Sen. Cory Booker: Trump Is ‘Sowing Seeds of Hatred’

By Melanie Arter | August 5, 2019 | 10:10am EDT
(Photo by Ethan Miller/Getty Images)

( - Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) told NBC’s “Meet the Press” on Sunday that President Donald Trump is complicit in mass shootings like the one in El Paso, Texas on Saturday, because he is “sowing seeds of hatred.”

We have a president of the United States who is particularly responsible. My faith has this idea that you reap what you sow, and he is sowing seeds of hatred in our country, and this harvest of hate violence that we're seeing right now lies at his feet.

When you have the president, from the highest moral office in our land, talking about invasions and infestations and shithole countries, the kinds of things that come out of his mouth that so harm the moral fabric of our nation, he is responsible.

He's responsible, when he has taken no action whatsoever to even condemn white supremacy, even when his own FBI is talking about this being sourcing major parts of our problem. So we have a president who is responsible, who is not taking that responsibility, and is doing nothing to address the deepening crisis in our country of this kind of violence.




When asked what the president can do to begin the healing process, Booker said, “So Chuck, it's not that he doesn't have the credibility. Please understand what I'm saying. I'm saying the president is contributing to what is going on right now.”

There are two things that must be done. One is, we need to deal with this issue of guns in our community, ease of access, the fact that you can be on the terrorist no-fly list, and you can go in and fill a trunk full of weapons at a gun show, from a casual seller.

We have a uniquely American problem, because of the uniquely American phenomenon that anyone who wants to kill somebody can easily use a loophole to go out and find a weapon. As you've said, I have the boldest plan, but my plan is actually based upon evidence.

If you need a license to drive a car in this country, you should have a license to buy a gun and possess it, and we know that states that have done that have dropped -- have dramatically dropped the levels of violence, but the problem is, we have a patchwork of these laws in our country.

So as we saw in Gilroy, someone who can't get a gun in California, just shoot over to another state that has lax gun laws. Buy your weapons. Come in and do the carnage. So there are specific things we should be doing that are common sense, and again, the moral fabric of our nation, we have a country right now that is, that is boiling over in hate.

We have seen this before. My parents grew up in a generation that was trying to overcome lynchings and violence against African Americans, bombings of churches, of little girls, and we came together - black and white, Christian, Jewish - and did something about this.

But we have a president that is not only incapable of showing that kind of love, but he is stoking, through his language, hate. He is responsible for the crisis in our country and is doing nothing to actually solve it. It's unacceptable.


“There is one Republican that I know of calling this white terrorism. It's George P. Bush, who is a statewide office holder in the state of Texas. If the president doesn't, doesn’t accept the responsibility that you believe he has, what is your -- what would you like the other elected Republicans to do?” NBC’s Chuck Todd asked.


Well, to me, Martin Luther King said it so eloquently: What we have to repent for is not just the vitriolic words and violent actions of the bad people, but the appalling silence and inaction of the good people.

There is a complicity in the president's hatred that undermines the goodness and the decency of Americans, regardless of what party. To say nothing in a time of rising hatred, it's not enough to say that, ‘I'm not a hate monger, myself.’

If you are not actively working against hate, calling it out, you are complicit in what is going on, and so this is a moral moment in America, like we have seen before, where demagogues and fearmongers, hatemongers, have risen. We need moral clarity and healing and love in our nation. We need leaders that are capable of doing that.



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