On Monday, Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) suggested that President Donald Trump was abetting white supremacist terror by looking “the other way” after the mosque shooting in Christchurch, New Zealand. In doing so, she retweeted the Southern Poverty Law Center (SPLC), a far-left smear group that demonizes conservatives and Christians and has worked overtime to connect Trump to “hate.”
Ocasio-Cortez retweeted the SPLC tweet quoting Trump saying he doesn’t see white nationalism as a rising threat around the world.
“White supremacists committed the largest # of extremist killings in 2017,” Ocasio-Cortez tweeted. “What the President is saying here: ‘if you engage in violent acts of white supremacy, I will look the other way.’ Understand that this is deliberate. This is why we can’t afford to sit on the sidelines.”
White supremacists committed the largest # of extremist killings in 2017.
What the President is saying here: “if you engage in violent acts of white supremacy, I will look the other way.”
Understand that this is deliberate. This is why we can’t afford to sit on the sidelines. https://t.co/yUwUXzhBoE
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) March 18, 2019
The self-declared socialist Ocasio-Cortez is entirely off base. Contrary to the popular media narrative, Trump has indeed condemned white supremacy. Indeed, the SPLC and the Resistance love to quote the president’s remarks after the white nationalist riots in Charlottesville, Va. They seize on his statement that there “were very fine people on both sides,” completely forgetting what he said a few minutes later.
In talking about Charlottesville, Trump defended keeping Confederate statues up, noting that George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were also slaveholders.
“It’s fine, you’re changing history, you’re changing culture, and you had people – and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists, because they should be condemned totally – but you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists, okay? And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly,” Trump said.
Immediately after the New Zealand attack, Trump condemned the “horrible massacre.”
My warmest sympathy and best wishes goes out to the people of New Zealand after the horrible massacre in the Mosques. 49 innocent people have so senselessly died, with so many more seriously injured. The U.S. stands by New Zealand for anything we can do. God bless all!
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 15, 2019
The SPLC video focused on a back-and-forth between Trump and ABC News reporter Terry Moran last Friday, before the president had seen the white nationalist manifesto from the mosque terrorist.
“Do you see white nationalism as a rising threat around the world?” Moran asked.
Trump did indeed say, “I don’t, really.” But he explained why. “I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems. I guess, if you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that’s a case. I don’t know enough about it yet, they’re just learning about the person and the people involved. But it’s certainly a terrible thing.”
The president later admitted that he had not seen the terrorist’s manifesto. If he had, he would have disavowed the white supremacy the shooter espoused.
The SPLC has long attacked Trump — before and after his election. The president is not afraid to work with the conservative and Christian organizations the SPLC wrongly labels “hate groups.” For this reason, the SPLC has slammed Trump again and again, writing about “hate in the White House” and smearing Trump and his administration as “anti-LGBT,” “anti-Muslim,” “anti-immigrant,” and more.
The SPLC teamed up with a Grammy-winning artist to demonize ICE, and it connected Trump to the Pittsburgh synagogue shooter — despite the shooter’s hatred for Trump.
The SPLC has faced many lawsuits for its “hate group” labeling, especially after a terrorist used its “hate map” to target the Family Research Council in 2012. Last year, the SPLC paid $3.375 million in a defamation lawsuit for calling a Muslim reformer an “anti-Islamic extremist.” That settlement encouraged about 60 organizations to consider defamation lawsuits of their own.
Just last week, the organization fired its co-founder, Morris Dees. Former employee reviews on GlassDoor also called for the firing of its president, Richard Cohen.
Ocasio-Cortez should not be citing or supporting the SPLC or its false anti-Trump narratives.
Follow Tyler O’Neil, the author of this article, on Twitter at @Tyler2ONeil.