Monday, August 14, 2017

Another Trump failure to step up and do the right thing: No condemnation of white supremacists

David Fitzsimmons posted this headline: TRUMP FAILS TO CONDEMN WHITE SUPREMACISTS, NAZIS, KKK, NUMEROUS WHITE HOUSE ADVISORS.

Julie Pace, AP Washington Bureau Chief covers more reactions to Trump’s false equivalence statement about the Charlottesville terror attack in Analysis: Questions about race follow Trump (reprinted in this morning’s edition of the Daily Staras “Trump’s caution with white nationalism”).

Why doesn’t President Donald Trump just unequivocally condemn white supremacists?

It’s a jarring question to ask about an American president. But it’s also one made unavoidable by Trump’s delayed, blame-both-sides response to the violence that erupted Saturday when neo-Nazis, skinheads and members of the Ku Klux Klan protested in Charlottesville, Virginia.

On Saturday, as Trump read slowly through a statement about the clashes that left dozens injured and one woman dead, he condemned hatred, bigotry and violence “on many sides.” The president was silent when journalists asked whether he rejected the support of nationalist groups.

That silence was cheered by the white supremacist website Daily Stormer: “When asked to condemn, he just walked out of the room. Really, really good. God bless him.”

Charlottesville’s mayor, Democrat Mike Signer, said Sunday that Trump made a choice during his campaign to “go right to the gutter, to play on our worst prejudices.”

“I think you are seeing a direct line from what happened here this weekend to those choices,” Signer said on CBS’ “Face the Nation.”

…The reaction from Republicans following Trump’s statement Saturday suggests there may be greater political risks for the president in aligning himself with bigoted groups.

“The president needs to step up today and say what it is,” said Sen. Cory Gardner, R-Colo., who was one of several GOP lawmakers urging Trump to be more strident in calling out the nationalists and neo-Nazis that gathered in Charlottesville. Gardner said plainly: “It’s evil. It’s white nationalism.”

By Sunday, the White House was scrambling to try to clean up the president’s statement. The White House issued a statement saying the president does condemn “white supremacists, KKK, neo-nazi and all extremist groups.”

That’s the spin. But: “The spokeswoman who issued the statement refused to be named. And the president himself remained silent.

That left Vice President Mike Pence, traveling in South America, to offer the kind of comment Trump’s critics sought from the White House: “We have no tolerance for hate and violence, white supremacists or neo-Nazis or the KKK,” he said. “These dangerous fringe groups have no place in American public life and in the American debate, and we condemn them in the strongest possible terms.”

WE, White Hair? You and who else?

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