All That Matters Today Is The Comments Made By Our Angry And Unhinged President At An Impromptu News Conference At Trump Tower
“I think there’s blame on both sides. And I have no doubt about it.”
Yes, a small number of people join both Fascist and Anti-Fascist groups primarily because they want to participate in street fights. Far more join because they hate, or they want to fight the spread of hate. It’s not difficult to see that line and yet the President either doesn’t, or is willfully ignoring it. Our question: should General Eisenhower be condemned for D-Day because he reacted to Hitler with equal violence?
Because off-the-cuff Trump, ostensibly making an appearance to answer questions about infrastructure, threw his statements since Saturday wildly into reverse. The conservative National Review calls it “the Press Conference of the Alt-Right’s Dreams.“
The entire exchange with reporters is here. It’s about 15 minutes long. We have summed up a lot of the points below. Still, if you have the time, we’d suggest you watch it. As CNN puts it, it is a “meltdown for the ages“. If you prefer to read a transcript, it’s available here.
Some key moments, selected by us:
• The President suggests what he calls “alt-left” groups may have been more at fault because they didn’t have permits, whereas Right-wing protestors did. Our question: since when does Trump care about permits?
• He asserts there were many “very fine people” marching alongside the Neo Nazis and White Supremacists, “believe me”.
• Trump blames the media for not giving him the credit he’s due: “If the press were not fake…the press would’ve said what I said was very nice.”
• Trump said he has not yet reached out to the family of Heather Heyer, who was murdered by a Neo Nazi, but he will. He called her “a fantastic young woman.” And praised her mother “who thanked me for what I said.” Memorial services for Heyer will be held later today. Attendees are asked to wear purple, her favorite color.
• While Trump calls the Nazi sympathizer who ran Heyer down a “disgrace” he didn’t explicitly label the act “terrorism”. Instead, he tells a reporter: “you can call it whatever you want” before launching into a convoluted explanation: “Because there is a question: is it murder? Is it terrorism? And then you get into legal semantics.”
• He calls out George Washington and Thomas Jefferson as slave owners (“What do you think about Thomas Jefferson, you like him?”), and asserts if statues of General R.E. Lee and General Stonewall Jackson are taken down, they could be next.
The New York Times captured this image of new White House Chief of Staff John Kelly, as the news conference proceeded:
Trump, unusually, toward the end, put forth an idea for lessening the conflict. (Or, you could argue, he bestowed praise upon himself, which masqueraded for an idea.) One word: Jobs. “If we continue to create jobs at levels that I’m creating jobs, I think that’s going to have tremendous impact, positive impact, on race relations. People are going to be working, they’re going to making a lot of money: much more money than they ever thought possible.”
Finally, Trump couldn’t help getting in a plug for one of his properties: “I own actually one of the largest wineries in the United States. It’s in Charlottesville.”
Playing To His Basest?
While White Supremacist groups cheered the President’s latest comments, we completely don’t get the argument many on the Right (and some on the Left) are making: that Trump’s motives are simple: he continues to be loyal to the people who were loyal to him. The argument goes: the Trump we just saw is who his people voted for, and want to see running the country, not the bunch of retired Generals that seem to be encroaching on the White House’s most disturbingly nationalist policies.
Lots of white people who voted for Trump are not rabidly racist, they just hoped he’d bring them opportunity. They don’t seek a defense of White Supremacy, they just want a break. It’s not a good excuse for the most lunatic behavior anybody alive today has ever seen from a President of the United States.
The White House Chief Strategist came up in the news conference and Trump claimed he really hasn’t been involved of late. Specifically, of Charlottesville, “I never spoke to Mr. Bannon about it.” When asked if still has confidence in Bannon, Trump answers “Well, we’ll see.” And then goes back to a familiar theme about how Bannon came to his campaign late and Trump was doing just fine without him.
But then, he heaps Bannon with praise: “He’s a good man. He’s not a racist, I can tell you that. He’s a good person.”
But as we’ve seen repeatedly, praise from Trump is no guarantee of job security. In fact, it’s often quite the opposite.
Can We Trust This Man To Make A Decision On Military Action In North Korea?
Considering they have nukes, and he has America’s nuclear codes? Just asking.
Good thing it’s a question it looks like we don’t have to answer right away. As we reported yesterday, North Korea has decided, for the time being, not to launch a missile toward the U.S. territory of Guam. (We’d previously suggested the fact that they went to such great lengths discussing their Guam attack plan was a strong indication they had no intention of actually doing it.)
Trump’s Early Morning Tweets
Trump had uncharacteristically kind words for North Korea’s leader this morning:
Could this become the first step toward dialogue? As we’ve suggested (and admitted it’s far-fetched) we do see one scenario where Trump and North Korea’s leader Kim Jong-un become good friends.
Trump also went on the attack again against Amazon, accusing it of stealing jobs and not paying taxes. This time he didn’t mention (as he often does) that Amazon’s CEO, Jeff Bezos, owns the Washington Post. And he fell short of calling for a federal investigation (as he also often does.) Recode points out Trump’s continual harping on Amazon not paying taxes is actually a non-issue.
Trump previously attacked several big-name CEOs who dropped off his Manufacturing Council, citing his response on Charlottesville, saying there are many more where they came from and “grandstanders” should not have been in there in the first place. Never forget: there’s only room for one grandstander.
One More Clip To Watch
This will take about 20-minutes of your time, but in our opinion is a must-watch of the year. Especially given the limited time in which it was put together. Vice is offering the full segment from its HBO program on Charlottesville for viewing on YouTube. Their bone-chilling documentary is remarkable in and of itself. It is also the strongest possible rebuke we’ve seen to the President’s argument (which he made again during his news conference) that the conflict we’re seeing existed long before he took office–“ask President Obama about that because he would make speeches about it”–thus implying Trump’s hands are clean; he’s not responsible for any of it. Not the escalation we’re seeing, nor White Supremacist and Neo Nazi groups suddenly feeling emboldened.
It’s remarkable. Watch: