President Donald Trump once again revealed his inability to show empathy on Friday morning as he tweeted a superficial message regarding the recent New Zealand mosque shootings.
Offering his “warmest sympathy and best wishes” to those who suffered the violent attack, Trump rang hollow, sounding more like a generic birthday card greeting than a sincere expression mourning for the deaths of at least 49 people.
And unlike other world leaders, Trump failed to acknowledge that the incident was a terror attack driven by white nationalist ideology and a hatred for Muslims and immigrants.
Business Insider noted that White House press secretary Sarah Sanders referenced the attack as "act of hate,” and National Security Adviser John Bolton took the language a step further, saying, "We're obviously greatly disturbed on what seems to be a terror attack, this hate crime in New Zealand. We've been in touch with our embassy overnight, we're still getting details, but the State Department and others are following up on it."
But Trump failed to call out the attack for what it was, mentioning neither the suspect nor the bigotry that fueled his actions.
Other world leaders quickly deemed the shootings an act of terror:
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said, "What has happened in Christchurch is an extraordinary act of unprecedented violence. It has no place in New Zealand. Many of those affected will be members of our migrant communities - New Zealand is their home - they are us...The person who has committed this violent act has no place here."
British Prime Minister Theresa May referred to the incident as a "horrifying terrorist attack."
German Chancellor Angela Merkel expressed sorrow for the "citizens who were attacked and murdered out of racist hatred." She continued, saying "we stand together against such acts of terrorism,"
French President Emmanuel Macron tweeted that, "France stands against all forms of extremism and acts with its partners against terrorism in the world."
Business Insider noted that this not the first time Trump has failed to acknowledge terrorism perpetrated by non-Muslims: “After a deadly act of violence at a neo-Nazi rally in August 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, the president was slammed by politicians on both sides of the aisle for blaming "many sides" for what transpired.”
But the president has been quick to label incidents as terrorism in other situations, even before evidence is available to support the claim: “As London police were still investigating an incident involving a car crash outside the Houses of Parliament in August 2018, for example, the president tweeted, ‘Another terrorist attack in London...These animals are crazy and must be dealt with through toughness and strength!’”
What’s more, Trump moved quickly on Friday morning from offering New Zealanders his generic greeting card message to tweeting about “Jexodus” and blasting special counsel Robert Mueller’s investigation.