Chelsea Clinton blamed by student for Christchurch attack

Chelsea and Bill Clinton
Chelsea Clinton Photo credit: Reuters

A student at a vigil for the Christchurch terror attack has accused Chelsea Clinton, daughter of former US President Bill Clinton, of encouraging hate crime.

Clinton was attending a New York City memorial for the victims of the attack when a university student approached and criticised her for remarks she'd directed at Muslim Democratic congresswoman Ilhan Omar on Twitter.

In February, Omar faced criticism for tweets insinuating that the pro-Israel lobbying group American Israel Public Affairs Committee was effectively buying off US politicians.

To this, Clinton said: "Co-signed as an American. We should expect all elected officials, regardless of party, and all public figures to not traffic in anti-Semitism."

However many criticised Clinton for writing "as an American" in her Tweet, accusing her of implying that Omar herself is not a real American or not as American as Clinton.

The student at the vigil told Clinton her comment had contributed to the hate that fueled the Christchurch terror attack.

"This right here is the result of a massacre stoked by people like you, and the words that you put out into the world," the student said.

"I want you to know that, and I want you to feel that deep inside: 49 people died because of the rhetoric you put out there."

Clinton responded by saying she didn't intend to stoke hatred.

"I am so sorry that you feel that way - it certainly was never my intention. I do believe that words matter; I believe we have to show solidarity with each other."

This prompted an unseen male voice to then ask Clinton: "What does 'I'm sorry you feel that way' mean?"

A Twitter user came forward some time later and identified herself as the young woman in the video.

"I said, and continue to say, that by jumping on the right-wing bandwagon and vilifying Ilhan Omar, [Clinton] fed into the EXACT discourse we were at the vigil to protest.