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Psaki: Trump Administration Rhetoric Contributed to Anti-Asian Threats

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Why does the president think attacks on Asian-Americans are increasing in this country? He wanted to be very clear because there’s an ongoing F.B.I. investigation, right? And he didn’t want to attribute motive. There are law enforcement authorities who do that. And it’s important to know when the investigation is concluded or not. So that was a bar he was working to respect there. You know, I think there’s no question that some of the damaging rhetoric that we saw during the prior administration blaming, you know, calling Covid, you know, the Wuhan virus or other things, led to, you know, perceptions of the Asian-American community that are inaccurate, unfair, have raised, you know, threatening — has elevated threats against Asian-Americans. And we’re seeing that around the country. That’s why even before the horrific events of last night, he felt it was important to raise this issue, elevate it, during his first prime-time address, why he signed the executive order earlier in his presidency. And he will continue to look for ways to elevate and talk about this issue moving forward.

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