A Fox News host tried faulting former president Barack Obama for “anti-police rhetoric” after his colleague insinuated that President Trump’s actions have contributed to violence after the recent shooting in Pittsburgh.
11 people were found dead inside a Pittsburgh synagogue last weekend after 46-year-old Robert Bowers opened fire. During a panel discussion on Tuesday, Juan Williams argued that Trump’s language has played a major factor in establishing a toxic environment that incites violence.
“You have to say there’s concern that President Trump’s rhetoric creates this environment,” said Williams. “And so people are getting into a political game of saying, ‘Who’s responsible?’ He’s not responsible, but his rhetoric definitely is an issue in America at this time.”
Watters, on the other hand, blamed the media for portraying Trump in a negative light and argued that the press didn’t place any blame on Obama for officers being killed in the U.S. during his presidency.
“When there was shootings of police officers, and officers in this country were executed in New York City and in Texas during the Obama administration, no one blamed Barack Obama for his anti-police rhetoric, or supporting Black Lives Matter,” Watters stated.
“No one linked him to that. No one said his rhetoric contributed to an atmosphere where cops were killed,” he added. “We were all very prudent and responsible. … Yet, any time there’s any act of violence in this country, Donald Trump’s name is inserted by his political opponents, and it’s wrong.”
Right-wing parties have contended that Obama was “anti-police” during his presidency for supporting Black Lives Matter groups against social injustice.
Williams responded back to Watters saying, “Jesse, you’re a good guy. That’s not analogous. That’s not right.”
The panel discussion stemmed from Trump and first lady Melania Trump paying a visit to victims of the mass shooting on Tuesday afternoon. They also stopped by a Pittsburgh hospital to visit officers who were wounded during the shooting on Saturday.