CNN's Jake Tapper blasts Trump for again equating neo-Nazi violence with anti-racist demonstrators
Tapper: " We have President Trump revealing that actually what he said, to begin with, was what he meant. That both sides were to blame"
Video ››› ››› MEDIA MATTERS STAFF
From the August 15 edition of CNN's The Lead with Jake Tapper:
JAKE TAPPER (HOST): President Trump amid the backlash over his conflicting tweets and statements, going off in extraordinary fashion. An event where he signed an executive order on the infrastructure permitting process which changed off of that subject pretty quickly into the president's strongly defending his initial response to the Charlottesville violence.
It's interesting. President Trump said his statement on Saturday condemning "the violence and hatred on many sides, on many sides." And then, his staff spent days insisting that he was condemning the Ku Klux Klan and Nazis and white supremacists and he was not equating them with the counter-protesters, some of whom obviously were also violent. That he was focusing on the Nazis and the racists who had come into this progressive college town and marched and chanted saying, anti-Semitic things and racist things.
And then, he went and said that the statement that people wanted him to make. He did that yesterday. In which he specifically condemned these groups, the Klan, white supremacists, and Nazis. And then here, we have President Trump revealing that actually what he said, to begin with, was what he meant. That both sides were to blame.
Both the Nazis, and the Klansmen, and the white supremacists, and the alt-right, and the counter-protesters were to blame. And in fact, not only did he say that both sides were to blame, he said that there were good people on both sides. Not just good people on the counter-protesters but good people amongst the Nazis, and the Klansmen, and the white supremacists, and the alt-right.
It was a stunning tour de force by President Trump. He also talked about the purpose of the march which was of course from these racists and extremists. They were protesting the fact that Charlottesville is talking about getting rid of a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee. And he said, "Well, where is that going to end?" It might be Robert E. Lee one day and next is George Washington and next is Thomas Jefferson, because, obviously, George Washington and Thomas Jefferson were slave owners as well.