‘What A Disgrace’: Sen. Josh Hawley Slams Biden For ‘Joking’ About Nashville Shooting

(Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Diana Glebova White House Correspondent
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Republican Missouri Sen. Josh Hawley criticized President Joe Biden on Tuesday for “joking” about the Nashville, Tennessee, school shooting in which six people died.

A reporter asked Biden to respond to Hawley’s claim that Christians were specifically targeted by the transgender shooter on Monday at The Covenant School, which is a private Christian school. On Tuesday, Hawley labeled the shooting as a “hate crime,” and said the victims — three students and three staff members — were targeted “because of their religious affiliation.” (RELATED: Josh Hawley Calls Nashville Shooting An Anti-Christian ‘Hate Crime’)

“Sir, do you believe — sir, do you believe that Christians were targeted in the Nashville school shooting? Do you believe that Christians were targeted?” a reporter asked Biden on the South Lawn.

“I — I have no idea,” he responded.

“Josh Hawley believes they were.  What do you say to that?” the reporter pressed.

“Well, I probably don’t then … No, I — I’m joking.  No, I have no idea,” Biden said.

“There’s nothing remotely funny about hate crimes,” Hawley responded.

“What a disgrace,” he added.

Police have yet to confirm whether the shooter, 28-year-old Audrey Hale, was specifically targeting Christians.

On Monday, Biden began his remarks at the SBA Women’s Business Summit with jokes about chocolate chip ice cream before later switching to talking about the shooting.

“Thank you, my name is Joe Biden. I’m Dr. Jill Biden’s husband and I eat Jeni’s Ice Cream, chocolate chip. I came down because I heard there was chocolate chip ice cream,” Biden said. “By the way, I have a whole refrigerator full upstairs. You think I’m kidding? I’m not.”

The president has repeatedly called on Congress to pass an “assault weapons” ban throughout his administration, and voiced his desire for the legislation to be passed again after the Nashville shooting.

He also said he spoke with the police chief, the police officers that saved lives, Tennessee Gov. Bill Lee and Nashville Mayor John Cooper, and is planning to speak with the victim’s families.