- The Washington Times - Friday, June 3, 2016

South Carolina Gov. Nikki Haley on Thursday warned that divisive rhetoric like Donald Trump’s can lead to tragedies such as the massacre last summer at a black church in Charleston.

“I know what that rhetoric can do. I saw it happen,” the Republican governor told The Associated Press. She had endorsed then-candidate Sen. Marco Rubio ahead of South Carolina’s primary earlier this year.

The governor said divisive speech motivated a white man to gun down nine black parishioners at the historic Emanuel AME Church on June 17, 2015, AP reported.

Ms. Haley, who has repeatedly spoken out against Mr. Trump, the GOP presumptive presidential nominee, acknowledged that she doesn’t believe his supporters are racist.

“That’s a different kind of anger. They’re upset with Washington, D.C. They’re upset nothing’s got done,” she said. “The way he communicates that, I wish were different.”

She said Mr. Trump has a responsibility for the country’s well-being to use a civil, respectful tone, AP reported.

Despite her criticism, Ms. Haley vowed earlier this year to back Mr. Trump if he secured the Republican presidential nomination.

• Jessica Chasmar can be reached at jchasmar@washingtontimes.com.

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