Trump Interior Secretary Defends Confederate Statues

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke says that the Trump Administration will not remove Confederate monuments from federal lands out of consideration for the feelings of “native Indians.”

“Where do you start and where do you stop?” Zinke asked a Breitbart reporter in an interview published Sunday. “It’s a slippery slope. If you’re a native Indian, I can tell you, you’re not very happy about the history of General Sherman or perhaps President Grant.”

This is a mildly innovative take on the “where do you draw the line?” argument that various members of the Trump administration — and countless conservative commentators — have been rehearsing, ad nauseam, since a bunch of neo-Nazis in Charlottesville successfully revived the defense of Confederate monuments as a national political issue. But Zinke’s iteration of the question isn’t any harder to answer than its predecessors.

It simply isn’t very difficult to find a limiting principle that would allow one to take down statues of Confederate generals, while preserving most other monuments to key figures in American history. Here are two:

1) Is the individual in question historically noteworthy primarily for their service to an evil cause? In other words, was their contribution to said cause their principal legacy?

2) Was the monument in question erected with the explicit intention of celebrating that evil cause?

William Sherman was a racist who participated in what we would now call ethnic cleansing operations against Native American tribes. But this is not what he is primarily remembered for, nor is it his principal contribution to our nation’s history. Rather, Sherman is best known for helping to preserve the union — and thus, end American slavery — by bringing total war to the American South. That Ulysses S. Grant is not primarily remembered for his (terrible) treatment of the Plains Indians would seem to go without saying.

By contrast, Robert E. Lee’s principal historical legacy was taking up arms against the United States in defense of the Southern elite’s right to enslave — which is to say, rape, beat, breed, and kill — human beings with dark skin, at will.

To see the absurdity of Zinke’s rhetorical question, imagine a German official saying that it would be misguided to take down a statue of Adolf Hitler, because then the Chinese might start complaining about statues to Kaiser Wilhelm, who instructed German troops to “mercilessly” put down the Boxer Rebellion.

Now, this is not to say that one shouldn’t judge historical figures by their treatment of Native Americans. But the fact that Grant and Sherman made other significant contributions to our history means that when American communities memorialize them with statues, they do not, typically, do so as a means of celebrating the mistreatment of indigenous peoples.

And here lies the most important distinction between statues of Confederate generals and those of Union ones: The latter were not typically built during the Jim Crow era, to celebrate the restoration of White Supremacy after the end of Reconstruction; the former, typically were.

In his Breitbart interview, Zinke said, “When you try to erase history, what happens is you also erase how it happened and why it happened and the ability to learn from it.”

But when Zinke suggests there is no distinction between monuments to Union and Confederate generals, he erases how the latter were erected — and why.

[New York Magazine]

Trump Again Blames Both Sides for Charlottesville Violence

President Donald Trump is not backing off his defiant response to violence at a white supremacist rally in Virginia last month.

The president told reporters on Thursday that he told Sen. Tim Scott, R-S.C., in a one-on-one meeting that “you have some pretty bad dudes” opposing white nationalists. His comments echoed the most divisive remarks he has made as president, which drew criticism from bipartisan lawmakers, business leaders and his own advisors.

Trump invited Scott, the only African-American Republican in the Senate, to the meeting Wednesday in what the White House reportedly called a demonstration of his commitment to positive race relations.

Trump says he told Scott that violence by some in the so-called antifa movement — far-left groups who oppose white nationalists — justified his remarks condemning “both sides” for the Charlottesville violence. A suspected white nationalist is accused of ramming a car into a crowd of counterprotesters in Charlottesville, killing one woman and injuring many others.

Here’s Trump’s summary of his meeting with Scott, according to pool reporters aboard Air Force One:

I think especially in light of the advent of Antifa, if you look at what’s going on there. You have some pretty bad dudes on the other side also and essentially that’s what I said. Now because of what’s happened since then with Antifa. When you look at really what’s happened since Charlottesville, a lot of people are saying and people have actually written, ‘Gee, Trump may have a point.’ I said there’s some very bad people on the other side also.

Scott’s office responded to Trump’s comments by saying he was “very, very clear about the brutal history surrounding the white supremacist movement and their horrific treatment of black and other minority groups.”

“Rome wasn’t built in a day, and to expect the president’s rhetoric to change based on one 30 minute conversation is unrealistic,” the statement said. “Antifa is bad and should be condemned, yes, but white supremacists have been killing and tormenting black Americans for centuries. There is no realistic comparison.”

Last month, when Trump said “very fine people” marched with the white nationalists in Virginia, his remarks drew widespread condemnation. The comments led to the dissolution of two business councils advising Trump and caused White House chief economic advisor Gary Cohn, among others, to publicly rebuke the president.

Scott also commended Trump for saying he wanted to diversify his staff. He also said he was encouraged by Trump considering his Investing in Opportunity Act, which aims to invest in economically distressed communities.

[CNBC]

Reality

Donald Trump AGAIN said the people who were run over and killed by Nazis driving their car through a crowd in Charlottesville were just as much to blame for violence as the actual Nazis who ran their car through a crowd to kill protester.

This is unbelievable coming from a President of the United States.

Trump took particular aim at Antifa, a small and insignificant anti-fascist movement that right-wing media like Fox News uses to paint the entire left as a violent agitators.

Trump Unloads On GOP Leaders, Clapper and Media in Typo-Riddled Twitter Rant

President Trump fired off a series of tweets on Thursday morning, attacking Republican leaders in Congress, defending the wildly shifting tones in his recent speeches and retweeting a crude photo collage of him “eclipsing” former President Barack Obama in a typo-riddled tirade.

Trump began by accusing Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell and House Speaker Paul Ryan of not following his advice on debt-ceiling negotiations.

“I requested that Mitch M & Paul R tie the Debt Ceiling legislation into the popular V.A. Bill (which just passed) for easy approval,” the president tweeted. “They didn’t do it so now we have a big deal with Dems holding them up (as usual) on Debt Ceiling approval. Could have been so easy-now a mess!”

Those tweets came just hours after the White House issued a statement saying Trump and McConnell “remain unified on many shared priorities” and will meet when Congress returns from its August recess.

The statement seemed to be in response to a New York Times report that the relationship between the president and McConnell has “disintegrated” to the point where the Senate majority leader is now privately questioning whether Trump can even save his presidency.

According to the Times, Trump “berated” McConnell during an Aug. 9 phone call “that quickly devolved into a profane shouting match.”

“During the call, which Mr. Trump initiated on Aug. 9 from his New Jersey golf club, the president accused Mr. McConnell of bungling the health care issue,” the Times reported. “He was even more animated about what he intimated was the Senate leader’s refusal to protect him from investigations of Russian interference in the 2016 election.”

The president also criticized the media’s scrutiny of the shifting tone of his back-to-back-to-back speeches, misspelling the words “there” and “too.”

“The Fake News is now complaining about my different types of back to back speeches. Well, their was Afghanistan (somber), the big Rally (enthusiastic, dynamic and fun) and the American Legion – V.A. (respectful and strong),” Trump tweeted. “To bad the Dems have no one who can change tones!”

He wasn’t done.

Trump then ripped James Clapper, the former director of national intelligence, who told CNN on Tuesday that the president’s fiery speech in Phoenix left him questioning the commander in chief’s fitness for office.

“James Clapper, who famously got caught lying to Congress, is now an authority on Donald Trump. Will he show you his beautiful letter to me?” Trump tweeted.

Amid the barrage, the president paused to retweet a meme-like photo of his face crossing in front of Obama’s, above the message “Best Eclipse Ever.”

[Yahoo News]

Update

Jerry Travone, whose meme Trump retweeted, turns out to be another white supremacist. Trump has a pattern of retweeting them.

Trump Cites “Anti-Police Agitators,” in Boston, Then Thanks Crowds For Protesting “Hate”

President Trump decried “anti-police agitators” in Boston Saturday, after thousands of demonstrators with anti-Nazi and anti-racism signs and chants drowned out a small group of white nationalists holding a “free speech” rally.

The president, taking to Twitter to praise police as “looking tough and smart,” thanked them and Boston Mayor Marty Walsh for their handling of the event.

Police did appear to scuffle with a large crowd of counter-protesters Saturday, but the president’s response to the event that drew tens of thousands of largely peaceful counter-protesters is sure to spark criticism. Mr. Trump is already under fire for saying there were “very fine people” among the white nationalist protesters in last week’s deadly events in Charlottesville, Virginia, and for claiming “many sides” were to blame for the violence.

The president also said protest is sometimes necessary to “heal” the nation.

But Mr. Trump’s Twitter account later thanked people for protesting “bigotry and hate.”

The group that organized the “free speech” rally had until recently intended to have speakers with ties to white nationalism. Boston police did experience some confrontation against them, the Boston Police Department’s Twitter account seems to indicate. The police commissioner said 27 people were arrested throughout the day.

[CBS News]

Trump sides with white nationalists and praises ‘beautiful’ Confederate statues

President Donald Trump followed up his early morning tweet storm on Thursday by lamenting that Confederate statues are being taken down all across the U.S. and saying it’s “sad.”

“Sad to see the history and culture of our great country being ripped apart with the removal of our beautiful statues and monuments,” wrote the president, who has come under the heaviest fire of his administration in recent days over his gross mishandling of the response to the violence in Charlottesville, VA.

He followed up by saying, “You can’t change history, but you can learn from it. Robert E Lee, Stonewall Jackson – who’s next, Washington, Jefferson? So foolish!”

And then, “Also the beauty that is being taken out of our cities, towns and parks will be greatly missed and never able to be comparably replaced!”

[Raw Story]

 

Trump Lawyer Forwards Email Echoing Secessionist Rhetoric

President Trump’s personal lawyer on Wednesday forwarded an email to conservative journalists, government officials and friends that echoed secessionist Civil War propaganda and declared that the group Black Lives Matter “has been totally infiltrated by terrorist groups.”

The email forwarded by John Dowd, who is leading the president’s legal team, painted the Confederate general Robert E. Lee in glowing terms and equated the South’s rebellion to that of the American Revolution against England. Its subject line — “The Information that Validates President Trump on Charlottesville” — was a reference to comments Mr. Trump made earlier this week in the aftermath of protests in the Virginia college town.

“You cannot be against General Lee and be for General Washington,” the email reads, “there literally is no difference between the two men.”

The contents of the email are at the heart of a roiling controversy over race and history that turned deadly last weekend in Charlottesville, where white nationalist groups clashed with protesters over the planned removal of a statue of Lee. An Ohio man with ties to white nationalist groups drove his car through a crowd, killing one woman and injuring many others, authorities say.

In a fiery news conference on Tuesday, Mr. Trump blamed “both sides” for that violence. He said many of those who opposed the statue’s removal were good people protesting the loss of their culture, and he questioned whether taking down statues of Lee could lead to monuments of Washington also being removed.

His words were widely criticized in Washington but were praised by white supremacists, including a former Ku Klux Klan leader.

Mr. Dowd received the email on Tuesday night and forwarded it on Wednesday morning to more than two dozen recipients, including a senior official at the Department of Homeland Security, The Wall Street Journal editorial page and journalists at Fox News and The Washington Times. There is no evidence that any of the journalists used the contents of the email in their coverage. One of the recipients provided a copy to The New York Times.

Mr. Almon said he hoped Mr. Dowd would circulate his email.

“I was hoping it would get in the hands of President Trump — I quite frankly hope he would review it right now because his presidency is on the line,” Mr. Almon said in the interview. “I don’t believe the president is getting the correct advice or proper information. Someone reading what I sent to Dowd will view Robert E. Lee differently.”

There is no evidence that Mr. Dowd sent the email to Mr. Trump. Other recipients include Washington lawyers and members of Mr. Dowd’s family.

Mr. Dowd circulated the email hours after the White House issued its own talking points to Republicans defending the president.

“The president was entirely correct — both sides of the violence in Charlottesville acted inappropriately, and bear some responsibility,” the White House said. Those talking points, circulated on Tuesday night, did not address Mr. Trump’s comments about Lee and Washington.

The email that Mr. Dowd forwarded, however, issues a full-throated endorsement of those comments. It declared that Lee “saved America” by opting to surrender rather than launch guerrilla attacks in the final days of the Civil War.

Professor Giesberg said it is true that Lee rejected such tactics, but his decision did not save America.

“It’s like a history I don’t even recognize,” she said.

In an interview, Mr. Almon said he is not a Republican and that he does not reflexively support Mr. Trump.

“I’m against racism,” he said.

Mr. Almon said that he had also provided information about the F.B.I. to the office of Representative Devin Nunes of California, the Republican chairman of the House Intelligence Committee.

An email Mr. Almon provided to The Times showed that he had been in communication in March with Mr. Nunes’s office. There is no evidence that Mr. Nunes circulated that email.

[The New York Times]

Trump Defends White-Nationalist Protesters: ‘Some Very Fine People on Both Sides’

President Trump defended the white nationalists who protested in Charlottesville on Tuesday, saying they included “some very fine people,” while expressing sympathy for their demonstration against the removal of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. It was a strikingly different message from the prepared statement he had delivered on Monday, and a reversion to his initial response over the weekend.

Speaking in the lobby of Trump Tower at what had been billed as a statement on infrastructure, a combative Trump defended his slowness to condemn white nationalists and neo-Nazis after the melee in central Virginia, which ended in the death of one woman and injuries to dozens of others, and compared the tearing down of Confederate monuments to the hypothetical removal of monuments to the Founding Fathers. He also said that counter-protesters deserve an equal amount of blame for the violence.

“What about the alt-left that came charging at, as you say, at the alt-right?” Trump said. “Do they have any semblance of guilt?”

“I’ve condemned neo-Nazis. I’ve condemned many different groups. But not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me,” he said.

“You had many people in that group other than neo-Nazis and white nationalists,” Trump said. “The press has treated them absolutely unfairly.”

“You also had some very fine people on both sides,” he said.

The “Unite the Right” rally that sparked the violence in Charlottesville featured several leading names in the white-nationalist alt-right movement, and also attracted people displaying Nazi symbols. As they walked down the street, the white-nationalist protesters chanted “blood and soil,” the English translation of a Nazi slogan. One of the men seen marching with the fascist group American Vanguard, James A. Fields, is charged with deliberately ramming a car into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32-year-old counter-protester Heather Heyer.

Trump on Tuesday made an explicit comparison between Confederate generals and Founding Fathers such as George Washington and Thomas Jefferson. “Many of those people were there to protest the taking down of the statue of Robert E. Lee,” Trump said. “This week, it is Robert E. Lee. And I notice that Stonewall Jackson is coming down. I wonder, is it George Washington next? And is it Thomas Jefferson the week after? You know, you have to ask yourself, where does it stop?”

The substance of Trump’s unscripted remarks hewed more closely to his initial reaction to Charlottesville on Saturday, when he blamed “many sides” for what happened. On Monday, after two days of relentless criticism, Trump gave a stronger statement, saying “racism is evil” and specifically condemning white supremacists, the Ku Klux Klan, and neo-Nazis. Speaking to reporters shortly afterward, white nationalist Richard Spencer told reporters he didn’t see Trump’s remarks as a condemnation of his movement.

Tuesday’s appearance made it even clearer that those words had been forced on the president. Throughout his campaign, he was reluctant to disavow the white nationalists who have formed a vocal segment of his supporters. Asked if he had spoken to Heyer’s family in the days since her death, Trump said “we will be reaching out.”

Trump also addressed swirling rumors about the status of his chief strategist, Steve Bannon, who has come in for another round of speculation this week that his job may be in danger. Trump is reportedly angry about the recent book Devil’s Bargain, by the Bloomberg Businessweek writer Joshua Green, which portrays Bannon as the key reason for Trump’s election victory.

The president defended Bannon as having been unfairly attacked as a racist in the press, but declined to say if he still has confidence in him.

“I like Mr. Bannon, he is a friend of mine,” Trump said. “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. I like him. He is a good man. He is not a racist, I can tell you that. He is a good person. He actually gets very unfair press in that regard. We’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon. But he is a good person, and I think the press treats him, frankly, very unfairly.”

The remarks echo what Trump told the New York Post earlier this year during a similar moment of uncertainty about Bannon’s position. “I like Steve, but you have to remember he was not involved in my campaign until very late,” Trump told the Post in April.

[The Atlantic]

Reality

These are the “very fine people” Donald Trump is telling us about.

Trump Defends Violent White Supremacists

President Trump’s argument Tuesday that left wing groups were just as violent as the white supremacists who staged a demonstration in Charlottesville set off a firestorm of criticism from members of his own party – and raised questions about his personal views of racial tensions in the country.

Just one day after Trump sought to tamp down on controversy by condemning white supremacists for their role in racially motivated clashes in the Virginia city, the president appeared to return to his highly criticized initial response that many sides were to blame for the weekend violence.

“What about the alt-left that came charging at the, as you say, alt-right?” Trump told reporters in a chaotic impromptu press conference at Trump Tower. “Do they have any semblance of guilt? What about the fact they came charging with clubs in their hands?”

Trump said he couldn’t make a condemnation of hate groups earlier because he didn’t “know all the facts” about an alleged white nationalist who crashed a car into a crowd of protesters, killing one person and wounded 19 others.

“I wanted to make sure, unlike most politicians, that what I said was correct,” Trump said from Trump Tower in New York, after an event that was intended to be devoted to a new infrastructure executive order.

Trump has been especially quick to denounce previous terrorist attacks, including those taking place overseas. Yet he was notably reticent to pinpoint the blame for one on Saturday that involved white supremacists – a point his critics on both sides of the aisle continued to hammer.

“We must be clear. White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity,” said House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis.

House Democratic Leader Nancy Pelosi, D-Calif. added: “There is only one side to be on when a white supremacist mob brutalizes and murders in America.”

Several lawmakers were dismayed the president appeared to equate white supremacists with their opponents. Rep. Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla., tweeted: “Blaming ‘both sides’ for #Charlottesville?! No. Back to relativism when dealing with KKK, Nazi sympathizers, white supremacists? Just no.”

Another Republican, Rep. Charlie Dent from Pennsylvania, said Trump “must stop the moral equivalency! AGAIN.”

Over the weekend, Trump faced heavy criticism from both Republicans and Democrats for chiding “many sides” for their role in the violence in Charlottesville on Saturday, a statement many regarded as tepid toward racists.

A full two days later, on Monday, Trump at the White House directly condemned the KKK, neo-Nazis and white supremacists and announced the Justice Department would open up a civil rights investigation into the driver of the car that killed Charlottesville resident Heather Heyer.

Yet on Tuesday, amid questions about whether Trump meant the words behind his most recent scripted statement, the president called his initial response “fine” and blamed the press for being dishonest in its coverage.

“There was no way of making a correct statement that early,” he said at one point. “I had to see the facts. Unlike a lot of reporters – I didn’t know (prominent white supremacist) David Duke was there. I wanted to see the facts.”

For his part, former KKK leader Duke tweeted a thank you to the president after his statement Tuesday – for condemning “the leftist terrorists” in Black Lives Matter and Antifa.

Trump also said “not all of those people” who attended the demonstration were not racist or neo-Nazi, but only wanted to protest the city’s plans to remove the Robert E. Lee statue.

That statement also drew catcalls from Republicans. “If you’re showing up to a Klan rally, you’re probably a racist or a bigot,” said Rep. Will Hurd, R-Tex., said on CNN.

And Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., tweeted that “the organizers of events” that led to the Charlottesville terror attack “are 100% to blame.”

The white supremacists, Rubio tweeted, are “adherents of an evil ideology which argues certain people are inferior because of race, ethnicity or nation of origin…. When (there’s an) entire movement built on anger and hatred towards people different than you, it justifies and ultimately leads to violence against them.”

Rubio offered a direct message to Trump: “Mr. President, you can’t allow #WhiteSupremacists to share only part of blame… (they) will see being assigned only 50% of blame as a win. We can not allow this old evil to be resurrected.”

The president was slated to only discuss infrastructure during his appearances, but took questions from reporters for more than 15 minutes, most of them about Charlottesville. Some aides looked dismayed as he answered more questions.

During a rollicking, impromptu news conference in which Trump and reporters frequently argued and interrupted each other, the president also:

  • Questioned moves by local government to remove Confederate statues and monuments from public places

Trump openly wondered whether tributes to George Washington and Thomas Jefferson are at risk because they were slave owners. “You really do have to ask yourself, where does it stop?” Trump said. On the other hand, Trump said local governments are free to make their own decisions on these issues.

  • Refused to say whether he thought the “alt-left” were as bad as the white supremacists who organized a demonstration in defense of the Robert E. Lee statue

“You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent,” Trump said. While Trump said he condemned neo-Nazis, he said “not all of those people” at the rally were neo-Nazis or white supremacists “by any stretch.”

The Anti-Defamation League disputed Trump’s comments, tweeting that “comparisons between white supremacists & counter protesters are beyond the pale.”

  • Distanced himself from chief strategist Steve Bannon, whose role has been in the spotlight after the Charlottesville violence

Trump cast the former chief executive of his 2016 campaign as a late-comer to his cadre of advisers and expressed uncertainty about his fate at the White House. “Mr. Bannon came on very late,” Trump told reporters. “I like him, he’s a good man, he is not a racist, I can tell you that. But we’ll see what happens with Mr. Bannon.”

  • Refused to answer a question on why self-proclaimed Nazis say they support him

“They don’t,” Trump responded.

  • Said he had a plan to the nation’s racial divide

That plan involves creating more – and better – jobs.

Trump’s remarks left many on Twitter expressing concerns he is too soft on racists and bigots.

“If you are still defending Donald Trump at this point, you are not a good person,” tweeted Jill Biden, the wife of former Vice President Joe Biden.

The news conference capped a day in which Trump returned to his residence in the gold-leaf comfort of Trump Tower for the first time since he took office in January – but it hasn’t been a particularly joyful homecoming.

Amid rush hour, after the rain, protestors returned to Fifth Avenue with bullhorns and placards in hand to protest Trump’s views of race, immigration, and other issues. “New York hates you,” read one sign. Police placed a protest area about a block-and-a-half from Trump Tower.

Trump huddled with staff and signed an executive order on infrastructure Tuesday – at a podium affixed with the presidential seal in front of the elevator bank – that did little to change the conversation.

The infrastructure announcement – intended to streamline the permitting process for infrastructure projects – is part of Trump’s ongoing effort to try and toll back federal regulations that he says undermine economic development. Many of the targeted regulations involve environmental restrictions.

Yet even as Trump heralded the order as a way to promote jobs, business leaders within his circle appeared to be more focused on the president’s response to Charlottesville.

So far, five senior leaders from president’s business council have stepped down amid criticism that Trump was too slow to directly condemn violence involving white supremacists.

After his press conference, another member of his council – Richard Trumka, president of the The American Federation of Labor and Congress of Industrial Organizations – announced he would step down. “I cannot sit on a council for a President that tolerates bigotry and domestic terrorism; I resign, effective immediately,” tweeted Trumka.

Activists are continuing to pressure remaining members to follow suit.

“No adviser committed to the bipartisan American traditions of government can possibly believe he or she is being effective at this point,” tweeted Lawrence Summers, a former high-level economic adviser to Democratic presidents Bill Clinton and Barack Obama.

Yet Trump has done little to stem the controversy. Hours after making a formal statement Monday denouncing those who perpetuate racially-motivated attacks, Trump returned Monday night to a usual line of criticism: the press. “Made additional remarks on Charlottesville and realize once again that the #Fake News Media will never be satisfied…truly bad people!”

Trump stirred up more Twitter trouble after that. In the leadup to his press conference Tuesday, he retweeted a prominent figure from the alt-right  who pushed the “Pizzagate” and Seth Rich conspiracy theories, who questioned why there was no similar outrage over violence in Chicago.

He tweeted then retweeted and deleted a post that included the cartoon of a train – the “Trump train” running over a CNN reporter, an image that drew criticism in the wake of the deadly car ramming incident in Virginia.

Steady rain in midtown Manhattan kept away many protesters Tuesday – as did a heavy security perimeter that included a line of white sanitation trucks parked along Fifth Avenue, flanking the entrance to Trump Tower.

Trump is expected to return to his 17-day working vacation at his golf club in Beminster, N.J.,  on Wednesday.

[USA Today]

Reality

Donald Trump backtracked against his statement a day ago and defended violent white supremacists, arguing people on the left, called the “alt-left”, are just as violent.

First, no-one uses the term “alt-left” except super-right-wing nutjobs like Sean Hannity and Richard Spencer, as a slur against everyone who isn’t their type of conservative.
(See: http://www.foxnews.com/transcript/2016/11/14/why-are-media-struggling-to-accept-trump-win-inside-trump-strategy-to-defeat.html)

Second, standing up to intolerance is not intolerance.

While there was a handful of a “anti-fascists” which use violent tactics were in attendance, most of the protesters at Charlottsville were peaceful protesters. The hours of videos at the rally absolutely proves this.

When the white supremacists arrived they were carrying shields, clubs, knives, and military-grade guns, and marched in military maneuvers as if they practiced for violent encounters.

Also, white supremacists killed a woman and critically injured over a dozen more when a car drove into a crowd of counter-protesters.

Media

Trump Retweets Alt-Right Troll Behind ‘Pizzagate’ Following Charlottesville Rally

Still dealing with backlash over his initial response to the deadly white supremacist rally in Virginia over the weekend, President Donald Trump on Monday retweeted an alt-right activist who pushed bogus stories about “Pizzagate” and false theories that connected the Democratic National Committee to the death of one of its staffers.

Trump retweeted to his nearly 36 million followers a post by Jack Posobiec on Monday night that linked to a news article about violence in Chicago.

“Meanwhile: 39 shootings in Chicago this weekend, 9 deaths. No national media outrage. Why is that?” Posobiec tweeted.

The tweet was one of several from the president on Monday that appeared to highlight his frustration over the media’s coverage of him.

Posobiec, a staunch Trump supporter, livestreamed his reaction to the retweet news on Twitter and later thanked the president in a separate Twitter post.

Posobiec is a well-known alt-right voice who has pushed the false “Pizzagate” conspiracy theory, which accused Hillary Clinton loyalists of running a child sex-trafficking operation out of a Washington, D.C. pizza shop.

Just days after Trump was elected president, Posobiec livestreamed a visit to the pizza shop at the center of the theory to investigate, but was removed by police for videotaping a child’s birthday party there.

A man fired multiple shots into that same pizza shop about a month later, claiming he had driven from North Carolina to “investigate” the false claims of an alleged child sex ring at the shop. Edgar Maddison Welch was sentenced in June to four years in prison after pleading guilty to firearm and assault offenses in March.

Posobiec has also pushed false claims that the Democratic National Committee was responsible for the death of former staffer Seth Rich. A story published by Fox News in May that fueled the rumors surrounding Rich’s death was later retracted and has now become the subject of a lawsuit.

The retweet from Trump came just hours after the president made a second statement about the rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday after he was criticized over the vagueness of his initial response.

Trump on Saturday said both sides were to blame for the violence that occurred at the rally, which left one dead and 19 injured after a car-ramming attack. Police arrested James Alex Fields, 20, and charged him with second-degree murder in the incident.

Trump later denounced neo-Nazis and the Ku Klux Klan as “criminals and thugs” on Monday amid growing pressure from political leaders on both the right and left.

[ABC News]

Trump – Once Again – Fails to Condemn White Supremacists

President Donald Trump, a man known for his bluntness, was anything but on Saturday, failing to name the white supremacists or alt-right groups at the center of violent protests in Charlottesville, Virginia.

Instead, the man whose vicious attacks against Hillary Clinton, John McCain, federal judges, fellow Republican leaders and journalists helped define him both in and out of the White House simply blamed “many sides.”

Trump stepped to the podium at his New Jersey golf resort and read a statement on the clashes, pinning the “egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides. “It has been going on for a long time in our country — not Donald Trump, not Barack Obama,” he said. “It has been going on for a long, long time. It has no place in America.”

Fellow Republicans slammed Trump’s lack of directness and attempt to inject moral equivalence into the situation of chaos and terror.

“We should call evil by its name,” tweeted Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch, the most senior Republican in the Senate. “My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home.”

“Very important for the nation to hear @POTUS describe events in #Charlottesville for what they are, a terror attack by #whitesupremacists,” tweeted Sen. Marco Rubio, a competitor for the 2016 GOP presidential nomination.

“Mr. President – we must call evil by its name. These were white supremacists and this was domestic terrorism,” tweeted Sen. Cory Gardner, a Colorado Republican.

Scott Jennings, a former special assistant to President George W. Bush, said Trump’s speech was not his “best effort,” and faulted the President for “failure to acknowledge the racism, failure to acknowledge the white supremacy, failure to acknowledge the people who are marching around with Nazi flags on American soil.”

In his decades of public life, Trump has never been one to hold back his thoughts, and that has continued in the White House, where in his seven months as President it has become clear that he views conflicts as primarily black-and-white.

Trump’s Twitter account has become synonymous for blunt burns, regularly using someone’s name when he feels they slighted him or let him down. Trump, in just the last week, has used his Twitter account to call out Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell by name, charge Democratic Sen. Richard Blumenthal with crying “like a baby” and needle media outlets by name.

His campaign was defined by his direct attacks. He pointedly attacked Khizr Khan, the father of a Muslim U.S. soldier killed in Iraq in 2004, for his speech at the Democratic National Committee that challenged his understanding of the Constitution, suggested federal Judge Gonzalo P. Curiel was unable to be impartial because of his Mexican heritage and said in a CNN interview that Fox News’ Megyn Kelly had “blood coming out of her wherever” after she questioned him at a debate.

Even before Trump was a presidential candidate, he was driven by a guiding principle imparted on him by Roy Cohn, his lawyer-turned-mentor: “If they screw you, screw them back 10 times as hard.”

“What happens is they hit me and I hit them back harder,” he told Fox News in 2016. “That’s what we want to lead the country.”

Criticized others for not quickly calling attacks ‘terrorism’

On Saturday at his Bedminster resort, Trump’s bluntness gave way to vagueness as he failed to mention the impetus behind the violence that left at least one person dead in the streets of Charlottesville.

In doing so, Trump left it to anonymous White House officials to explain his remarks, leaving the door open to questions about his sincerity and why he won’t talk about the racists at the heart of the protests.

“The President was condemning hatred, bigotry and violence from all sources and all sides,” a White House official said. “There was violence between protesters and counter protesters today.”

By being equivocal, Trump also failed to follow the same self-proclaimed rules he used to hammer other politicians.

Trump constantly slammed Obama and Clinton during his run for the presidency for failing to label terrorist attacks as such. He called out the two Democrats for failing to use the term “radical Islamic terrorism.”

“These are radical Islamic terrorists and she won’t even mention the word, and nor will President Obama,” Trump said during an October 9 presidential debate. “Now, to solve a problem, you have to be able to state what the problem is or at least say the name.”
Trump declined to do just that on Saturday, as video of white nationalists flooded TV screens across the country hours after a smaller group marched through Charlottesville at night holding tiki torches and chanted, “You will not replace us.”

Instead, Trump called for “a swift restoration of law and order” and said the federal government was “ready, willing and able” to provide “whatever other assistance is needed.” He saluted law enforcement for their response and said he spoke with Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe, a Democrat, about the attack.

But the businessman-turned-president also touted his own economic achievements during his brief speech, mentioning employment numbers and recent companies that decided to relocate to the United States.

“We have so many incredible things happening in our country, so when I watch Charlottesville, to me it is very, very sad,” he said.

White nationalists tie themselves to Trump

The reality for Trump is that his presidency helped white nationalists gain national attention, with groups drafting off his insurgent candidacy by tying themselves to the President and everything he stood for.

After the election, in a November 2016 interview with The New York Times, Trump disavowed the movement and said he did not intend to energize the alt-right.

“I don’t want to energize the group, and I disavow the group,” Trump told a group of Times reporters and columnists during a meeting at the newspaper’s headquarters in New York.

He added: “It’s not a group I want to energize, and if they are energized, I want to look into it and find out why.”

But men like David Duke, possibly the most famous white nationalist, directly tied Saturday’s protests to Trump.

“We are determined to take this country back. We’re gonna fulfill the promises of Donald Trump,” Duke said in an interview with The Indianapolis Star on Saturday in Charlottesville. “That’s why we voted for Donald Trump because he said he’s going to take our country back.”

When Trump tweeted earlier on Saturday that everyone “must be united & condemn all that hate stands for,” Duke grew angry, feeling that the man who help bring white nationalist to this point was slamming them. He urged Trump — via Twitter — to “take a good look in the mirror & remember it was White Americans who put you in the presidency, not radical leftists.”

Though earlier in the day Trump billed Saturday’s event as a press conference, the President declined to respond to shouted question that would have allowed him to directly take on white nationalists.

“Mr. President, do you want the support of these white nationalist groups who say they support you, Mr. President? Have you denounced them strongly enough,” one reporter shouted.

“A car plowing into people, would you call that terrorism sir?” another asked.
Trump walked out of the room.

[CNN]

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