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Transcript: New York Gov. Kathy Hochul on "Face the Nation," May 15, 2022

Hochul: Buffalo shooting was "white supremacy terrorism"
New York governor says Buffalo shooting was "white supremacy terrorism" 03:57

The following is a transcript of an interview with New York Gov. Kathy Hochul that aired Sunday, May 15, 2022, on "Face the Nation."

MARGARET BRENNAN: We want to go now to the governor of New York, Kathy Hochul. Good morning to you, Governor.

GOVERNOR KATHY HOCHUL: Good morning. I'm happy to be here to be on this show, but it's very a tragic day for all of us here in western New York because it's my hometown of Buffalo.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Well, our condolences to you and to that community. Are you concerned about further violence in your state?

GOV. HOCHUL: Well, we are taking proactive measure to make sure that we're monitoring all social media platforms because this- this information was out there. This was on a manifesto that was written a while back. And so we're very concerned about what other information is perpetrated out there on social media platforms and are out there being disseminated globally. So this information from yesterday's attack is already out there. It was live streamed. The- the intent of this individual was telegraphed in advance. So I'm calling on social media platforms to be making sure that they're doing a better job monitoring the hate speech that's out there, especially when it's directed against populations and comes under the guise of white supremacy terrorism, which is exactly what happened here in Buffalo.

MARGARET BRENNAN: I want to come back to that in a moment, but I want to ask about the weapon that this shooter used. You've said it was legally obtained. You've also said that the shooter had been at one point under the sur- surveillance of medical authorities because of past comments he had made about carrying out a shooting. How was he allowed to buy and to hold on to that weapon?

GOV. HOCHUL: That is exactly what's being investigated. Now, I understand that he wrote something when he was in high school and that- that was being investigated. So we're going to get to the bottom of that.

MARGARET BRENNAN: So it's possible that he should not have been sold that weapon. Is that an oversight in the state?

GOV. HOCHUL: Well, no, we don't know that. We don't know that right now. But I'm going to get to the bottom of and find out right now. This would have happened a little while back. He's 19 years old. Apparently, he was investigating when he was a high school student, brought to the attention of the authorities. He had a medical evaluation based on something he had written in school. And so we're going to find out what happened in the aftermath.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Understand, I know you just mentioned going online and taking what's out there in the social media space seriously. You've called it a feeding frenzy for white supremacy. How do you actually regulate this without impeding on free speech? You have a number of media and social media companies with big offices in your state. Specifically, what are you asking them to do?

GOV. HOCHUL: No, we want them to stay in our state. We also want them to be more vigilant and use the resources they have to hire more people, change their algorithms, be able to identify the second that this hate speech appears, and let there be a determination by law enforcement quickly. Law enforcement also monitors this as well. I mean, we have the FBI monitoring. We also have state police. So we need a multifaceted approach. We need vigilance, not just law enforcement, but also from the platforms that are allowing this to spread. They have a responsibility as well.

MARGARET BRENNAN: The Justice Department has called this an act of racially motivated violent extremism. You used a sharper word. You said white supremacist terrorism. I know your state classifies assault based on race or religion as a terror attack. There's no federal statute that does that. Should there be?

GOV. HOCHUL: Yes. Federal terrorism. There are domestic terrorism laws on the books. This can be prosecuted under state or federal laws right now. It started with our district attorney at the state level. So this individual is not going to see the light of day again, whether it's under federal prosecution or state under our domestic terrorism laws or just murder one. This person murdered ten innocent victims in our community just yesterday.

MARGARET BRENNAN: Governor, good luck to you. Thank you for your time this morning.

GOV. HOCHUL: Thank you very much.

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