Trump downplays white nationalist threat


(NBC News) In a lengthy manifesto, the man who killed 50 people in two New Zealand mosques last week says he disagrees with President Trump’s policies but called him “a symbol of renewed white identity and common purpose.”

That has ignited debate over the threat of white nationalism, and what role President Trump has played in its rise.

“His language, his actions, his word, his policy positions, his dog whistling, has electrified those groups,” says Indiana Congressman Andre Carson.

“Donald Trump is no more to blame for what happened in New Zealand than Mark Zuckerberg is because he invented Facebook,” acting White House Chief of Staff Mick Mulvaney told “Face the Nation” Sunday.

The president on Friday denied there’s a growing worldwide threat from white nationalists.

“I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems,” Mr. Trump said.

Experts disagree. The FBI, Anti-Defamation League, Southern Poverty Law Center and others all report more attacks by white nationalists in recent years.

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