U.N. Ambassador Nikki Haley came to President Donald Trump's defense for his handling of the Pittsburgh synagogue shooting, saying it's not a time to play the blame game which most avoided after the Emanuel AME Church massacre.
"I have struggled w/ what happened in Pitts bc it’s so similar to what happened in Chas," she tweeted late Monday night.
"The country was very racially divided @ the time. We didn’t once blame Pres. Obama," Haley, South Carolina's governor during the Emanuel shooting, went on to say.
I have struggled w/ what happened in Pitts bc it’s so similar to what happened in Chas. The country was very racially divided @ the time. We didn’t once blame Pres. Obama. We focused solely on the lives lost & their families. Have some respect for these families & stop the blame.— Nikki Haley (@nikkihaley) October 30, 2018
"We focused solely on the lives lost & their families," she said. "Have some respect for these families & stop the blame."
Trump has been criticized for his response to the shooting in which a lone gunman — accused of murdering 11 members of the Tree of Life synagogue — reportedly told authorities he wanted "to kill Jews."
One of Trump's first reactions was to say the attack could have been prevented if there were armed guards inside the synagogue that Saturday morning.
Others pointed out his failure to immediately call out the anti-Semitic views of the alleged gunman but instead opting to tweet, "There is great anger in our country caused in part by inaccurate and even fraudulent reporting of the news."
He went on to call the media "the true enemy of the people."
Haley did not specifically mention Trump by name in her tweet Monday night.
While Haley is calling for calm and respect now, she has been critical of Trump in the past for fanning divisive rhetoric as tied to the Emanuel AME shooting. In June 2015, self-avowed white supremacist Dylann Roof entered the church and gunned down nine members of the Charleston church's black congregation.
Haley in 2016 said the type of rhetoric and messaging Trump was using on the presidential campaign trail was dangerous.
"I know what that rhetoric can do. I saw it happen," Haley said.
She additionally pointed out Trump's reluctance to speak out against the support he was getting from white supremacists, saying she opposed a politician who "chooses not to disavow the KKK," Haley said. "That is not a part of our party, that is not who we want as president. We not allow that in our country."
Haley used the Emanuel shooting as an opportunity to press the South Carolina Legislature into removing the Confederate flag from the Statehouse grounds.
Their public differences thawed when Trump appointed Haley U.N. ambassador after winning the White House.
Haley earlier this month announced her resignation and will leave office at the end of the year.
Haley's support for the president has become a pattern for her since joining the administration. While she criticized Trump during the presidential primary for his immigration stance and general demeanor, she has become a strong supporter in the administration, even pledging not to challenge him in 2020.