James Harris Jackson, a 28-year-old white supremacist from Baltimore, traveled to New York City and brutally murdered Timothy Caughman, a 66-year-old black man, with a sword.
On Monday, April Ryan, Washington bureau chief for American Urban Radio Networks, asked Press Secretary Sean Spicer if the White House had anything to say about this hate crime.
Spicer repeatedly refused to saying anything specific about the murder, stating that he was “not going to reference any particular case before the DOJ right now.” He later added the he didn’t “know all the details.”
One detail is that Jackson reportedly told authorities that he killed Caughman for the “rush.” Jackson, who has taken responsibility for the murder, traveled to New York “to kill as many black men as he could.” He also expressed regret that he didn’t kill a “young thug.”
Instead of addressing the murder, Spicer went on a number of bizarre tangents. He told Ryan that there has been “a rush to judgment in a lot of other cases,” specifically anti-semitic attacks, where people have demanded Trump condemn the violence. Later, Spicer said, people have learned that the attacks were not perpetrated by “people on the right.”
Of course, Ryan wasn’t asking the White House to comment because Jackson was a member of the “right” but because he stands accused of a vicious racially-motivated murder.
Spicer also noted, somewhat inexplicably, that Trump had discussed “crime and education” with members of the Congressional Black Caucus.
Trump has a history of reticence to condemn hate crimes and hate groups. At a press conference in February, Trump was asked about the rise in anti-semitic attacks in the United States and responded with an analysis of the electoral college.
This whole answer from Trump, being asked about anti-Semitism in the U.S. Read the whole thing: pic.twitter.com/AblvIC3ulC
— Sopan Deb (@SopanDeb) February 15, 2017
It also famously took Donald Trump several days to condemn former KKK grand wizard and white supremacist David Duke. He initially claimed he had never heard of him and didn’t know whether or not he was racist.