Rep. Keith Ellison (D., Minn.) connected the rhetoric of President Donald Trump to the mass shooting targeting congressional Republicans earlier this month, saying Monday that he has created a "culture of incivility" where crazed individuals can "go off the rails."
Trump's language, the Democratic National Committee deputy chair said on MSNBC's "All In," is fueling some of the "ugliest, most pernicious elements in our society."
Host Chris Hayes then addressed the shooting of House Majority Whip Steve Scalise (R., La.) and others this month by a fervent left-wing supporter of Sen. Bernie Sanders (I., Vt.), which led to renewed discussion about the charged language in American politics.
"There are folks who want to make the connection between that rhetoric and violence as well, and I wonder if you feel like it applies in both directions, or is the president doing something unique?" Hayes asked.
"What I think is when the president says 'punch them in the face,' 'carry them out in a stretcher,' he creates a culture of incivility which sort of lets anybody who's loosely hinged to reality just sort of go off the rails," Ellison said.
Hayes noted Trump made those controversial remarks as a presidential candidate, not once he was in office.
"Yeah, he did, but he has not really renounced them in office, either," Ellison said. "I know Steve Scalise, and I pray for his family every day, but I will tell you that the head of state ought to counsel civility, ought to tell people that we're not going to allow problems to be solved with guns and with street violence, and that's what the president should be doing."