Trump had the opportunity today to continue on the path he set on Monday when he finally condemned white supremacists by name. To say he blew it might be the understatement of the year. Trump actually went in the other direction in his press conference in New York City today. (see clip below …)
Among the “lowlights” of the press conference came when Trump was asked directly if he would call the Charlottesville attack “terrorism” by name.
Trump refused to say it. He said “you can call it murder, you can call it terrorism, you could call it a lot of things” before going on a tangent about being a “legal term” and uncharacteristically wanting to “stay out of it.”
The next question had Trump defending Steve Bannon and claiming he isn’t the racist that everyone thinks he is. Many would probably disagree with that assessment especially considering Bannon himself claimed to be the person who “built the platform” for the alt-right movement with his Breitbart news service.
Next, Trump insulted Senator McCain, again — for voting against a bill that most Americans hate.
But wait, there’s more …
Trump then went on to try to equate white supremacists with the people who stood against them in Charlottesville.
“Excuse me? What about the ‘alt–left’ that came charging at them … do they have any semblance of guilt?” Trump raged. he then went on to draw equivalencies between the folks who were defending a statue of the Robert E Lee, a defeated foreign Confederate general who was fighting a war to defend slavery and Americans who are against the white supremacist views of those people. Trump seemed to think that people should allow NeoNazis to force everyone to look at their precious symbol of the Confederacy with no resistance. Because the supremacist groups had a permit, that made the people standing against them in the wrong. He later added that “no one wants to say” what he was saying “but I’ll say it right now.” — with a forceful and indignant tone.
Hallie Jackson then even gave Trump the opportunity to walk back what he said and directly asked him if he was equating the left and right groups. He made it clear he was. he could have stopped there, but no, he didn’t:
“This week it’s Robert E Lee, I saw somewhere that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. Is it George Washington next week and is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”
I don’t usually do this, but I’ll take a crack at answering the “where does it stop” question. It stops when every symbol of the Confederacy is removed from public space. To compare traitorous foreign generals to our founding fathers is utterly disgusting. No, Washington and Jefferson weren’t perfect by any stretch and both owned slaves. They founded this country, however — Lee and Jackson betrayed and left it.
There is more, and that is only over the course of about four minutes. Have something soft below your jaw so it doesn’t get bruised when it drops. Check out the clip of the press conference below:
If you can stomach it, you can check out the full press conference below:
Remember, when Muslims drive a car into a crowd, it’s terrorism and the President called it that without hesitation. When a racist alt-right white person does it, it’s “legal semantics.”
Featured image via screen capture from youtube.com