White House chief of staff Mick Mulvaney rejected the idea that President Trump has any connection with the gunman who killed 50 people at two New Zealand mosques last week, saying that "the president is not a white supremacist."
FOX News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked Mulvaney about a passage from the shooter's "manifesto" in which he cited President Trump as a "symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose."
"I'm a little disappointed you didn't put up the next sentence, he said, 'What about for his policies and as a leader? Dear God, no.' I don't think it is fair to cast this person as a supporter of Donald Trump, any more than it is to look at his 'eco-terrorist' passages in that manifesto and align him with Nancy Pelosi or Ms. Ocasio-Cortez," Mulvaney said.
"This was a disturbed individual, an evil person and any attempt to try to tie him to an American politician of either party probably ignores some of the deeper difficulties that this sort of activity exposes," he said.
Chris Wallace next asks if the president's rhetoric could have played a role in emboldening the attack. "Has he considered giving a major speech condemning anti-Muslim white supremacists?"
"The president is not a white supremacist. I’m not sure how many times we have to say that," Mulvaney replied. "To simply ask the question every time something happens overseas or even domestically, to say, 'oh my goodness, it must somehow be the president’s fault,' speaks to a politicization of everything that I think is undermining sort of the institutions that we have in the country today."
Watch Mulvaney's full interview on this week's "FOX News Sunday":