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Trump Rebuked Over ‘Racist, Vile Climate’ in Feisty CNN Segment: ‘This is in the DNA of America’

As the nation comes to terms with 11 deaths following Saturday’s anti-Semitic shooting at a Pittsburgh synagogue, questions are being raised over the influence of President Donald Trump‘s divisive tone. On CNN’s State of the Union the panel was very animated on the topic.

Nina Turner, a former Ohio state senator and current president of progressive PAC Our Revolution, said the Commander-in-chief’s role in fostering a politically charged environment couldn’t be ignored.

In a Sunday panel discussion led by CNN’s Jake Tapper, Turner emphasized that the issue was “not that the president is responsible for any individual’s reaction or actions,” but that “he is responsible for the type of climate that he has created since he started running for president to this very point.”

Turner also stated that while Trump needed to acknowledge the power of his rhetoric, he was merely building on existing discriminatory attitudes within the country.

“He does have to take some responsibility for the type of racist vile climate that we find ourselves in, which, Jake, is not new,” she said. “This is in the DNA of America, so I’m surprised that people are surprised. What is happening is that what is in our root as a country is bubbling up now, and that’s what people are surprised [by].”

Former Trump campaign strategist David Urban took a somewhat opposing view, arguing the issue was a lack of regulations surrounding speech online, referring to Gab, the social networking site where the synagogue shooter posted hate-filled content before his attack.

Urban expressed shock at the aggression he receives on social media, explaining that “very few people come up to me — none to date have come up to me and yelled and spit vitriol like I get on Twitter.”

“That vitriol builds upon vitriol and allows people to think, ‘Well, it’s ok for me to do that,'” he said, appearing to suggest increased monitoring of the Web and using as a parallel a policing model that has been criticized as racially biased.

“This is kind of like the broken window theory of policing. If we don’t push back on the small broken windows that occur in the internet and that allows bigger crimes to occur like this.”

Watch the clip above via CNN.

[Image via screengrab]

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