blumenthal and Ocasio-Cortez faced conservative backlash for instantly framing another country’s tragedy in highly partisan American terms.

Gunmen entered the mosques in Christchurch during Friday prayers and opened fire. In addition to the dead, dozens were reported injured, including children.

New Zealand police said that four people – three men and one woman – had been taken into custody over the shootings. Prime Minister Scott Morrison of Australia said that one of them was Australian.

A man in his late 20s was charged with murder and will appear in Christchurch court on Saturday morning, according to New Zealand Police Commissioner Mike Bush.

On one the shooters seemed well-versed in U.S. internet politics, and intent on inflaming them. In a gruesome Facebook livestream of one his rampage, which has since been removed, the gunman urged viewers: “Subscribe to PewDiePie” – the alias of Felix Kjellberg, a popular and provocative YouTuber.

Before the shooting, someone appearing to be the gunman posted links to a white-nationalist manifesto on Twitter and 8chan, an online forum known for far-right-wing discussions. In the 87-page document, which is steeped in sarcasm and irony, he said he had chosen to carry out the attack with firearms to further divide Americans over guns.

Trump responded to the shooting by offering his condolences and pledging U.S. support for New Zealand as it recovers.

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Cover image: Sen. Richard Blumenthal, a Connecticut Democrat, speaks on CNN on March 15, 2019. (Screen grab from YouTube)



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