His response to the New Zealand massacre of 49 people who were killed in an attack on two mosques also raises new questions about his attitude to Islam after having a long history of anti-Muslim rhetoric – and about it, To what extent has the president done so a responsibility to moderate his language in the face of the rise of the white supremacy movements around the world.
On Twitter and in comments in the Oval Office Trump clearly condemned the murders. However, he has not conveyed to US Muslims a message of empathy and support that may feel frightened as security in the US mosques increases.
"I spoke to New Zealand Prime Minister Ardern to express the grief of all our people after the monstrous terrorist attacks in two mosques," Trump said Friday afternoon at the Oval Office after condemning the attack as "a horrible massacre in the mosques." on twitter.
"These holy places of worship have been made the scene of evil," said the president. "We all saw what was going on, it's a terrible, terrible thing."
When asked if he saw a worrying rise in white supremacy around the world, Trump did not say. He accused a small group of people "with very, very serious problems". He also told reporters that he did not see the manifest through a social media account that is believed to belong to an attacker who mentioned Trump by name and saw him as a symbol of a renewed white identity.
While the president did not contact Muslims around the world, his daughter offered the kind of language that could be expected of a more conventional commander-in-chief.
The White House spokeswoman, Sarah Sanders, called the Christchurch killings a "vicious attack on hatred," though she did not specifically mention that the attack was against Muslims.
Trump's failure to point out more that the worshipers who died in Christchurch were Muslims represents a double standard, as he has attributed significantly more religious motives to other murders.
Trump has often gone fast when a Muslim extremist was the culprit of an attack and Muslims are not victims, or when he uses such attacks to promote his political arguments.
And when he ran for office, he regarded the Democrats as dishonest about the motivation of Muslim extremists who carried out terrorist attacks.
"These are radical Islamic terrorists, and they will not mention the word, not even President Obama," Trump said in a presidential debate, referring to Hillary Clinton. "To solve a problem, you have to be able to say the problem, or at least name it."
Indifference to white nationalism
And on Friday it was not the first time that Trump wanted to downplay the threat of white nationalism.
The comment by the President on Friday that white nationalism was not a growing problem was in contrast to the vehemence with which other leaders of the world had reacted and their clear condemnation of white supremacist rhetoric and ideology.
British Prime Minister Theresa May said there was no place in society for "the vile ideology that drives hatred and fear."
Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison condemned a "violent right-wing terrorist attack".
New Zealand Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern said the alleged perpetrator of the attack had "extremist views that have absolutely no place in New Zealand and really no place in the world".
In a tweet posted before Trump's comments in the Oval Office, former Democratic Vice President Joe Biden – a potential White House candidate in 2020 – seemed to have Trump in mind.
"Whether it's anti-Semitism in Pittsburgh, racism in Charlottesville or xenophobia and Islamophobia in Christchurch today, violent hatred is on the rise both at home and abroad, and we can not see mosques turn into murder scenes," Biden tweeted.
"Silence is complicity," he added. "Our children are listening, the time to talk is now."
Texas Democrat Joaquin Castro condemned Trump for what he called extremist rhetoric.
"It comes at a cost, and the cost is part of what we've seen today, there are people who are unstable, who are inspired and take action," Castro told Wolf Blitzer in The Situation Room ".
Mercedes Schlapp, Director of Strategic Communications at the White House, told reporters on Friday that it was "outrageous" to make that connection between this confused individual who committed this vicious crime to the President, who has repeatedly condemned bigotry, racism.
Trump's rejection of the notion that white nationalism is on the rise, contradicted the warnings of his own government and was a typical example of ignoring statistics that did not fit his political arguments.
Trump's point of view Nor does it take into account the rise of white nationalist groups in politics in Europe, which has experienced major marches in some cities.
CNN's Ross Levitt contributed to this story.