A CNN discussion on how the FBI handled tips on accused Florida gunman Nikolas Cruz erupted into a war of words this week after conservative pundit Bill Kristol criticized commentator Symone Sanders for bringing race into the discussion.
The duo sat down with CNN’s Jim Sciutto on Monday, during which Sanders ripped into the FBI for its failure to follow up on tips it received about the accused gunman months before he carried out a brutal attack at a high school in Parkland, Fla. last Wednesday. Seventeen people were killed and several others injured.
Sanders argued that the agency might have taken the tips more seriously had Cruz been Muslim.
“If he was yelling ‘Allah Akbar,’ they would’ve swooped in –,” Sanders explained before being interrupted by the conservative.”
“That’s not true!” Kristol quipped.
Sanders then highlighted Trump’s Muslim ban, to which Kristol responded, “You don’t have to demagogue this. You know, you’re thinking about race.”
“Okay, to be clear, white supremacists have repeatedly slipped through the fingers of the FBI — repeatedly,” Sanders stated. “This is a pattern … this young man trained with a white supremacist paramilitary in Florida. Had he been training, in my opinion, had he been with black or brown people training with a paramilitary in Florida, the FBI would have done something about it.”
Watch the rest of their exchange above.