Republican Rep. Illinois Adam Kinzinger rejected CNN host John Berman’s assertion that President Donald Trump is in some way responsible for the terror attack in New Zealand, during a Friday interview on CNN.
The exchange began when Berman asked Kinzinger whether or not God needed to change someone’s language, as well as their hearts in order to avoid a tragedy like an attack in New Zealand.
“I have a question for you,” Berman began. “Does God need to change people’s language? And I ask you that because this killer apparently in a screed, some people call it a manifesto, said he’s a supporter of President Trump as a symbol of white identity. Why would anyone see the president as a symbol of white identity?” (RELATED: Australian Senator Blames Muslims For NZ Mosque Shooting)
Kinzinger responded, “I think God needs to change people’s hearts, and I bet he does. He needs to change their language. But you cannot put this on President Trump.”
Berman appeared to back off, saying that he wasn’t attempting to put the tragedy on Trump, but then pressed further.
“The person giving a sign of allegiance to President Trump is the killer here,” Berman continued. “He calls him a symbol of white identity. The language he uses in this manifesto is all about invaders. It is all about invaders, which is similar language to the killer at the synagogue in Pittsburgh. It’s also language President Trump used in a campaign ad before the midterm election. The word ‘invader’ means something to white supremacists around the world. Why?”
“Again, to make the connection of a president saying ‘I’m concerned with illegal immigration,’ to say that, and then to go to a guy that’s willing to 50 people, he might make a connection and say ‘President Trump’s my idol’ but that doesn’t put it on President Trump,” Kinzinger countered.(RELATED: Erdogan Uses New Zealand Mosque Shootings To Condemn World For ‘Hostility’ To Islam)
“What I know is this, it cannot be connected, we cannot sit here and say ‘what is it that President Trump is doing that’s somehow triggering these people,” he concluded.
Australian Brenton Tarrant attacked a mosque in Christchurch, New Zealand on Friday, killing 49. He wrote a 74-page manifesto that outlined exactly why he did what he did, and he live-streamed the 17-minute attack on Facebook Live.
Tarrant mentions “invaders” several times throughout the document, and he reportedly hoped to ignite a race war in all western nations. A Daily Caller report revealed that ISIS propaganda also discusses “invaders” and “non-believers” in their calls to action.