Sean Duffy CNN

Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wisconsin, speaks Tuesday morning during an interview on CNN's "New Day" show. In his interview, Duffy said there was a difference between attacks carried out by radical Islamic terrorists and attacks carried out in the name of white supremacy. CNN

A Republican congressman said Tuesday that “good things” came from the shooting of nine black parishioners at Charleston's Emanuel AME Church in 2015.

It started when Rep. Sean Duffy, R-Wisconsin, went on CNN's "New Day" on Tuesday morning to defend President Donald Trump’s travel ban. Duffy proceeded to tell host Alisyn Camerota that there is a difference between attacks carried out by radical Islamists and attacks carried out in the name of white supremacy.

“There is a difference,” Duffy said. “You don’t have a group like ISIS or al-Qaida that’s inspiring people around the world to take up arms and kill innocents. That’s a one-off. That’s a one-off. ”

Camerota pushed back.

“You don’t think there are white extremists?” she said.

Camerota then cited the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, which left 168 people dead, and the more recent Jan. 29 shooting at a Quebec City mosque where six people died and 19 were injured.

Duffy said those attacks do not compare to the “death and destruction in Europe from refugees.”

“Are you going to compare the one attack up in Canada to all the death and destruction in Europe from refugees?” Duffy responded.

Then, Camerota asked Duffy directly: “How about the Charleston church shooting?”

“It does matter,” he said. “Look at the good things that came from it. (Then-Gov.) Nikki Haley took down the Confederate flag. That was great!”

Neither Duffy nor Camerota mentioned the Wisconsin Sikh temple shooting in 2012, a terrorist attack carried out by a white supremacist in Duffy’s home state.

Duffy then suggested that the greatest need at this time is cracking down on ISIS. But then he pivoted back to domestic attacks carried out by white supremacists.

“Can we vet that? How should we vet that to keep ourselves safe?” he said. “What do we do on the white supremacy front to make sure we don’t have another attack like Charleston?”

Camerota responded to his question quickly: “Speak out about it. Crack down on it. Talk about it as extreme violence as much as we talk about all the other terrorism that you call radical Islamic terrorism.”

Duffy then praised the need for the travel ban in the seven Muslim majority countries of Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria and Yemen.

“If we could have vetted that guy who went into the mosque in Canada or the guy that went into Charleston and kept them from those deaths, wouldn’t we do that?” he said.

Dylann Roof applied to buy a gun, but a loophole and a clerical error prevented the government from denying him the gun purchase two months before he carried out his attack on June 17, 2015.

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Reach Caitlin Byrd at 843-937-5590 and follow her on Twitter @MaryCaitlinByrd.

Political Reporter

Caitlin Byrd is a political reporter at The Post and Courier and author of the Palmetto Politics newsletter. Before moving to Charleston in 2016, her byline appeared in the Asheville Citizen-Times. To date, Byrd has won 17 awards for her work.

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