Aug 7, 2019

Joe Biden: Trump "has fanned the flames of white supremacy"

Photo: Spencer Platt/Getty Images

Joe Biden is set to take on President Trump's rhetoric directly following the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton in a speech in Burlington, Iowa, Wednesday afternoon, saying the president "has fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation."

Why it matters: From the very beginning of his 2020 campaign, the former vice president has pitched himself as a direct counter to Trump, choosing to focus on the "climate of the nation."

What he'll say:

  • "How far is it from Trump's saying this 'is an invasion' to the shooter in El Paso declaring 'his attack is a response to the Hispanic invasion of Texas?' Not far at all."
  • "How far is it from the white supremacists and Neo-Nazis in Charlottesville — Trump’s 'very fine people,' chanting 'You will not replace us' — to the shooter at the Tree of Life synagogue in Pittsburgh saying Jews 'were committing genocide to his people?' Not far at all."
  • "In both clear language and in code, this president has fanned the flames of white supremacy in this nation."

"We have a president who has aligned himself with the darkest forces in this nation," Biden continues:

  • "[W]e have a president with a toxic tongue who has publicly and unapologetically embraced a political strategy of hate, racism, and division."
  • "We’re living through a rare moment in this nation’s history. Where our president isn’t up to the moment. Where our president lacks the moral authority to lead. Where our president has more in common with George Wallace than George Washington."

Go deeper: Trump fears Biden 2020, losing Pennsylvania

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2020 Democrats: Trump is a white supremacist

Democratic presidential candidates Elizabeth Warren and Beto O'Rourke. Photo: Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)

A group of 2020 Democrats have called President Trump a "white supremacist," an extraordinary charge at an extraordinary moment in American politics.

Why it matters ... This is a big shift from calling the president a white nationalist. Check out Merriam-Webster's definition of white supremacist: "a person who believes that the white race is inherently superior to other races and that white people should have control over people of other races."

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 8, 2019

Trump attacks Ohio politicians, Biden, Fox News after visiting shooting victims

President Trump speaks to the media as he visits the emergency operations center in El Paso. Photo: Evan Vucci/AP

President Trump met with first responders and survivors of last weekend's mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas, Wednesday, in a visit he hailed as "incredible." But it was also marked by divisive rhetoric against the media and political rivals — including local politicians.

Details: In a series of tweets after visiting victims of the mass shooting in Dayton, Ohio, Trump accused Sen. Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio) and Dayton Mayor Nan Whaley of lying in a press conference, insulted 2020 candidate Joe Biden as "boring," and called Fox News' Shep Smith worse than "Fake News CNN."

Go deeperArrowUpdated Aug 8, 2019

Tucker Carlson calls white supremacy "a hoax" after El Paso shooting

Fox News host Tucker Carlson at the National Review Institute's Ideas Summit in March. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Fox News host Tucker Carlson claimed on his show "'Tucker Carlson Tonight" Tuesday that white supremacy is a "hoax" and "actually not a real problem in America."

Why it matters: A racist manifesto complaining about a "Hispanic invasion" was posted online by a writer identified as the suspected gunman before the El Paso mass shooting Saturday. Per Axios' Jim VandeHei and Sara Fischer, white-extremist active shooters in the U.S. were responsible for 65 deaths in 7 episodes in the past 18 months.

Go deeperArrowAug 7, 2019