Charlottesville Response: Moral Failure or Media Frenzy

The ostensible purpose of "Unite the Right" rally held in Charlottesville, Virginia on Aug. 12, 2017 was to protest removal of a statue of Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee from Emancipation Park.  In reality the rally served to bring together white supremacist, anti-Semitic, pro-Confederate, neo-Nazi and other far right groups.  Counter protesters gathered as well, violence ensued, and a car attack led to the death of one of the counter protesters.  President Trump's response prompted widespread condemnation.

On two separate occasions Trump seemed to equate white nationalists and neo-Nazis with the people protesting them.  On August 12 in his initial response to the violence in Charlottesville, Trump condemned "hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides – on many sides."  Two days later on August 14 he came out with a more unequivocal statement against racism.  However during a Q&A at Trump Tower on August 15 he returned to his line that "you had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides."  Many observers argued that Trump had dramatically failed to provide moral leadership, but Trump and his core supporters appeared to regard the episode as just another elite/media frenzy.
ema updated 08/18/17


White House
August 12, 2017

Subject: Pool report No. 3A by Jenna Johnson
Date: August 12, 2017 at 4:11:34 PM EDT

During a bill sign ceremony at his golf club in Bedminster, Trump addressed the situation in Charlottesville for about four minutes.

"We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides -- on many sides. It's been going on for a long time in our country. Not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama. It's been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America. What is vital now is a swift restoration of law and order and the protection of innocent lives. No citizen should ever fear for their safety and security in our society, and no child should ever be afraid to go outside and play or be with their parents and have a good time."

"I just got off the phone with the governor of Virginia, Terry McAuliffe and we agreed that the hate and the division must stop -- and must stop right now. We have to come together as Americans with love for our nation and true affection -- and, really, I say this so strongly -- true affection for each other."

"Our country is doing well in so many ways," Trump said, then pointing to "record employment," new companies coming into the United States and renegotiated trade deals. "We have so many incredible things happening in our country, so when I watch Charlottesville, to me it's very very sad."

Trump recognized the state and local law enforcement in Virginia, along with the National Guard for "working smart and working hard." He said that  McAuliffe thanked him for he support provided so far and that the government is "ready, willing and able" to provide more. 

"Above all else, we must remember this truth: No matter our color, creed, religion or political party, we are all Americans first. We love our country. We love our God. We love our flag. We are proud of our country. We're proud of who we are. So we want to get the situation straightened out in Charlottesville and we want to study it and we want to see what we're doing wrong as a country, where things like this can happen. My administration is restoring the sacred bonds of loyalty between this nation and its citizens -- but our citizens must also restore the bonds of trust and loyalty between one another. We must love each other, respect each other and cherish our history and our future together. So important. We have to respect each other. Ideally, we have to love each other."
August 14, 2016



Diplomatic Room


12:38 P.M. EDT


     THE PRESIDENT:  Thank you.  I’m in Washington today to meet with my economic team about trade policy and major tax cuts and reform.  We are renegotiating trade deals and making them good for the American worker.  And it's about time.


Our economy is now strong.  The stock market continues to hit record highs, unemployment is at a 16-year low, and businesses are more optimistic than ever before.  Companies are moving back to the United States and bringing many thousands of jobs with them.  We have already created over one million jobs since I took office. 


We will be discussing economic issues in greater detail later this afternoon, but, based on the events that took place over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virginia, I would like to provide the nation with an update on the ongoing federal response to the horrific attack and violence that was witnessed by everyone.

     I just met with FBI Director Christopher Wray and Attorney General Jeff Sessions.  The Department of Justice has opened a civil rights investigation into the deadly car attack that killed one innocent American and wounded 20 others.  To anyone who acted criminally in this weekend’s racist violence, you will be held fully accountable.  Justice will be delivered.


     As I said on Saturday, we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence.  It has no place in America.


And as I have said many times before:  No matter the color of our skin, we all live under the same laws, we all salute the same great flag, and we are all made by the same almighty God.  We must love each other, show affection for each other, and unite together in condemnation of hatred, bigotry, and violence.  We must rediscover the bonds of love and loyalty that bring us together as Americans.


Racism is evil.  And those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs, including the KKK, neo-Nazis, white supremacists, and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hold dear as Americans. 


We are a nation founded on the truth that all of us are created equal.  We are equal in the eyes of our Creator.  We are equal under the law.  And we are equal under our Constitution.  Those who spread violence in the name of bigotry strike at the very core of America.


Two days ago, a young American woman, Heather Heyer, was tragically killed.  Her death fills us with grief, and we send her family our thoughts, our prayers, and our love.


     We also mourn the two Virginia state troopers who died in service to their community, their commonwealth, and their country.  Troopers Jay Cullen and Burke Bates exemplify the very best of America, and our hearts go out to their families, their friends, and every member of American law enforcement.


     These three fallen Americans embody the goodness and decency of our nation.  In times such as these, America has always shown its true character:  responding to hate with love, division with unity, and violence with an unwavering resolve for justice.


     As a candidate, I promised to restore law and order to our country, and our federal law enforcement agencies are following through on that pledge.  We will spare no resource in fighting so that every American child can grow up free from violence and fear.  We will defend and protect the sacred rights of all Americans, and we will work together so that every citizen in this blessed land is free to follow their dreams in their hearts, and to express the love and joy in their souls.


Thank you.  God bless you.  And God bless America.  Thank you very much. 


                        END                12:43 P.M. EDT



August 15

**Note: Q&A following prepared remarks are included in this transcript, as well as brief Q&A that he continued when he left the podium.  They are separated by asterisks. 





Trump Tower

New York, New York

[White House Transcript]


3:58 P.M. EDT


     THE PRESIDENT:  Hello, everybody.  Great to be back in New York with all of our friends, and some great friends outside the building, I must tell you.  I want to thank all of our distinguished guests who are with us today, including members of our Cabinet:  Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin, OMB Director Mick Mulvaney and, of course, our Transportation Secretary -- who is doing a fabulous job -- Elaine Chao. 


Thank you all for doing a really incredible and creative job on what we’re going to be discussing today, which is infrastructure.  We’ve just had a great set of briefings upstairs on our infrastructure agenda.  My administration is working every day to deliver the world-class infrastructure that our people deserve and, frankly, that our country deserves.


That’s why I just signed a new executive order to dramatically reform the nation’s badly broken infrastructure permitting process. 


Just blocks away is the Empire State Building.  It took 11 months to build the Empire State Building.  But today, it can take as long as a decade and much more than that -- many, many stories where it takes 20 and 25 years just to get approvals to start construction of a fairly routine highway.  Highway builders must get up to 16 different approvals involving nine different federal agencies governed by 29 different statutes.  One agency alone can stall a project for many, many years, and even decades. 


Not only does this cost our economy billions of dollars, but it also denies our citizens the safe and modern infrastructure they deserve.  This overregulated permitting process is a massive self-inflicted wound on our country -- it’s disgraceful -- denying our people much-needed investments in their community. 


And I just want to show you this because it was just shown to me, and I said, I think I’m going to show it to the media -- both real and fake media, by the way.  This is what it takes to get something approved today.  Elaine, you see that?  So this is what it takes.  Permitting process flowchart -- that’s a flowchart. 


So that can go out to 20 years.  This shows about 10, but that can go out to about 20 years to get something approved.  This is for a highway.  I’ve seen a highway recently in a certain state -- I won’t mention its name -- 17 years.  I could have built it for four or five million dollars without the permitting process.  It cost hundreds of millions of dollars, but it took 17 years to get it approved and many, many, many, many pages of environmental impact studies. 


This is what we will bring it down to.  This is less than two years.  This is going to happen quickly.  That’s what I’m signing today.  This will be less than two years for a highway.  So it’s going to be quick, it’s going to be a very streamlined process.  And, by the way, if it doesn’t meet environmental safeguards, we’re not going to approve it.  Very simple.  We’re not going to approve it.  Maybe this one will say, let’s throw the other one away.  Would anybody like it from the media?  (Laughter.)  Would anybody like that long, beautiful chart?  You can have it.   


So my executive order also requires agencies to work together efficiently by requiring one lead agency for each major infrastructure project.  It also holds agencies accountable if they fail to streamline their review process.  So each agency is accountable.  We’re going to get infrastructure built quickly, inexpensively -- relatively speaking -- and the permitting process will go very, very quickly.   


No longer will we tolerate one job-killing delay after another.  No longer will we accept a broken system that benefits consultants and lobbyists at the expense of hardworking Americans.


Now, I knew the process very well -- probably better than anybody.  I had to get permits for this building and many of the buildings I built -- all of the buildings I built in Manhattan and many other places.  And I will tell you that the consultants are rich people.  They go around making it very difficult.  They lobby Congress, they lobby state governments, city governments to make it very difficult so that you have to hire consultants, and that you have to take years and pay them a fortune.  So we’re streamlining the process, and we won’t be having so much of that anymore. 


No longer will we allow the infrastructure of our magnificent country to crumble and decay.  While protecting the environment, we will build gleaming new roads, bridges, railways, waterways, tunnels, and highways.  We will rebuild our country with American workers, American iron, American aluminum, American steel.  We will create millions of new jobs and make millions of American dreams come true. 


Our infrastructure will again be the best in the world.  We used to have the greatest infrastructure anywhere in the world, and today we’re like a third-world country.  We are literally like a third-world country.  Our infrastructure will again be the best, and we will restore the pride in our communities, our nation, and all over the United States we’ll be proud again.


So I want to thank everybody for being here.  God bless you.  God bless the United States.


And if you have any questions, we have -- Mick, you can come up here please.  Come on up.  Mick Mulvaney.


If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.


Q    Mr. President, why do you think these CEOs are leaving your manufacturing council?


THE PRESIDENT:  Because they're not taking their job seriously as it pertains to this country.  And we want jobs, manufacturing in this country.  If you look at some of those people that you're talking about they’re outside of the country, they're having a lot of their product made outsider.  If you look at Merck as an example, take a look where -- excuse me, excuse me -- take a look at where their product is made.  It's made outside of our country.  We want products made in the country.


     Now, I have to tell you, some of the folks that will leave, they're leaving out of embarrassment because they make their products outside.  And I've been lecturing them, including the gentleman that you're referring to, about you have to bring it back to this country.  You can't do it necessarily in Ireland and all of these other places.  You have to bring this work back to this country.  That's what I want.  I want manufacturing to be back into the United States so that American workers can benefit. 


     Q    Let me ask you, Mr. President, why did you wait so long to blast neo-Nazis?


     THE PRESIDENT:  I didn’t wait long. 


     Q    You waited two days --


     THE PRESIDENT:  I didn’t wait long.


     Q    Forty-eight hours.


     THE PRESIDENT:  I wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct -- not make a quick statement.  The statement I made on Saturday, the first statement, was a fine statement.  But you don’t make statements that direct unless you know the facts.  It takes a little while to get the facts.  You still don’t know the facts.  And it's a very, very important process to me, and it's a very important statement. 


     So I don’t want to go quickly and just make a statement for the sake of making a political statement.  I want to know the facts.  If you go back to --


     Q    So you had to (inaudible) white supremacists?


     THE PRESIDENT:  I brought it.  I brought it.  I brought it.


     Q    Was it terrorism, in your opinion, what happened?


     THE PRESIDENT:  As I said on -- remember, Saturday -- we condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry, and violence.  It has no place in America.  And then it went on from there.


     Now, here's the thing --


     Q    (Inaudible) many sides.


     THE PRESIDENT:  Excuse me.  Excuse me.  Take it nice and easy.  Here's the thing:  When I make a statement, I like to be correct.  I want the facts.  This event just happened.  In fact, a lot of the event didn’t even happen yet, as we were speaking.  This event just happened. 


     Before I make a statement, I need the facts.  So I don’t want to rush into a statement.  So making the statement when I made it was excellent.  In fact, the young woman, who I hear was a fantastic young woman, and it was on NBC -- her mother wrote me and said through, I guess, Twitter, social media, the nicest things.  And I very much appreciated that.  I hear she was a fine -- really, actually, an incredible young woman.  But her mother, on Twitter, thanked me for what I said. 


     And honestly, if the press were not fake, and if it was honest, the press would have said what I said was very nice.  But unlike you, and unlike -- excuse me, unlike you and unlike the media, before I make a statement, I like to know the facts.


     Q    Why do Nazis like you -- (inaudible) -- these statements?


     THE PRESIDENT:  They don’t.  They don’t. 


     Q    They do.  Look --




     THE PRESIDENT:  How about a couple of infrastructure questions. 


     Q    Was it terrorism, that event?  Was that terrorism?


     Q    The CEO of Walmart said you missed a critical opportunity --


     THE PRESIDENT:  Say it.  What?


     Q    The CEO of Walmart said you missed a critical opportunity to help bring the country together.  Did you?


     THE PRESIDENT:  Not at all.  I think the country -- look, you take a look.  I've created over a million jobs since I'm President.  The country is booming.  The stock market is setting records.  We have the highest employment numbers we've ever had in the history of our country.  We're doing record business.  We have the highest levels of enthusiasm.  So the head of Walmart, who I know -- who's a very nice guy -- was making a political statement.  I mean --


     Q    (Inaudible.) 


     THE PRESIDENT:  I'd do it the same way.  And you know why?  Because I want to make sure, when I make a statement, that the statement is correct.  And there was no way -- there was no way of making a correct statement that early.  I had to see the facts, unlike a lot of reporters.  Unlike a lot of reporters --


     Q    Nazis were there.


     Q    David Duke was there.


     THE PRESIDENT:  I didn’t know David Duke was there.  I wanted to see the facts.  And the facts, as they started coming out, were very well stated.  In fact, everybody said, "His statement was beautiful.  If he would have made it sooner, that would have been good."  I couldn’t have made it sooner because I didn’t know all of the facts.  Frankly, people still don’t know all of the facts. 


It was very important -- excuse me, excuse me -- it was very important to me to get the facts out and correctly.  Because if I would have made a fast statement -- and the first statement was made without knowing much, other than what we were seeing.  The second statement was made after, with knowledge, with great knowledge.  There are still things -- excuse me -- there are still things that people don’t know.


     I want to make a statement with knowledge.  I wanted to know the facts. 


     Q    Two questions.  Was this terrorism?  And can you tell us how you're feeling about your chief strategist, Stephen Bannon?


     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I think the driver of the car is a disgrace to himself, his family, and this country.  And that is -- you can call it terrorism.  You can call it murder.  You can call it whatever you want.  I would just call it as "the fastest one to come up with a good verdict."  That's what I'd call it.  Because there is a question:  Is it murder?  Is it terrorism?  And then you get into legal semantics.  The driver of the car is a murderer.  And what he did was a horrible, horrible, inexcusable thing.


     Q    Can you tell us how you're feeling about your chief strategist, Mr. Bannon?  Can you talk about that?


     THE PRESIDENT:  Go ahead.


     Q    I would echo Maggie's question.  Steve Bannon has come under --


     THE PRESIDENT:  I never spoke to Mr. Bannon about it. 


     Q    Can you tell us broadly what your -- do you still have confidence in Steve?


     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, we'll see.  Look, look -- I like Mr. Bannon.  He's a friend of mine.  But Mr. Bannon came on very late.  You know that.  I went through 17 senators, governors, and I won all the primaries.  Mr. Bannon came on very much later than that.  And I like him, he's a good man.  He is not a racist, I can tell you that.  He's a good person.  He actually gets very unfair press in that regard.  But we'll see what happens with Mr. Bannon.  But he's a good person, and I think the press treats him, frankly, very unfairly.


     Q    Senator McCain has called on you to defend your National Security Advisor, H.R. McMaster, against these attacks.


     THE PRESIDENT:  I did it the last time.


     Q    And he called on it again, linking --


     THE PRESIDENT:  Senator McCain?


     Q    -- to the alt-right, and saying --


     THE PRESIDENT:  Senator McCain? 


Q    Yes.


THE PRESIDENT:  You mean the one who voted against Obamacare?


     Q    And he said --


     THE PRESIDENT:  Who is -- you mean Senator McCain who voted against us getting good healthcare?


     Q    Senator McCain said that the alt-right is behind these attacks, and he linked that same group to those who perpetrated the attack in Charlottesville


     THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I don’t know.  I can't tell you.  I'm sure Senator McCain must know what he's talking about.  But when you say the alt-right, define alt-right to me.  You define it.  Go ahead.


     Q    Well, I'm saying, as Senator --


     THE PRESIDENT:  No, define it for me.  Come on, let's go.  Define it for me.


     Q    Senator McCain defined them as the same group --


     THE PRESIDENT:  Okay, what about the alt-left that came charging at -- excuse me, what about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, the alt-right?  Do they have any semblance of guilt?


     Let me ask you this:  What about the fact that they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs?  Do they have any problem?  I think they do.  As far as I'm concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day. 


     Q    You're not putting these --


     THE PRESIDENT:  Wait a minute.  I'm not finished.  I'm not finished, fake news.  That was a horrible day --


     Q    Sir, you're not putting these protestors on the same level as neo-Nazis --


     Q    Is the alt-left as bad as white supremacy?


     THE PRESIDENT:  I will tell you something.  I watched those very closely -- much more closely than you people watched it.  And you have -- 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.  You had a group -- you had a group on the other side that came charging in, without a permit, and they were very, very violent.


     Q    Is the alt-left as bad as Nazis?  Are they as bad as Nazis?


     THE PRESIDENT:  Go ahead.


     Q    Do you think that what you call the alt-left is the same as neo-Nazis?


     THE PRESIDENT:  Those people -- all of those people --excuse me, I've condemned neo-Nazis.  I've condemned many different groups.  But not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me.  Not all of those people were white supremacists by any stretch.  Those people were also there because they wanted to protest the taking down of a statue of Robert E. Lee.


     Q    Should that statue be taken down?


     THE PRESIDENT:  Excuse me.  If you take a look at some of the groups, and you see -- and you'd know it if you were honest reporters, which in many cases you're not -- but many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee.


     So this week it's Robert E. Lee.  I noticed that Stonewall Jackson is coming down.  I wonder, is it George Washington next week?  And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after?  You know, you really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop? 


     But they were there to protest -- excuse me, if you take a look, the night before they were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee.


     Infrastructure question.  Go ahead.


     Q    Should the statues of Robert E. Lee stay up?


     THE PRESIDENT:  I would say that's up to a local town, community, or the federal government, depending on where it is located.


     Q    How concerned are you about race relations in America?  And do you think things have gotten worse or better since you took office?


     THE PRESIDENT:  I think they've gotten better or the same.  Look, they've been frayed for a long time.  And you can ask President Obama about that, because he'd make speeches about it.  But I believe that the fact that I brought in -- it will be soon -- millions of jobs -- you see where companies are moving back into our country -- I think that's going to have a tremendous, positive impact on race relations. 


     We have companies coming back into our country.  We have two car companies that just announced.  We have Foxconn in Wisconsin just announced.  We have many companies, I say, pouring back into the country.  I think that's going to have a huge, positive impact on race relations.  You know why?  It's jobs.  What people want now, they want jobs.  They want great jobs with good pay, and when they have that, you watch how race relations will be. 


     And I’ll tell you, we’re spending a lot of money on the inner cities.  We’re fixing the inner cities.  We’re doing far more than anybody has done with respect to the inner cities.  It’s a priority for me, and it’s very important.


     Q    Mr. President, are you putting what you’re calling the alt-left and white supremacists on the same moral plane?


     THE PRESIDENT:  I’m not putting anybody on a moral plane.  What I’m saying is this:  You had a group on one side and you had a group on the other, and they came at each other with clubs -- and it was vicious and it was horrible.  And it was a horrible thing to watch. 


But there is another side.  There was a group on this side.  You can call them the left -- you just called them the left -- that came violently attacking the other group.  So you can say what you want, but that’s the way it is. 


Q    (Inaudible) both sides, sir.  You said there was hatred, there was violence on both sides.  Are the --


THE PRESIDENT:  Yes, I think there’s blame on both sides.  If you look at both sides -- I think there’s blame on both sides.  And I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it either. 


And if you reported it accurately, you would say.


Q    The neo-Nazis started this.  They showed up in Charlottesville to protest --


THE PRESIDENT:  Excuse me, excuse me.  They didn’t put themselves -- and you had some very bad people in that group, but you also had people that were very fine people, on both sides.  You had people in that group. 


Q    (Inaudible.)


THE PRESIDENT:  Excuse me, excuse me.  I saw the same pictures as you did.


You had people in that group that were there to protest the taking down of, to them, a very, very important statue and the renaming of a park from Robert E. Lee to another name.


Q    George Washington and Robert E. Lee are not the same.


THE PRESIDENT:  George Washington was a slave owner.  Was George Washington a slave owner?  So will George Washington now lose his status?  Are we going to take down --


Excuse me, are we going to take down statues to George Washington?  How about Thomas Jefferson?  What do you think of Thomas Jefferson?  You like him?


Q    I do love Thomas Jefferson.


THE PRESIDENT:  Okay, good.  Are we going to take down the statue?  Because he was a major slave owner.  Now, are we going to take down his statue?


So you know what, it’s fine.  You’re changing history.  You’re changing culture.  And you had people -- and I’m not talking about the neo-Nazis and the white nationalists -- because they should be condemned totally.  But you had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists.  Okay?  And the press has treated them absolutely unfairly.


Now, in the other group also, you had some fine people.  But you also had troublemakers, and you see them come with the black outfits and with the helmets, and with the baseball bats.  You had a lot of bad people in the other group.


Q    Who are the good people?


Q    Sir, I just didn’t understand what you were saying.  You were saying the press has treated white nationalists unfairly?  I just don’t understand what you were saying.


THE PRESIDENT:  No, no.  There were people in that rally -- and I looked the night before -- if you look, there were people protesting very quietly the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee.  I’m sure in that group there were some bad ones.  The following day it looked like they had some rough, bad people -- neo-Nazis, white nationalists, whatever you want to call them. 


But you had a lot of people in that group that were there to innocently protest, and very legally protest -- because I don’t know if you know, they had a permit.  The other group didn’t have a permit.  So I only tell you this:  There are two sides to a story.  I thought what took place was a horrible moment for our country -- a horrible moment.  But there are two sides to the country.


Does anybody have a final --


Q    I have an infrastructure question.


     THE PRESIDENT:  You have an infrastructure --


Q    What makes you think you can get an infrastructure bill?  You didn’t get healthcare --


THE PRESIDENT:  Well, you know, I’ll tell you.  We came very close with healthcare.  Unfortunately, John McCain decided to vote against it at the last minute.  You’ll have to ask John McCain why he did that.  But we came very close to healthcare.  We will end up getting healthcare.  But we’ll get the infrastructure.  And actually, infrastructure is something that I think we’ll have bipartisan support on.  I actually think Democrats will go along with the infrastructure. 


Q    Mr. President, have you spoken to the family of the victim of the car attack?


THE PRESIDENT:  No, I’ll be reaching out.  I’ll be reaching out.


Q    When will you be reaching out?


THE PRESIDENT:  I thought that the statement put out -- the mother’s statement I thought was a beautiful statement.  I will tell you, it was something that I really appreciated.  I thought it was terrific.  And, really, under the kind of stress that she’s under and the heartache that she’s under, I thought putting out that statement, to me, was really something.  I won’t forget it.


Thank you, all, very much.  Thank you.  Thank you.


* * * *


     Q    Will you go to Charlottesville?  Will you go to check out what happened?


     THE PRESIDENT:  I own a house in Charlottesville.  Does anyone know I own a house in Charlottesville


     Q    Where is it?


     THE PRESIDENT:  Oh boy, it’s going to be --


Q    Where is it? 


THE PRESIDENT:  It's in Charlottesville.  You'll see. 


Q    Is it a winery or something?


THE PRESIDENT:  It is the winery.


I mean, I know a lot about Charlottesville Charlottesville is a great place that's been very badly hurt over the last couple of days.

     Q    (Inaudible.)


THE PRESIDENT:  I own, actually, one of the largest wineries in the United States.  It's in Charlottesville.  


Q    Do you believe your words are helping to heal this country right now?


Q    What do you think needs to be done to overcome the racial divides in this country?


THE PRESIDENT:  Well, I think jobs can have a big impact.  I think if we continue to create jobs -- over a million, substantially more than a million.  And you see just the other day, the car companies coming in with Foxconn.  I think if we continue to create jobs at levels that I’m creating jobs, I think that’s going to have a tremendous impact -- positive impact on race relations. 


     Q    Your remarks today, how do you think that will impact the racial, sort of conflict, today?


     THE PRESIDENT:  The people are going to be working, they’re going to be making a lot of money -- much more money than they ever thought possible.  But that’s going to happen.


     Q    Your remarks today.


     THE PRESIDENT:  And the other thing -- very important -- I believe wages will start going up.  They haven’t gone up for a long time.  I believe wages now -- because the economy is doing so well with respect to employment and unemployment, I believe wages will start to go up.  I think that will have a tremendously positive impact on race relations.


                                           END                4:21 P.M. EDT

 Democratic National Committee

August 15, 2017

Dems Stand Together Against Racism


It took Donald Trump three days to use the word “racism” to describe the terrorism perpetrated by white supremacists and neo-Nazis in Charlottesville this weekend.  In stark contrast, Democratic leaders in Virginia and beyond didn’t flinch; They led with their values and immediately condemned these acts of hate and the twisted ideology behind them. The president should never keep the American people in suspense about whether he condones or opposes white supremacy.


These leaders are a small sample of the Democrats who spoke out against hatred this weekend:


VA Governor Terry McAuliffe: "We need to call it out for what it is. For the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who came to our beautiful state yesterday, there is no place for you here."


Charlottesville Mayor Michael Signer: “Our hearts are grieving right now. And three people died who didn't need to die. Charlottesville is one of the great cities in the world. And we're a Southern city, too. We're very progressive and tolerant. But we made a decision about a year and a half ago to, at long last, start telling deliberately the full story of race in our city, in our past, to tell the truth. And that put us on the map for a whole bunch of folks in this country who oppose everything about that. And, so, what we saw this weekend was a deluge of outsiders trying to intimidate us away from that work.”


VA Lieutenant Governor Ralph Northam: “The white supremacists, Nazis, and KKK members who came here seeking to exploit our differences and divide us with hatred have only succeeded in doing one thing: binding us together as a commonwealth, and as a nation. They chanted, ‘Take our country back.’ But here’s the truth: it was never theirs to begin with.”


VA Attorney General Mark Herring: “Heather Heyer [victim of car attack] and her family have shown more grace, love, and courage than anyone in the alt-right ever could.”


Virginia House Democratic Leader David J. Toscano and Caucus Chair Charniele Herring: “We are sickened and saddened by the actions of thousands of white supremacists yesterday in Charlottesville. Their actions, driven by hate, represent an assault on American values that we hold dear… As we mourn today for those killed, we resolve to honor their legacies by rededicating ourselves to the principles of equality, diversity, and inclusiveness. We urge every Virginia to fight darkness with light, and to find the courage to call out hate when you see it, no matter how polished or disguised.”


House Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi: "The President's talk of violence 'on many sides' ignores the shameful reality of white supremacism in our country today, and continues a disturbing pattern of complacency around such acts of hate."


U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer, New York: “March & rally in Charlottesville against everything the flag stands for. President Trump must condemn in strongest terms immediately.”


U.S. Rep. Jacky Rosen, Nevada: “I am outraged, appalled & heartbroken by the despicable violence in #Charlottesville. What happened was an act of domestic terrorism.” “The fact President Trump failed to explicitly condemn the white supremacist ideology behind this evil from day 1 is beyond shameful.” “We needed moral clarity yesterday, but instead received false equivalency from the President that only emboldens this abhorrent behavior.” “As we come together to mourn the loss of life​ in #Charlottesville​, let​'​s remember that hate & division do not & will not define us.”


U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, Illinois: “I am disgusted, alarmed and appalled by the events in #Charlottesville. We must not tolerate or enable this type of violence or bigotry.”


U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown, Ohio: “Hatred and bigotry have no place in America. We must stand united against attempts to threaten and intimidate our friends and neighbors.”


U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, Michigan: “The violence in #Charlottesville is horrifying and does not represent who we are as Americans. We stand united against racism and hatred.”

U.S. Sen. Kamala Harris, California: “The truth is that the vast majority of Americans are good, fair and just and they want their country to reflect those ideals. And the fact that yesterday’s explicit hate was met with near-universal condemnation affirms my belief in our capacity to overcome evil.”


U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson, Minnesota: “Hatred and bigotry associated with the white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK has no place in our society. The tragedy in Charlottesville is another example of the struggles our country faces to unite and confront hate.  My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”


U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, Florida: "I condemn the hatred and lack of respect for others. It turned into fatal violence which must not be tolerated."


U.S. Rep. Charlie Crist, Florida: "Racism and bigotry have no place anywhere, especially America. Today has been a disturbing, tragic day in Charlottesville. Unfortunately... The rhetoric of our President is part of the reason violence and hate is now being paraded and promoted in an American city." "It is incumbent on all of us to stand up and speak out, for all Americans, and against fascism, anarchy, hate, and violence."


U.S. Rep. Adam Schiff, California: "@POTUS needs to speak out against the poisonous resurgence of white supremacy. There are not many sides here, just right and wrong."


Washington Governor Jay Inslee: “It is on all of us, from me, to you, and all the way to the President, to denounce and decry the horror we’ve seen today in Virginia. But speaking out against this hate is not enough. Our actions as a nation in response to racist, nationalist bigotry will speak louder. We cannot let anyone stoke racism for political gain. We can’t ignore an attack on our people. And we will not tolerate hate in any form, anywhere, in the United States of America."


U.S. Sen. Tammy Baldwin, Wisconsin: “Racism, hatred, and violence have no place in America. Concerned and disgusted by the events in #Charlottesville.”


U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, Illinois: “No, Mr. President, not ‘many sides.’ There is one side with Nazi flags and Nazi salutes. America is not on that side.”


California Attorney General Xavier Becerra: “What unfolded this morning in #Charlottesville was a horrific reminder of a past which should find no aid or comfort in today's America. Our thoughts are with the victims of senseless violence and bigotry. It's time to restore civility and order. We thank the civic and law enforcement leaders and first responders who stood up and did their job. Hate and violence, and the bigotry that would fuel it, are not a comfortable fit with the First Amendment. Tolerance and unity will take America much farther than reviving the divisive markers of white supremacy.”


Oregon Governor Kate Brown:  “My heart goes out to the victims of #Charlottesville. Such display of violence, hateful rhetoric, and racism is an affront on our values as Americans. We must unite.”


U.S. Congresswoman Michelle Lujan Grisham: “The past 36 hours have revealed an ugly truth about the state of our country. No doubt, racism, bigotry and hate have existed throughout our history. But we now have an elected President who embraces the most racist, bigoted and hateful qualities of these White Supremacists. I'm not only talking about the deafening silence from the President following today's tragic murder of an innocent woman in Virginia. I am just as outraged at the thought of a President of the United States stoking violence at his campaign rallies, his race-baiting rhetoric, and his purposeful strategy of casting immigrants and refugees as "rapists and murderers" who are not worthy of pursuing the American Dream. We are at a low point in our democracy. We face threats from abroad, and divisions from within. But we also have an opportunity to take courageous action during these perilous times. We live in the greatest nation that values tolerance and inclusion. We have tremendous leaders in communities throughout America. We see that leadership every day, even if it's not coming from the White House.”


U.S. Senator Jon Tester, Montana: “I condemn the hatred, bigotry, and violence in Charlottesville. Racism and hate have no place in America.”


South Dakota State Sen. Billie Sutton: “The hatred that occurred in #Charlottesville is unacceptable and un-American. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.”


Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski, Utah: “We must all come together and turn our backs on hate. #SLC stands as a welcoming city, and we stand in solidarity with the residents of #Charlottesville.”


U.S. Sen. Claire McCaskill, Missouri: “The hate on display in VA is ugly, and morally repugnant. And it is the essence of anti-American. Shame on them.”

U.S. Sen. Joe Donnelly, Indiana: “We must stand together against hatred and bigotry that doesn't represent our values as Hoosiers or Americans. -Joe #Charlottesville


Denver Mayor Michael B. Hancock: “I applaud the true Americans all across our country who have stood up, marched and denounced the hateful messages and violence of wrong-minded people. Once again, Denver and Colorado choose to stand on the right side of history and state irrevocably that we will never accept this resurgence of intolerance, hate and now violence in our community, or any community, in this great nation. While some seek to poison our national discourse and pit neighbor against neighbor, Denver will remain on the side of righteousness and the belief that there is unbound strength in the diversity and pluralism underpinning our American exceptionalism. And we will continue to stand steadfast and united against those that seek to divide us.”


Kansas State Rep. Jim Ward: “Hate and the violence it creates have no place in America. We must reject the idea of white supremacy. #Unity”


Louisiana Governor John Bel Edwards: “White supremacists represent the very worst of society. This is hate & racism. Pure & simple. We stand w/ the people of #Charlottesville.”


U.S. Rep Cedric Richmond, Louisiana: “This is a president after all who has two White supremacists working for him in the White House—Steve Bannon and Stephen Miller. For these reasons, we weren’t surprised President Trump couldn’t bring himself to say the words ‘White supremacy,’ ‘White supremacists,’ and ‘domestic terrorism’ when he addressed the nation’ on Saturday. He instead chose to use racially coded dog whistles like ‘law and order’ and false equivalencies like ‘many sides.’”


Illinois State Sen. Daniel Biss:"Like Donald Trump, Bruce Rauner is an incompetent billionaire unwilling to name and confront hatred because his re-election strategy relies on appealing to right-wing radicals. All Illinoisans should remember this moment, when Rauner refused to stand up to white supremacists because of politics."

U.S. Rep. Jim Cooper, Tennessee: “The hate being displayed has no place in Virginia, Tennessee, or anywhere else in the U.S. We should all stand against such bigotry.”

U.S. Rep. Steve Cohen, Tennessee: “Charlottesville alt.right gathering is reminiscent of 1930's Germany and the President needs to condemn it. Make America great; Speak out !”

U.S. Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, North Dakota: “Yesterday was a terrible and tragic day. The KKK and neo Nazis have no place in our country. #Charlottesville


U.S. Rep. Dave Loebsack, Iowa: “The vile hatred displayed by white supremacists in #Charlottesville is unacceptable and un-American. I mourn the loss of those who were killed.”


Texas Rep. Helen Gidding: "Carrying torches on Friday night, on Saturday they filled the streets with venom, with bigotry and with violence. We must make clear that the neo-Nazis, the white supremacists, the white nationalists and the Ku Klux Klan and their enablers are not welcome here. Again, this is not Republican verses Democrat, or even white verses black. This is about right verses wrong,"

U.S. Sen. Joe Machin, West Virginia: “I denounce white supremacists, the KKK, neo-Nazis, their ideologies and their allies. West Virginia was founded in the fight against slavery, and I know my neighbors join me in denouncing cowardly acts meant to divide our country with bigotry and hatred.”

Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Wolf: “Let’s be clear: white nationalists are racists and the hateful beliefs that these groups espouse are un-American. In America, no one group is supreme – but rather we are equal – no matter our race, gender or religion. The white supremacy rally in Charlottesville does not reflect the values we hold as Pennsylvanians or as Americans.”

U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy, Connecticut: “Today, every leader of national or local significance must condemn the neo-Nazi rallies in Virginia, and the attack on counter-protesters, in the loudest and most unconditional terms. Ours is a nation whose greatness has been forged in the tough work of binding together peoples of different skin color, national origin, religion, and sexual orientation into one great powerful whole. Silence or weak condemnation will be rightly read as complicity with this newly emboldened racist movement.”


U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree, Maine: “The KKK, neo-Nazis, and white supremacists have been emboldened by political rhetoric that harkens back to an America where minorities, women, gay people, and the poor did not have rights or a seat at the table. The horrific resurgence of hate in Charlottesville over the weekend feels like 1968, not 2017… Elected leaders must call the violence in Virginia what it is: domestic terrorism by white nationalists. To call it anything else is an injustice to those who lost their lives yesterday and those who confront bigotry every single day.”


U.S. Rep. Elijah Cummings, Maryland: “My heart goes out to the people of Charlottesville, to those who were harmed by today's senseless violence and their loved ones. We must recognize that what happened in Charlottesville is not new. It is the latest manifestation of a long history of hatred that continues to fester in this country, enabled now more than it has been for generations. Our words of condemnation must be followed by actions to ensure those responsible for white supremacist violence are held to account and brought to justice.”

U.S. Sen. Cory Booker, New Jersey: “The evil of hatred isn’t just the overt torch-bearing bigots in Virginia. The evil of hate is also the ignorance that breeds it, the apathy that sustains it and the Trump-like rhetoric that gives it license to flourish… Condemnation is expected. Anger is understood. But only action, work, sacrifice and struggle will yield progress. The focus should not just be about what ‘they’ did in Virginia, but what we will do where we are to advance our nation toward greater justice.”


U.S. Sen. Chris Coons, Delaware: “Today's rally in #Charlottesville was a disturbing display by white supremacists and KKK members seeking to stoke division in our country.”


Boston Mayor Marty Walsh, Massachusetts: “Don’t hand hatred a microphone and pretend you can’t hear it.”

U.S. Sen. Maggie Hassan, New Hampshire: “I stand with all of my colleagues from both parties who are calling white supremacism what it is: evil”


Rhode Island Governor Gina Raimondo: “My father fought against Nazism in WWII. The white supremacist rally in VA is not America. All Americans should stand in opposition to hate.”

August 16, 2017

Editorials Agree: Donald Trump’s Failure To, Once Again, Condemn White Supremacists is Wrong and Dangerous


Yesterday, Donald Trump praised members of the alt-right movement aligned with white supremacists and neo-Nazis, pushed their talking points, and appeared to endorse the cause of their protests. It was a disgraceful display of bigotry and Trump failed, yet again, to forcefully condemn any of these groups. Americans across the country were appalled and disgusted by Trump’s remarks and by the Republicans that refuse to disavow themselves from the President.


Below is a sampling of scathing editorials Americans across the country are reading:


Virginia Pilot Editorial: Charlottesville catastrophe requires Americans to stand up to hatred

“The nation — and especially this president — cannot be weak when the forces of hatred attempt to flex their muscle. The white supremacist movement is resurgent precisely because too many refused to condemn their actions for far too long.

“That includes Trump, who was more than willing to play along for political gain. One need only look to the White House, where Steve Bannon works, to know that Trump continues these cynical and dangerous calculations.”


The Roanoke Times Editorial: On Trump, Republicans face a time for choosing

On Saturday, after one person was dead, Trump went before cameras to blame ‘hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides,’ as if there is some sort of moral equivalency between one side advocating racism and another protesting it. When asked specifically about the white nationalists, Trump literally left the room without answering.

On Sunday, the White House sent out a statement that condemned ‘white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi and all extremist groups’ — but it was in the form of an email attributed merely to an unnamed spokesman. Not exactly material for a sequel to John F. Kennedy’s ‘Profiles in Courage.’”


The Washington Post Editorial: The nation can only weep

Tuesday was a great day for David Duke and racists everywhere. The president of the United States all but declared that he has their backs.

“When a white supremacist stands accused of running his car into a crowd of protesters, killing one and injuring 19, Americans of goodwill mourn and demand justice. When this is done in the context of a rally where swastikas are borne and racist and anti-Semitic epithets hurled, the only morally justifiable reaction is disgust. When the nation’s leader does not understand this, the nation can only weep.”


The Los Angeles Times Editorial: Trump doubles down on his irresponsible, inexcusable comments about Charlottesville

“Trump needs to understand that racial hatred and intolerance among some of his followers is the enduring problem here. The rally at the center of the skirmishes was called ‘Unite the Right,’ and was intended to defend a statue of Robert E. Lee that the city of Charlottesville plans to remove, recognizing that it is a memorial to reprehensible beliefs and to the slavery system that has been rightly described as the nation’s original sin. It is not a chapter of America history to be celebrated or glorified.”


New York Times: Editorial: Mr. Trump Makes a Spectacle of Himself

“...Mr. Trump took up many of the talking points of the white nationalists and far-right activists who have been complaining that the news media and the political establishment do not pay enough attention to leftists who call themselves anti-fascists. He also sympathized with the demonstrators’ demand — the announced reason for their rally — that Robert E. Lee’s statue in a Charlottesville park be saved. ‘Is it George Washington next week? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after?’ However deep their flaws, though, Washington and Jefferson are memorialized as heroes of American freedom, whereas Lee symbolizes violent division. It was hardly a surprise, then, that David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader, tweeted to thank the president for his ‘honesty & courage’ in denouncing ‘leftist terrorists.’”


The Portland Press Herald Our View: Trump has emboldened alt-right extremists

“Trump did not tell Fields to plow his car into a crowd last week, but during his campaign he sent a message to men like Fields that was almost as dangerous. When Trump promised to mass deport millions of immigrants; or said that a judge’s Mexican heritage made him unfit for his job; or bragged about grabbing women’s genitals; or coyly refused to denounce avowed racists like Duke, he let the alt-right know that it was now safe to say in public the things they thought they could only tweet anonymously.”


The Greensboro News & Record: Editorial: Mr. Trump finally unties his tongue

“Dear President Trump: Before you play your next round of golf in New Jersey, please think long and hard about the recent ugliness in Charlottesville, and your tepid reaction to it. [...] The fact is, you have rarely managed to utter a clear and unequivocal sentence about white supremacists, or the violence they have committed in the name of their warped beliefs.”


The Chicago Sun Times Editorial: Donald Trump, America’s bigot in chief

“Just when we thought President Donald Trump could embarrass our nation no worse, after he declined for two full days to denounce the white supremacists who brought deadly violence to Charlottesville, Virginia — and after doing so with obvious reluctance, reading from a script like a pouting child — he revealed his true self again on Tuesday, and it was ugly.”


Charlotte Observer Editorial: Charlottesville pushes Trump to the margins

“We also should make no mistake about hate and this country. Despite the strong and heartening words from all corners of Washington this weekend, the threat of deep-rooted racism continues to be very real in America, perhaps more now than anytime in recent decades. We must remain vigilant about identifying it and fighting it, and that begins in the White House, which employs as the president’s chief strategist a virulent nationalist whose Breitbart bigotry has helped fuel the anger we saw in Charlottesville.


“Still, we learned something this weekend about the limits of a president’s – at least this president’s – influence. On a bleak Saturday afternoon, the nation feared the power of Donald Trump’s failure to denounce white nationalism. As it turns out, the president and his words were never weaker.”


The  Post & Courier: Editorial: Trump's tardy disavowal of hate

“The president should have been clear on that point on Saturday. He should have condemned the hateful groups that organized the Charlottesville march and called them out by name. Simply put, he should have said what he said on Monday.

“Mr. Trump is right that hate groups cannot be tolerated in American society. There should be no hesitation in denouncing and repudiating those who would seek to turn racist hatred into a political force, least of all from the president.”


Tampa Bay Times Editorial: Trump missed chance to unite country against racism

“This was a national tragedy and a clear case of domestic terrorism. Yet Trump failed to rise to the occasion. In the hours after Saturday's attack, he denounced the violence in only broad terms, criticizing ‘this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.’ On many sides?

“The president used his first opportunity to draw a false moral equivalency between the white supremacists who embraced his candidacy and the anti-hate groups. He was virtually alone among America's political leadership in failing to grasp the significance of the violence and the implications his words would have in a moment of national crisis. This had nothing to do with political party affiliation and everything to do with Trump's personal shortcomings.”


The Miami Herald: Editorial: Trump has little moral authority to condemn white supremacists — they helped elect him

“Trump slow-walked his indignation from decrying violence ‘on many sides’ on Saturday; to a White House statement, issued by a spokesperson, that the president condemns violence by ‘white supremacists, KKK, Neo-Nazi and all extremist groups,’ on Sunday. By the time he got around to said groups repugnant and racism ‘evil’ on Monday, he had lost what tiny scrap of moral authority he had on this issue.”


Dallas Morning News: Editorial: When Trump wavered on Charlottesville violence, his business panel wavered on him

“Who would have imagined that a tepid presidential response to a clash sparked by opposition to the removal of statues of Confederate war heroes would be the pivot point for at least four CEOs to step away from what should be valued seats on a panel tasked with shaping the president's business policies?  But if the president can't come down hard on white supremacy, which amounts to a political layup, what's the point of advising him on anything else?”


El Nuevo Herald: Editorial: Trump al fin condena a los racistas

“La evocación de la esclavitud no tiene cabida en nuestra sociedad. Ni las ideas racistas que clasifican y discriminan a las personas según su origen nacional, el color de su piel, su orientación sexual o la religión que practican. [...]

“Esperemos que su declaración de este lunes contra los grupos de odio que llevaron la violencia a Charlottesville indique un cambio de actitud. Esperemos que por fin comprenda que su misión como presidente es luchar en todo momento por la concordia nacional y oponerse a los extremistas que buscan dividir a nuestra sociedad.”


The San Francisco Chronicle: Editorial: Trump’s resounding silence on bigotry

“What Trump condemned Saturday was hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides — on many sides, which is another way of condemning no side. That it took him two days to correct this allowed German Chancellor Angela Merkel, among others, to beat him to it. So the head of the country that invented Nazism was quicker to condemn it than the president of the country that finally defeated it.”

“In fact, by the time Trump officially rebuked Nazis, Klansmen and company, it had already been done more effectively by everyone from Fox News to Ted Cruz. The White House’s own ragtag communications team clearly recognized the problem, having tried on Sunday to reverse-engineer an appropriate response from the president’s actual, inappropriate one: 
The president said very strongly in his statement yesterday that he condemns all forms of violence, bigotry and hatred, and of course that includes white supremacists, KKK, neo-Nazi and all extremist groups.


The Mercury News: Editorial: Charlottesville tragedy cries out for Republicans to distance themselves from Trump

The Charlottesville melee presented Trump with the opportunity to finally separate himself from the racist elements of his base. He whiffed. The Monday statement would have been fine as his first reaction. But read from a teleprompter just hours after trashing a critic on Twitter, and lacking any acknowledgment that he could have been clearer originally, it does not erase the initial impression.


The Denver Post: Editorial: With Charlottesville, Trump betrays America and reveals his true colors

“Actions speak volumes, and Trump’s were much too little and Monday’s condemnation grossly too late. In Charlottesville, so much of what hurts and haunts this country presented itself and a nation longed for leadership. White nationalists gathered for events protesting a planned removal of a statue of the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee. Carrying torches and Confederate battle flags, wearing helmets, toting shields and sticks, the nationalists clashed with counter-protesters. Now a 32-year-old woman among the counter-protesters is dead. Many more are badly wounded. A 20-year-old white nationalist sympathizer is in jail, charged with the murderous rampage. Two state troopers monitoring the conflict died when their helicopter crashed.”


Kansas City Star: Editorial: Republicans must repudiate more than Donald Trump’s timing

“Donald Trump entered political life selling the racist birther lie that Barack Obama was not born here. He entered presidential politics calling Mexicans rapists and arguing for a Muslim ban. He purported not to know anything about David Duke’s well-documented history of bigotry. It’s Trump himself who is further dividing us, energetically and without any ambiguity. And that’s why it is time for Republicans to repudiate not just his word choice or timing, but the president himself.”


Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel: Editorial: Charlottesville, Trump and a failure to lead

“Too late. Yes, other members of the administration and many Republicans and Democrats did specifically condemn the white supremacist groups. But the president is the one who leads the government, and he must send the strongest condemnation of hatred and intolerance in our pluralistic union, where all are equal under the law.


“He failed to do that Saturday and he failed again on Tuesday when he went back to blaming the violence on both the white nationalists and the counter protesters. Many of the ignorant and hate-filled will read things into that failure, and that could have serious consequences. Trump needs to correct that failure.”


St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Editorial: White House staff chaos should alarm Trump — and everyone else

“Trump botched the response to the outbreak of violence surrounding Saturday’s white supremacist rally in Charlottesville, Va. He revised his remarks 48 hours later, calling out white supremacist groups by name. But incredibly, on Tuesday, he doubled down on his original remarks, insisting that there was “blame on both sides” and suggesting that protests over statues of George Washington, a slave-owner, could be next. He can’t leave bad enough alone.”


Peoria Journal Star: Editorial: Repudiate hate       

“That said, what’s wrong is a president who, when moral courage was required on an issue that has stained America since its beginning and over which this nation fought its bloodiest war, failed to deliver. (And he should be in Charlottesville, vacation or no. It’s what presidents do.)


“We come to this from the point of view of a community that a notorious white supremacist (whose name we need not mention) once called home before he got a new address in a federal penitentiary, and of a newspaper that crusaded against everything he stood for. We know firsthand how ugly and out-of-control these racial animosities can get. We were encouraged by the vigil on Peoria’s riverfront Sunday evening.

“And we can all do better, starting at 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.”


Akron Beacon Journal: Editorial: Expectations of a president


“If anything, the president appears more engaged when fanning racial divisions, whether in jabbing a federal judge of Mexican heritage for his handling of a lawsuit involving Trump University or championing birtherism, the years of false contentions about where Barack Obama was born.

“Perhaps it is too much to expect of President Trump. Yet the country, and the world, look to the Oval Office for reassurance in such ghastly moments that as Americans we remain true to the pursuit of a more perfect union.”


Fredericksburg Freelance Star: EDITORIAL: Americans must take a stand against hate

“A group of neo-Nazis and other reprehensibles came to one of the country’s most pleasant university towns and held what looked a lot like a Klan rally.

“Should the progressive folks in Charlottesville have turned the other cheek? Should they have just ignored the hate-mongers in the belief that they would be so abashed, so ashamed of themselves, that they would skulk back into whatever hole they crawled out of?”


Wilmington News Journal: Editorial: America's version of ISIS is just as horrifying

“But, whether or not by design, President Trump has given hate groups an advocate not seen in the White House since Andrew Johnson.  Before you call Trump’s endorsement of hate tacit, re-watch campaign rallies in which he overtly cheered on hateful chants.”


Pittsburgh Post-Gazette: Editorial: A show of hate: After Charlottesville, a reckoning with history

On Saturday, President Donald Trump condemned the violence ‘on many sides,’ but many people — including his daughter Ivanka — recognized that the statement failed to name the specific evil at the heart of this violence: white nationalism. 

“If Mr. Trump was right to score his predecessor on his failure to use the phrase ‘radical Islamic terrorism,’ then the evil in Charlottesville also must be named.”


Star Ledger: Editorial: Trump's epic anti-racism failure

“He was two days late in denouncing white supremacy, but now that he's finally done so, how is President Trump living up to his own words? 

“Not well. On Tuesday, he couldn’t even stand by the denunciation that he made on Monday. After Donald Trump ceded to public pressure and backed off his statement that ‘many sides’ were to blame for the deadly hate in Charlottesville, he doubled down again.”


Asbury Park Press: Editorial: Trump, and the power of hate

“We can speculate on Trump’s motivations, and what lies in his heart. What we KNOW is that Trump ran a presidential campaign steeped in bigotry and misogyny. He spent years championing the racist falsehood that President Obama was born in Kenya and not eligible to be president. He has pushed forward with anti-immigration policies targeting both illegal and legal immigrants. He has continued to foster a culture of divisiveness, and now, when hate groups inevitably struck in Virginia, he says there are good people involved in those groups and those who challenge neo-Nazi philosophy share equal blame for violence.

What does all of that tell you about our president? He should be denouncing hate groups and rejecting their support. Instead he’s giving them reason to rejoice, knowing they now have in the White House a president who is empowering them with his ignorance. He earned the praise of David Duke, the former Ku Klux Klan leader, who thanked Trump for his ‘honesty and courage.’”

New York Daily News: Editorial: Make America Gray again: Trump's betrayal of American values

“Donald Trump launched the Civil War’s Battle of Fifth Ave. in a staggering display of verbal weaponry Tuesday — and America lost.

“In no particular order, Trump took aim at the truth, history, decency, equal justice, fair play and common courtesy in a freewheeling assault on core American values that confirms his utter unfitness for the high office it is our misfortune he occupies.

“Not least on display: the pressure of the job is getting under his very thin skin.”


Syracuse Post Standard: Editorial: No equivalence between a group that hates and a group that protests hate

“Without waver, we must clearly stand together opposing anything less than equality for every American.

Following the hateful protests and anti-hate counter protests Saturday in Charlottesville, Virginia, the president could have clearly shown this path of freedom.

Instead, President Trump came up short and implied an undercurrent of support for both sides - including hate groups. By suggesting that ‘many sides’ are responsible, the President placed equal acceptance of the two polar moral positions. From our point of view, there is no equivalence between a group that hates and a group that protests hate.”


Boston Globe: Editorial: The terrorists Trump is afraid to name

“The Trump administration’s see-no-evil attitude toward white racism has been on especially vivid display, as the White House struggled over the weekend to manage a convincing condemnation of the rally of neo-Nazis, Klansmen, and miscellaneous white supremacists held in Charlottesville, Va. On the day one of the men drove a car into a group of peaceful counterprotesters, killing one, the president issued an outrageous statement chastising ‘many sides’ for violence.”


Burlington Free Press: Editorial: Trump's failure of leadership on Charlottesville

“President Trump shares responsibility for helping to bring these hate groups back into the open through the rhetoric he deployed during his presidential campaign.

“Trump’s weak response to the white supremacist mob in Virginia has left open a path for the racists to claim to be in the president’s camp.

“In a time of crisis, for the president to leave any ambiguity about his stand against racist groups is a failure of leadership.”

Charleston Gazette-Mail: Editorial: Charlottesville tragedy

“White racism helped put Donald Trump into the White House — and now he was slow to condemn neo-Nazis and white supremacists who inflicted a nightmare on Charlottesville, Virginia.

“‘Alt. Right,’ Ku Klux Klan and other bigot groups swarmed to Charlottesville to protest removal of a statue honoring Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee, who fought for slavery. When counterprotesters objected in stormy clashes, a Nazi-loving Ohio man with a history of mental illness plowed his car into them, killing one and injuring many.


“Disgustingly, Trump spoke as if each side were equally loathsome. The Nazi web site Daily Stormer exulted.”

U.S. Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-WA)
August 16, 2017
Press Release

Reps. Jayapal, Nadler and Watson Coleman Announce Censure Resolution Against President Trump for Blaming “Both Sides” for Violence in Charlottesville and Excusing Behavior of White Supremacists and ‘Unite the Right’ Participants

SEATTLE – Today, Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal, member of the House Judiciary Committee, joined Representatives Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) and Bonnie Watson Coleman (D-NJ) to announce a resolution of censure against President Donald Trump for his August 15, 2017 remarks reasserting earlier comments that “both sides” were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia and excusing the behavior of white supremacists and participants in the ‘Unite the Right’ rally.  The resolution censuring and condemning President Trump is set to be introduced on Friday, August 18, 2017, when the U.S. House of Representatives is next in pro forma session.

“Not even a week has passed since the tragedy in Charlottesville. But on Tuesday, the president poured salt on the nation’s wounds by defending those who marched with white supremacists,” said Rep. Jayapal. “In an unscripted press conference, we saw the real and unfiltered Donald Trump – the logical endpoint for a man who has consistently trafficked in racism throughout his career.”

“The American people expect their leaders to condemn white supremacy in unambiguous terms,” Jayapal continued. “President Trump not only failed at condemning white supremacists and neo-Nazis, he stood up for them – for that he must be censured. The president’s conduct is un-American and it must stop.”

On August 16, Jayapal introduced a resolution urging President Trump to strongly condemn white nationalists, the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other hate groups responsible for the violence, and to remove from the White House and the Trump administration all individuals, including Steve Bannon, Stephen Miller and Sebastian Gorka, who support white supremacists. Just hours after the introduction of the Jayapal resolution, President Trump defended those who marched with white supremacists in the Charlottesville “Unite the Right” rally. Jayapal’s measure is supported by 47 members of Congress.

The full text of the prepared censure resolution can be found below:


H. RES. __


Censuring and condemning President Donald Trump.



1st Session

August 18, 2017




Mr. NADLER, Ms. WATSON COLEMAN, and Ms. JAYAPAL submitted the following resolution, which was referred to the Committee on _______;



Censuring and condemning President Donald Trump.
Whereas on August 11, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, a gathering of white supremacists, including neo-Nazis, Klu Klux Klan (KKK) members, and other alt-Right, white nationalist groups, marched through the streets with torches as part of a coordinated ‘Unite the Right’ rally spewing racism, anti-Semitism, bigotry and hatred;
Whereas on August 12, 2017 in Charlottesville, Virginia, a car driven by James Alex Fields, Jr. rammed into a crowd of counter-protestors, killing Heather Heyer and injuring 20 others;
Whereas President Donald Trump’s immediate public comments rebuked “many sides” for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and failed to specifically condemn the ‘Unite the Right’ rally or cite the white supremacist, neo-Nazi gathering as responsible for actions of domestic terrorism;
Whereas on August 15, 2017 President Donald Trump held a press conference at Trump Tower where he re-asserted that “both sides” were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, and attempted to create a moral equivalency between white supremacist, KKK, neo-Nazi groups and those counter-protesting the ‘Unite the Right’ rally;
Whereas President Donald Trump has surrounded himself with, and cultivated the influence of, senior advisors and spokespeople who have long histories of promoting white nationalist, alt-Right, racist and anti-Semitic principles and policies within the country;
Whereas President Donald Trump has provided tacit encouragement and little to no denunciation of white supremacist groups and individuals who promote their bigoted, nationalist ideology and policies;
Whereas President Donald Trump has failed to provide adequate condemnation and assure the American people of his resolve to opposing domestic terrorism: Now, therefore, be it
Resolved, That the House of Representatives—
(1)   does hereby censure and condemn President Donald Trump for his inadequate response to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia on August 12, 2017, his failure to immediately and specifically name and condemn the white supremacist groups responsible for actions of domestic terrorism, for re-asserting that “both sides” were to blame and excusing the violent behavior of participants in the ‘Unite the Right’ rally, and for employing people with ties to white supremacist movements in the White House, such as Steve Bannon and Sebastian Gorka; and
(2)   does hereby urge President Donald Trump to fire any and all White House advisors who have urged him to cater to the alt-Right movement in the United States.

Mitt Romney
Aug. 18, 2017 facebook post

I will dispense for now from discussion of the moral character of the president's Charlottesville statements. Whether he intended to or not, what he communicated caused racists to rejoice, minorities to weep, and the vast heart of America to mourn. His apologists strain to explain that he didn't mean what we heard. But what we heard is now the reality, and unless it is addressed by the president as such, with unprecedented candor and strength, there may commence an unraveling of our national fabric.

The leaders of our branches of military service have spoken immediately and forcefully, repudiating the implications of the president's words. Why? In part because the morale and commitment of our forces--made up and sustained by men and women of all races--could be in the balance. Our allies around the world are stunned and our enemies celebrate; America's ability to help secure a peaceful and prosperous world is diminished. And who would want to come to the aid of a country they perceive as racist if ever the need were to arise, as it did after 9/11?

In homes across the nation, children are asking their parents what this means. Jews, blacks, Hispanics, Muslims are as much a part of America as whites and Protestants. But today they wonder. Where might this lead? To bitterness and tears, or perhaps to anger and violence?

The potential consequences are severe in the extreme. Accordingly, the president must take remedial action in the extreme. He should address the American people, acknowledge that he was wrong, apologize. State forcefully and unequivocally that racists are 100% to blame for the murder and violence in Charlottesville. Testify that there is no conceivable comparison or moral equivalency between the Nazis--who brutally murdered millions of Jews and who hundreds of thousands of Americans gave their lives to defeat--and the counter-protestors who were outraged to see fools parading the Nazi flag, Nazi armband and Nazi salute. And once and for all, he must definitively repudiate the support of David Duke and his ilk and call for every American to banish racists and haters from any and every association.

This is a defining moment for President Trump. But much more than that, it is a moment that will define America in the hearts of our children. They are watching, our soldiers are watching, the world is watching. Mr. President, act now for the good of the country.