Conway Comments on Synagogue Attack, Says White Nationalism Among Many Threats

(Bloomberg) -- White House counselor Kellyanne Conway said the fatal shooting inside a San Diego synagogue suggests white nationalism is one of “many growing threats” that provoke deadly attacks.

The shooting by a 19-year-old gunman, which killed a woman and wounded three other people celebrating the last day of a Jewish holiday, turned attention back to hate crimes and the White House’s response. President Donald Trump said Saturday “it looks like a hate crime” and expressed condolences.

Conway Comments on Synagogue Attack, Says White Nationalism Among Many Threats

Conway was pressed on CNN’s “State of the Union” whether white supremacy was a motivation for such attacks and whether Trump views it as a threat. Last month, the president said he doesn’t consider white nationalism to be a growing threat because “it’s a a small group of people that have very, very serious problems.”

“I think there are many growing threats and that’s one of them,” Conway said Sunday, citing the Easter Sunday attacks in Sri Lanka that left about 253 people dead, which the government blamed on local Islamic radicals. “Of course he thinks it’s a threat.”

On Friday, Trump defended his 2017 comment that there was “blame on both sides” after a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Virginia led to the death of a woman demonstrating against the march.

“If you look at what I said, you will see that question was answered perfectly,” Trump said.

Democratic Representative Jim Clyburn of South Carolina, where a mass shooting at a Charleston church killed nine people in 2015, called on Trump and other leaders to counter what he described as a climate that glorifies guns and emboldens people to use them.

“There is just too much acrimony in our electoral process, in our interactions with each other, and we need some leadership on this from our political leaders from the White House on down,” Clyburn said on ABC’s “This Week” on Sunday.

©2019 Bloomberg L.P.