President Trump commented for the first time Friday about the U.S. Coast Guard lieutenant and self-identified white nationalist who was arrested on suspicions of plotting an attack against Democratic politicians and journalists, calling the episode “a shame.”
“I think it’s a shame,” Trump told reporters during an afternoon appearance in the Oval Office. “I think it’s a very sad thing when a thing like that happens. I’ve expressed that.”
This was Trump’s first public comment about the Coast Guard official, Christopher P. Hasson, who was arrested last Friday in charges first revealed Wednesday in federal court filings.
Court documents say Hasson wanted to “establish a white homeland” and said, “I am dreaming of a way to kill almost every last person on the earth.” Federal investigators uncovered a cache of weapons and ammunition in his Maryland home, and authorities said he was planning to launch a widespread domestic terrorist attack.
Asked by a reporter Friday whether he bears any personal responsibility from his own rhetoric, Trump said he did not.
“I think my language is very nice,” the president replied.