On Friday, tensions boiled over when Clinton was accosted by a New York University student who attempted to publicly shame her for “all the Islamophobia that you have stoked.” According to The New York Post, Clinton was attending a vigil on the campus for the 49 people killed in the attacks earlier that day.
Footage of the incident surfaced on Twitter, showing the interaction in which she can be seen calmly addressing the student.
“I’m so sorry,” she said. “Certainly it was never my intention. I do believe words matter.”
Still, the student persisted in dressing down Clinton, claiming the shootings were “stoked by people like you.”
Here is a pregnant Chelsea Clinton being accosted in public by NYU students blaming her for the New Zealand massacre. You are free to have your opinion, but how you express yourself matters. Note how Clinton never shuts down or stops listening, despite not deserving any of this. pic.twitter.com/V6XcC3lWCB
— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) March 16, 2019
While it’s unclear which statements the student was referring, the exchange subsequently prompted a series of reactions on Twitter, including one from Trump Jr. who called it “sickening.”
The president’s son said people were blaming Clinton because of her decision to condemn anti-Semitism last month following Rep. Ilhan Omar’s (D-Minn.) remarks on Israel’s treatment of Palestinians and America’s financial relationship with the nation.
“Chelsea should be praised for speaking up, Trump wrote. “Anyone who doesn’t understand this is part of the problem.”
It’s sickening to see people blame @ChelseaClinton for the NZ attacks because she spoke out against anti-Semitism. We should all be condemning anti-Semitism & all forms of hate. Chelsea should be praised for speaking up. Anyone who doesn’t understand this is part of the problem.
— Donald Trump Jr. (@DonaldJTrumpJr) March 16, 2019
Omar’s comments ignited a firestorm of debate over whether she was raising legitimate critiques of U.S. foreign policy or engaging in anti-Semitism. Others thought the backlash to the freshman representative’s statements were grounded in Islamophobia and racism.
However, Trump Jr. isn’t the only one backing Clinton. She’s also received support from the Democratic National Committee’s Donna Brazile:
— Donna Brazile (@donnabrazile) March 16, 2019
Meanwhile, the president failed on Friday ― as he has in the past in the wake of killings motivated by hate ― to denounce white supremacist violence after it was learned that the alleged gunman appears to have written a manifesto declaring his hated for Muslim immigrants.
Instead, he contended that he didn’t see white nationalism as much of an issue, speculating that the issue lies within “a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess.”