A University of Nevada-Las Vegas (UNLV) professor was caught on video during a class saying President Trump is to blame for the city’s recent mass shooting because “all he’s done” is “encourage violence.”
UNLV history professor Tessa Winkelmann told her class Thursday that she had warned students previously that people would die under the Trump presidency, according to a video obtained by Campus Reform.
“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,” Winkelmann said. “Other people will die because of this. And we’ve seen this happen, right?” she continued.
The professor also referred to Trump’s comments threatening military violence “against North Korea, and other places,” contending that “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,” she said about the Las Vegas shooting. “So far all he’s done is to encourage violence.”
Gunman Stephen Paddock murdered 59 people, leaving over 520 injured after opening fire from the 32nd floor of the Mandalay Bay casino on those attending a country music concert. This became the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history.
According to the Las Vegas Review-Journal, students in Winkelmann’s class began yelling at each other after the professor’s comments were made. Notably, she was issued an apology after the comments were condemned by the school and the White House.
UNLV spokesman Tony Allen said, “While we respect academic freedom in the classroom and the right to free speech, we believe the 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 that “it is sad she is teaching students such divisive, inaccurate and irresponsible rhetoric,” adding that “she should be ashamed of herself, and the university should look into it. What a terrible example to set for students.”
“This week has been very difficult for members of our community, and we have allowed students space in our classes to discuss how they have been affected and to openly convey their feelings,” Winkelmann told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “I regret that my comments caused more pain during this difficult time. Emotions were running high and I wish I would have been more thoughtful in how I directed the conversation.”