White House press secretary Karine Jean-Pierre dodged a question regarding whether the shooting at a Christian School in Nashville was a hate crime.
“Former Vice President Pence said that if the shooter who killed six people in that Christian school in Tennessee was motivated by a hatred towards Christians, that the crime should be categorized as a hate crime,” a reporter said to Jean-Pierre.
“I’m wondering what the President thinks about that kind of designation?” the reporter asked.
“It’s not for us to decide,” Jean-Pierre replied.
KARINE JEAN-PIERRE: "It's not for us to decide" if murdering Christians at a Christian school in cold blood — three of whom were children — is a "hate crime." pic.twitter.com/mDrFXysVQl
— RNC Research (@RNCResearch) April 5, 2023
Audrey Hale, a 28-year-old female shooter who identified as a male, killed three children and three adults at The Covenant School in Nashville, Tennessee, before being killed herself by law enforcement. Hale, a former student of the school, reportedly had a manifesto detailing her attack.
Jean-Pierre received criticism for suggesting “transgender” people were “under attack” during a press briefing when asked about the Kentucky legislature’s successful override of Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear’s (D) veto of legislation prohibiting “gender-affirming care” for children.
“Our hearts go out to the trans community, as they are under attack right now,” Jean-Pierre said, prompting angry responses on social media from Donald Trump Jr.., Turning Point USA founder Charlie Kirk, and former Arizona Republican gubernatorial candidate Kari Lake.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-MO) was the first member of Congress to label the Nashville shooting a “hate crime.” Hawley spoke on the Senate floor, arguing that the shooting targeted Christians.
“We must also tell the truth about what happened yesterday in Nashville. This murderous rampage, this taking of innocent life, was a horrific crime, but more specifically it was a hate crime. A crime that, according to Nashville police, specifically targeted … the members of this Christian community, the members of this religious institution, its students, its educators, its employees …” Hawley said.
.@HawleyMO is never afraid to tell the truth.
"This murderous rampage… was a horrific crime, but more specifically it was a hate crime. A crime, that according to Nashville police, specifically targeted… the members of this Christian community." pic.twitter.com/RwbPNwSeZy
— Abigail Marone 🇺🇸 (@abigailmarone) March 28, 2023
“The members of this community were singled out because of their religious affiliation and now three young children are dead, and three educators are dead, because of their affiliation with this religious institution, because of their beliefs,” Hawley continued.
Nashville Police Chief John Drake said during a press conference that The Covenant School was “the only school that was targeted.”
Police said Hale planned to target other areas in the community but refrained from doing so because of “too much security.”
President Joe Biden said he doesn’t believe the shooting targeted Christians. Biden laughed off a reporter’s question about whether Hale targeted people of faith.
When asked if the school shooting was a targeted attack, Biden said, “I have no idea.”
Reporters then told Biden that Hawley believed the shooting targeted Christians, prompting Biden to say, “Well, I probably don’t, then.”
To argue that the “trans community is under attack” while its members are committing acts of violence is absurd. The White House should have condemned the attack from the beginning instead of choosing to promote its political agenda.