President Joe Biden is in trouble again for something he said on Tuesday that was, once again, the wrong thing at the wrong time.
Sen. Josh Hawley (R-Mo.) has called on Biden’s FBI and Department of Homeland Security to investigate the Nashville Christian school shooting as a “hate crime.”
“We should be clear about what happened in Nashville. Police say the shooting was ‘targeted.’ That makes it a federal hate crime — against Christian children and teachers,” Hawley said on Tuesday. “Targeting victims on the basis of religious affiliation is a hate crime. It should be investigated as such.”
On Tuesday afternoon, after disembarking from Marine One, President Biden spoke to a group of reporters, and one of them asked him whether he believed that the perpetrator specifically targeted Christians.
“Sir, do you believe that Christians were targeted in the Nashville school shooting? Do you believe that Christians were targeted?” the reporter asked.
“I have no idea,” Biden initially said.
The reporter also informed the president that Hawley believed that the perpetrator targeted the Christian school due to its faith affiliation, which Biden then used as an opportunity to make a joke.
“I probably don’t then,” he said. “No — I’m joking. No, I have no idea.”
Here’s Joe Biden joking about the Nashville school shooting.
— The Post Millennial (@TPostMillennial) March 29, 2023
The ill-timed joke comes a day after Biden was blasted for talking about ice cream before he addressed the shooting.
It didn’t take Hawley long to respond to Biden’s remarks.
“What a disgrace,” the former Missouri attorney general said.
“Schoolchildren were killed yesterday in a hate crime — but rather than pushing for answers, Joe Biden is trying to make jokes,” he noted on Twitter. “It’s beneath the office of the presidency.”
School children were killed yesterday in a hate crime – but rather than pushing for answers, Joe Biden is trying to make jokes. It’s beneath the office of the presidency pic.twitter.com/NS7mgLV0vJ
— Josh Hawley (@HawleyMO) March 29, 2023
During his testimony before the Senate Appropriations Committee on Tuesday, Attorney General Merrick Garland addressed the question. He confirmed that federal investigators are collaborating with state and local law enforcement agencies. He also noted that at this time, it is unclear whether the shooting was a “hate crime” as the motive of the perpetrator has not been confirmed.
The shooter, Audrey Hale, a biological woman and ‘trans male,’ also reportedly left behind a manifesto.
“The FBI and the ATF are both on the scene working with the local police. As of now a motive hasn’t been identified,” he said. “Motive is what determines whether it’s a hate crime or not.”
.@SenJohnKennedy on Nashville, TN school shooting: "Do you plan on opening a hate crime investigation?"
Attorney General Garland: "As of now a motive hasn't been identified…motive is what determines whether it's a hate crime or not." pic.twitter.com/KIvtMQ9UgS
— CSPAN (@cspan) March 28, 2023