Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said Wednesday that accused Tucson shooter Jared Loughner orchestrated Saturday’s massacre “in some ways” because of his political views.
“Based on what I know, this is a criminal defendant who was in some ways motivated by his own political views, who had a particular animus toward the congresswoman,” Clinton said in an interview with CNN that aired Wednesday. “And I think when you cross the line from expressing opinions that are of conflicting differences in our political environment into taking action that’s violent action, that’s a hallmark of extremism, whether it comes from the right, the left, from al Qaeda, from anarchists, whoever it is. That is a form of extremism.”
Clinton went on to try and extract a political tie to Loughner’s actions and said, “I think that when you’re a criminal who is in some way pursuing criminal activity connected to – however bizarre and poorly thought through – your political views, that’s a form of extremism.”
ABC reported Wednesday that a friend of Loughner said the accused shooter didn’t show any interest in politics or news. Zach Osler, an old friend of Loughner’s, said Loughner was merely an angry person who “was shooting at the world” rather than carrying out a politically motivated attack.
“He did not watch TV. He disliked the news. He didn’t listen to political radio. He didn’t take sides. He wasn’t on the left. He wasn’t on the right,” Osler said.