WASHINGTON — A top White House official said Sunday that President Trump “is not a white supremacist” and attempts to tie him to the alleged New Zealand mosque gunman are “absurd.”

Mick Mulvaney, the acting chief of staff, described the New Zealand gunman as a “disturbed individual” and “evil person” and said it was unfair to cast the 28-year-old Australian “as a supporter of Donald Trump any more than it is to look at his, sort of his eco-terrorist passages in that manifesto and align him with Nancy Pelosi or Ms. Ocasio-Cortez.”

Pelosi, a California Democrat, is the House speaker. Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, D-N.Y., is a freshman and major proponent of a plan, named the Green New Deal, for tackling climate change.

“This was a disturbed individual, an evil person, and to try and tie him to an American politician from either party probably ignores some of the deeper difficulties that this sort of activity exposes,” Mulvaney said.

Mulvaney said Trump is a defender of religious minorities worldwide and that his actions speak louder than his words.

“Look at what we’ve done while we’ve been here,” he said. “I don’t think anybody could say that the president is anti-Muslim.”


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