Wednesday, 16 August 2017
Washington post slams Trump in scathing letter for defending bigots
Trump appeared at a press conference yesterday where, rather than condemn the white supremacists for their violent actions, he blamed "both sides" for being responsible for the violent protest.
"You had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent, and nobody wants to say that, but I'll say it right now," Trump told reporters at a press availability Tuesday in New York City.
Trump's statement was a reversal from the comments he made one day prior, condemning the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who had gathered in Charlottesville to protest the removal of a Confederate statue. But it was in line with the very first statement he made when the riot was in full swing when he argued that there was plenty of blame "on many sides" for the violence.
Following his comment at the press conference, Washington post wrote the blistering piece which they titled “The nation can only weep". The Washington Post's editorial board called Trump’s remarks at the Tuesday press conference in New York City a "great day for David Duke (former Ku Klux Klan leader) and racists everywhere."
"The president of the United States all but declared that he has their backs," the board wrote.
The New York Times’ analysis of the press conference reiterated the Post’s sentiment, warning that Trump had "buoyed the white nationalist movement on Tuesday as no president has done in generations."
CNN's Editor-at-large Chris Cillizza also analyzed Trump's remarks in the press conference in an article titled "Donald Trump's presidency is headed to a very dark place". Cillizza wrote that Trump "spent the last 24 hours creating some sort of moral equivalency between hate-mongers and those there to protest hate. In doing so, he has handed these white supremacists and neo-Nazis exactly what they want: Cover for their hate-filled rhetoric."
After the violence in Charlottesville, Trump first condemned "many sides" for the violence - a stance that drew praise from white supremacists, including Duke. It took him two days to criticize white supremacists and neo-Nazis by name and that came only after the public had called him out for remaining silent in the face of hate. But on Tuesday at Trump Tower, he returned to his original response of blaming "both sides" for the violence that unfolded in the Charlottesville.
Trump's recent comment on the protests shows that he meant what he said the first time when he sided with the white supremacists. He probably only changed his mind to condemn them after he was called out.
Trump's comments on Tuesday provoked massive outrage. Even Republican elected officials in the country expressed their disagreement and disapproval with Trump's sentiments, although most did not call him out by name.
The Washington Post editorial called out President Trump for falsely equating white supremacists with those who were there to protest their racism. It also chastised Trump for failing to phone the family of Heather Heyer, the 32-year-old woman killed when a car plowed into a group of protesters demonstrating against white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
The Post's editorial board added: "That car in Charlottesville did not kill or wound just the 20 bodies it struck. It damaged the nation. Mr. Trump not only failed to help the country heal; he made the wound wider and deeper."