While speaking at a CNN Town Hall in Jackson, Mississippi, 2020 presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren was questioned about white nationalism at the beginning of the question and answer session.
“Since the election of Donald Trump, the number of hate crimes has increased,” audience member Khalita Hicks said. “and white supremacists have become more emboldened online and in public. What are your plans to unite the country?”
Warren replied that the first step was to recognize “the threat posed by white nationalism.”
“White supremacists pose a threat to the United States like any other terrorist group, like ISIS, like al Qaeda and leadership starts at the top. And that means you’ve got to call it out,” Warren said.
Warren added that as president, the tools made available to the commander in chief should be used to prosecute white nationalists who break the law.
“That means get the Justice Department, when they break the law, to go after them with full prosecution,” the Massachusetts senator said.
Warren’s comments come days after a terrorist attack on two New Zealand mosques that killed 50 people and injured 50 more. The suspected gunman in the attacks is believed to have posted a manifesto online before the attacks occurred which contained beliefs and language favored by white supremacists.
The day after the attack, President Donald Trump responded to a question from a reporter regarding if he felt there is a rise in white supremacy around the world.
“I don’t really. I think it’s a small group of people that have very, very serious problems,” Trump replied. “I guess if you look at what happened in New Zealand, perhaps that’s the 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.”