A lecturer at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas (UNLV) explained on Thursday to her students that US President Donald Trump was to blame for the murderous shooting spree that took place in Las Vegas a week ago.
One of the students filmed her statements and passed the footage onto the group Campus Reform, which uploaded the footage.
“Right when he got elected, I told my classes, three semesters ago, that some of us won’t be affected by this presidency, but others are going to die,” the lecturer, Tessa Winkelmann, who teaches history, says. “Other people will die because of this. And we’ve seen this happen, right?”
Professor Winkelmann brought up Trump’s threats to use force against North Korea and explained, “Words, especially if they’re coming from someone who is the president, have consequences.”
“I don’t know that these events would have inevitably happened whether or not he got elected, but he has rhetorical powers every president has to encourage or to discourage. So far all he’s done is to encourage violence.”
According to a report in the Las Vegas Review-Journal, one student present at the lecture said that Winkelmann’s comments polarized the classroom, and groups of students began shouting at one another.
UNLV said in response that Winkelmann’s comments were “insensitive, especially given the series of events this week and the healing process that has begun in the community.”
White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders said: “It is sad she is teaching students such divisive, inaccurate and irresponsible rhetoric. She should be ashamed of herself, and the university should look into it. What a terrible example to set for students.”
Winkelmann, for her part, apologized on Friday in an email to the Review-Journal.
“I regret that my comments caused more pain during this difficult time,” she wrote. “Emotions were running high and I wish I would have been more thoughtful in how I directed the conversation.”