Senior White House adviser Kellyanne Conway on Tuesday said President Donald Trump feels “sympathetic to any loss of life” when asked about his silence in response to last month’s terror attack at a Quebec City mosque.
Trump didn’t tweet or publicly comment on the attack, in which a 27-year-old French Canadian man who had posted far-right views online allegedly killed six Muslims and injured five others as they prayed. Trump has commented on previous terror attacks committed by Islamic extremists.
“He’s sympathetic to any loss of life. It’s completely senseless regardless of who is lodging the attack,” Conway told CNN’s Jake Tapper, when asked whether the president felt sympathy for the people who were killed.
“He doesn’t tweet about everything,” Conway added.
Trump’s lack of response to the Jan. 29 Quebec attack, which involved a white extremist, became even more striking this week, when he suggested the media was intentionally covering up reports of terrorist attacks.
“You’ve seen what happened in Paris, and Nice. All over Europe, it’s happening,” Trump said Monday. “It’s gotten to a point where it’s not even being reported. And in many cases the very, very dishonest press doesn’t want to report it. They have their reasons, and you understand that.”
Pressed to provide evidence, the White House released a list of dozens of terror attacks in Western countries over the years that included the most high-profile, heavily covered incidents. It also included attacks Trump himself cited.
“It’s offensive, given the fact that CNN and other media organizations have reporters in danger right now in war zones covering ISIS,” Tapper told Conway, referring to Trump’s claim of uncovered terrorist strikes. “I just don’t understand how the president can make an attack like that.”
“There seems to be some coverage these days ― maybe not here, but definitely elsewhere ― that somehow terrorism isn’t a big problem, or somehow national security is all taken care of,” Conway responded. “And that’s just not true.”
Tapper also pressed Conway on Trump’s false statement that the U.S. murder rate was the highest in 47 years. The rate ticked up last year, but remains drastically lower than in prior decades.
Conway dodged the question, complaining about attacks about her in the media.
“Facts are stubborn things,” Tapper said. “And to say we’re not reporting something that happens not to be true, therefore we’re not to be trusted ― that’s a problem.”