U.S. ambassador to New Zealand Scott Brown does not give “any credibility whatsoever to the ramblings” of the suspected shooter in last week’s terrorist attack on two mosques in the country, Politico reported on Sunday.
The alleged gunman referenced President Donald Trump in his manifesto, calling the president a “renewed symbol of white identity,” among other inspirations for his attack that took the lives of at least 50 people in Christchurch.
Appearing on CNN’s State of the Union, Brown said, “I don’t give ... any credibility whatsoever to the ramblings of somebody who is rotten to the core and, clearly, is an extremist of the worst kind, who could walk into two mosques and, without any care whatsoever, kill people. I don’t give any credibility to it.”
The ambassador also said he hopes “they can find a way to get this guy convicted and lock him up and throw away the key” as soon as possible, adding that he believes “a lot of New Zealanders feel the same way.”
Politico noted that Brown responded to host Jake Tapper’s question regarding whether white nationalism is on the rise around the world by saying he has not seen evidence of this in New Zealand.
“I have been here for two — almost two years. I haven’t seen it here,” Brown said. “That’s why it's a little bit numbing. I am trying to come up with words.”
On Friday, after offering what many saw as insincere condolences to New Zealand, the president said he does not believe white nationalist ideology presents much of a threat to the world, characterizing the movement as “a small group of people that have very, very serious problems, I guess.”