Video from Trump’s (I won’t say “president,” because he sure as hell ain’t mine!) unhinged, white-supremacist-sympathizing, false equivalency/both sides press conference below the statements, tweets, etc. from Virginia elected officials. As bad as I thought things would be if Trump were ever elected “president,” I’m not sure I imagined a press conference like this afternoon’s. Wow.
Sen. Tim Kaine: “Charlottesville violence was fueled by one side: white supremacists spreading racism, intolerance & intimidation. Those are the facts.”
Sen. Mark Warner: “No words.”
I’m shocked. I’m disappointed. I tried to give the president the benefit of the doubt on Monday. I was disappointed it took him more than 2 days to call out the vile actions of people who were racist, white supremacists, neo-Nazis, KKK members that descended on Charlottesville. I talked to lots of folks that were in Charlottesville, still that city is healing, for him to come out today just seems like he can’t help himself, reopen this and then equate and surmount this moral equivalency on both sides when the overwhelming amount of people that counter this group were people from the local community. They didn’t want this group descending on their city. And for the president to in effect reopen this today. I guess at this point I shouldn’t be surprised anymore by the actions of this president, but he continues to surprise me and frankly shock me.
This is not leadership. This is not what mayors, presidents, governors do in moments of crises. They call on us to rediscover our better angels and unfortunately this president seems to take us in the opposite direction. Here again we saw on Saturday, I know I was receiving calls Saturday as this act of domestic terrorism that this individual drove through innocent bystanders not dissimilar with what we’ve seen in France. I had senators from both parties calling me saying “we feel the pain of what is happening in your state and we condemn it,” and for a moment there was this pride of folks in positions of leadership across political parties are stepping up and standing up to this. The president missed that opportunity and then again, I got some criticism, I tried to give him the benefit of the doubt for at least saying the words yesterday but he just couldn’t move on. I think people in Charlottesville will be enormously disappointed but probably not surprised.
I mean, the hypocrisy of then candidate Trump who constantly challenged President Obama for not using the phrase Islamic terrorism. This president is unwilling to use that same standard to describe what happened, which was domestic terrorism created by a neo-Nazi on Saturday. And he is not willing to use that same standard. That’s not leadership and the ideas represented by these alt-right groups, there’s nothing in them that reflects America’s creed in terms of we are all people equally created by the creator. And frankly, it is an abomination to values that we hold in Virginia and for that matter across the country.
Rep. Don Beyer (D-VA08): “And now we’re back to where we were Saturday: “there’s blame on both sides.” He won’t desert the white supremacists. Just incredible.”
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA11): “Trump fails test again. There is no ambiguity here, Mr. President. Neo-Nazis, alt-right, white supremacists are BAD. At least one person agrees with you Mr Trump: Klaner David Duke. Hope you can sleep tonight.”
Congressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) issued this statement following President Trump’s comments that confirm his belief that both sides are to blame for the horror in Charlottesville:
“The President’s attempt to equate those who hate with those who came to oppose condemn hate is outrageous. This afternoon, Mr. Trump’s true colors revealed that Saturday’s appalling rhetoric truly was a wink and nod to the white supremacist groups that represent the real Donald J. Trump. As I said this morning, our President seems more like the president of the ‘alt-right.’
“This President has abrogated his moral authority as president. In the aftermath of senseless violence and the subsequent loss of life, we need a compassionate convener, who demonstrates with words and actions the best of who we are as Americans. His remarks on Saturday and again today added more chaos, bigotry, racism, and anti-Semitism into an already volatile moment, providing a dangerous foreshadowing of the direction of our country.
“Mr. President, here’s a hint. When David Duke is thanking you, you’re on the wrong side.”
Rep. Bobby Scott (D-VA03): “I am extremely disappointed to see
@realDonaldTrump miss another opportunity to help the country heal after the events in #Charlottesville…As POTUS @realDonaldTrump should support actions that actually enforce civil rights & strengthen voting rights #ActionSpeaksLouderThanWords”
Governor McAuliffe Statement on President Trump’s Press Conference on Charlottesville
RICHMOND – Governor McAuliffe released the following statement after President Trump’s press conference this afternoon:
“Neo-Nazis, Klansmen and white supremacists came to Charlottesville heavily armed, spewing hatred and looking for a fight. One of them murdered a young woman in an act of domestic terrorism, and two of our finest officers were killed in a tragic accident while serving to protect this community. This was not ‘both sides.’
“Our Commonwealth and nation are still reeling from one of the largest outpourings of hatred and violence we have experienced in recent history. We need real leadership, starting with our President.
“Leaders from every corner of this nation and every partisan point of view have denounced these people and their acts in plain terms without hesitation or dissembling. The American people need the same from their President and we need it now.”
Dr. Northam: Trump’s Defense of White Supremacists A “Dereliction of Duty”
Richmond, Va. – Following the horrific events over the weekend in Charlottesville, including the death of Heather Heyer at the hands of a domestic terrorist with neo-Nazi leanings, President Donald Trump today doubled down on his statements placing blame “on both sides.”
Dr. Ralph Northam today issued the following statement in response to the president’s refusal to condemn white supremacists and other hate groups for the events in Charlottesville:
“The President of the United States today defended white supremacists rather than condemning them. This is a dereliction of duty to defend Americans against a hateful and evil ideology.
“When white supremacists and neo-Nazis descended on our beautiful city of Charlottesville this weekend, they came with evil, hatred, and bigotry in their hearts and an intention to do harm on their minds. And one of these people took Heather Heyer’s life in an act of domestic terrorism.
“Leaders from across the political spectrum have spoken clearly and definitively against this disgusting ideology. Donald Trump has dispensed with a wink and a nod, and is openly defending white nationalists. The time for silence is over. I am asking Ed Gillespie and the rest of his party what it will take to denounce Donald Trump.”
AG Mark Herring: “Where to begin with the press conference we just saw from…It’s tragic our president can’t bring himself to condemn Nazis, racism, and white supremacists. Should be the easiest thing in the world.”