Direct from the White Supremacist House… I always figured that sooner or later Hair Führer would whip his orcs and minions into a frenzy and they would burn down the Reichstag. I didn’t think the Reichstag would burn down because he would set himself on fire.
Let’s begin with some reactions to Comrade Stupid’s, um, impromptu press conference:
- Merriam-Webster tweeted at 9:15pm: “Top lookups right now: fascism, bigot, racism, complicit, neo-Nazi, nationalism.”
- NYTimes: “Trump Gives White Supremacists an Unequivocal Boost”
- MSNBC: “Today he threw a stick of dynamite on the bridge that he laid down yesterday.” — Nicole Wallace
- David French writing in William Buckley’s racist monthly the National Review: [Trump] “gave the alt-right its greatest national media moment ever…” (the NRO probably meant it as a compliment? Hard to say.)
- Historian David Maraniss tweeted: “The living former presidents — Bushes, Carter, Clinton & Obama — should make a joint statement calling on the racist Trump to resign…” (We note the tweet went viral.)
- Former RNC comms director Doug Heye tweeted: “I’ve asked the press offices at both the White House & RNC to remove me from their email lists.”
- WaPo: “Tuesday was a great day for David Duke and racists everywhere. The president of the United States all but declared that he has their backs…”
- David Gergen: “Increasingly, people feel he’s posing a danger not just to his party but to the country. He’s going to tear us apart.”
From the NYTimes (linked above):
“President Trump buoyed the white nationalist movement on Tuesday as no president has done in generations — equating activists protesting racism with the neo-Nazis and white supremacists who rampaged in Charlottesville, Va., over the weekend. Never has he gone as far in defending their actions as he did during a wild, street-corner shouting match of a news conference in the gilded lobby of Trump Tower, angrily asserting that so-called alt-left activists were just as responsible for the bloody confrontation as marchers brandishing swastikas, Confederate battle flags, anti-Semitic banners and ‘Trump/Pence’ signs.
“‘Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth,’ David Duke, a former Ku Klux Klan leader, wrote in a Twitter post shortly after Mr. Trump spoke. Richard B. Spencer, a white nationalist leader who participated in the weekend’s demonstrations and vowed to flood Charlottesville with similar protests in the coming weeks, was equally encouraged. ‘Trump’s statement was fair and down to earth,’ Mr. Spencer tweeted. … No word in the Trump lexicon is as tread-worn as ‘unprecedented.’ But members of the president’s staff, stunned and disheartened, said they never expected to hear such a voluble articulation of opinions that the president had long expressed in private.”
Dylan Byers: watched all of Fox News’ primetime lineup [last night]. Some of his thoughts:
For the better part of three hours, Tucker Carlson, the co-hosts of “The Five” and Sean Hannity went after liberals and the media instead of criticizing Trump for his decision to draw a moral equivalency between neo-Nazis and leftist protestors.
Fox’s programming stood in stark contrast to the mainstream media’s coverage on the controversial nature of Trump’s remarks. Instead, the night was heavy on “whataboutism.” The average viewer could only have left with the impression that the toppling of some Confederate statues was a far greater threat to America than white supremacism or the President’s apparent defense of bigotry.
If Fox News has a line when it comes to Trump’s presidency, it was not crossed on Tuesday.
Mike ‘Payola’ Allen writing Axios’ morning email thingie:
It started with the dog-whistle presidential campaign: constant plays — some subtle, some blaring — on racial fears.
But it wasn’t until the past five days — in a fight over a Southern statue narrowly, and the stain of slavery broadly — that President Trump officially and indelibly divided the nation over race: setting us back decades, at least for now, in our common purpose of healing old, awful wounds:
- Yesterday’s unplanned press conference — with Trump’s declaration that “I think there’s blame on both sides” for the violence of Charlottesville, and his searing question: “What about the alt-left?” — was praised by David Duke and alt-right hotbed Breitbart.
- Let’s be honest with ourselves: A huge chunk of Trump’s base lapped it up, too. That’s what Steve Bannon thought would unfold, and what the president knows instinctively.
- It was a green light for more hatred, and probably more violence — because now the president has put white supremacy on the same level as angry people reacting harshly to it.
- Anthony Mason, anchor of the “CBS Evening News,” which devoted the full half hour to the aftermath of Charlottesville, said at the top: “There was no script this time. … President Trump said what he really believes happened in Charlottesville.”
Tiger Beat on the Potomac (thanks Charlie!) morning email thingie:
Good Wednesday morning. PRESIDENT DONALD TRUMP is again in the hot seat after veering off course and reiterating that there was blame on “both sides” of the protests in Charlottesville. Remember all the bluster that recently named chief of staff John Kelly was going to install order and help get Trump’s presidency back on track so Republicans could make good on their promises to pass tax reform and an infrastructure package, not to mention fund the government and raise the country’s borrowing limit? No dice. White House aides we talk to were surprised this happened, but have grown immune to the president’s unpredictability. Many are dispirited. This was a news conference aimed at boosting an infrastructure bill — Trump’s best chance of bipartisan legislating for the year. Instead, he did this. Remember that there are just four-and-a-half months left in this year, and there’s a lot the president wants to get done.
RUBBER MEETS THE ROAD: How much sway is the president going to have with lawmakers as he is saddled with a 34-percent approval rating coming off playing footsie with neo-Nazi and white-supremacist groups?
And then Tiger Beat rounds up some Republican reactions:
REPUBLICANS roundly criticized Trump.
— SPEAKER PAUL RYAN (@SpeakerRyan): “We must be clear. White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity.” … SEN. MARCO RUBIO (R-FLA.) (@marcorubio):“Mr. President, you can’t allow #WhiteSupremacists to share only part of blame.They support idea which cost nation & world so much pain 5/6” … “The #WhiteSupremacy groups will see being assigned only 50% of blame as a win. We can not allow this old evil to be resurrected 6/6” … MITT ROMNEY (@MittRomney): “No, not the same. One side is racist, bigoted, Nazi. The other opposes racism and bigotry. Morally different universes.” …
… NRCC CHAIRMAN STEVE STIVERS (@RepSteveStivers): “I don’t understand what’s so hard about this. White supremacists and Neo-Nazis are evil and shouldn’t be defended.” … KEVIN MCCARTHY (@GOPLeader): “Saturday’s violence and tragic loss of life was a direct consequence of the hateful rhetoric & action from white supremacists demonstrating.” … JUSTIN AMASH (@justinamash): “‘Very fine people’ do not participate in rallies with groups chanting racist and anti-Semitic slogans and displaying vile symbols of hate.”
Sing it with me, which one of these is not like the others…
— SENATE MAJORITY LEADER MITCH MCCONNELL (R-KY.) has not publicly commented about Trump’s press conference.
Let’s conclude with this tweet-with-video:
— NBC Nightly News (@NBCNightlyNews) August 15, 2017
I cannot imagine what is going on in his mind.
UPDATE 1: Tiger Beat Goes where angels fear to tread to summarize the Nazis reaction.