President Trump Clarifies His Remarks

President Trump Clarifies His Remarks
On Tuesday, President Trump clarified his thoughts on white nationalist protesters, stating that “you also had some very fine people on both sides” of the violence in Charlottesville. Very fine people like former KKK Grand Dragon David Duke  thanked him for his support. Mr. Trump also compared Robert E. Lee with George Washington and Thomas Jefferson.

Political leaders and commentators were quick to express their appreciation:

Sen. Marco Rubio (R-FL):  “Your comments give white supremacists ‘a win.'”

Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY): “there are no good neo-Nazis.”

Rep. Paul Ryan (R, WI-1): “White supremacy is repulsive. This bigotry is counter to all this country stands for. There can be no moral ambiguity.”

Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA): “It’s wrong. Why can’t he just say that?”

Sen. Lisa Murkowski (R-AK): “What the president said yesterday was wrong. There is no moral equivalence between those who are inciting hate and division and those who took to the streets to make it clear that those views are unacceptable. Every one of us must stand against hatred, bigotry, and violence, in both our words and our actions.”

Rep. Leonard Lance (R, NJ-7): “Mr. President, there is only one side: AGAINST white supremacists, neo-Nazis, anti-Semites & the KKK. They have no place in America or GOP.”

Admiral John Richardson: “The shameful events in Charlottesville are unacceptable and must not be tolerated.”

Rep. Steve Scalise (R, LA-1): “We must defeat white supremacy”

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-SC): “…you are now receiving praise from some of the most racist and hate-filled individuals and groups in our country.”

Rep. Paul Mitchell (R, MI-10): “You can’t be a “very fine person” and be a white supremacist”

Sen. Dan Sullivan (R-AK): “Anything less than complete & unambiguous condemnation of white supremacists, neo-Nazis, and the KKK by the @POTUS is unacceptable. Period.”

Rep. Charlie Dent (R, MI-15): “POTUS must stop the moral equivalency! AGAIN, white supremacists were to blame for the violence in Charlottesville”

Rep. Will Hurd (R, TX-23): “Apologize … Racism, bigotry, Antisemitism of any form is unacceptable”

George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush: “America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms.”

John Brennan (former CIA Director): “Mr. Trump’s words, and the beliefs they reflect, are a national disgrace, and all Americans of conscience need to repudiate his ugly and dangerous comments.”

Rep. Randy Hultgren (R, IL-14): “I expect President Trump and all Americans to condemn white supremacy and neo-Nazism without hesitation, equivocation or ambiguity.”

Sen. Corey Gardner (R-CO): “We must all call evil by its name and never back down from denouncing hate and racism.”

Sen. Jerry Moran (R-KS): “White supremacy, bigotry & racism have absolutely no place in our society & no one – especially POTUS – should ever tolerate it.”

David Zirkin (The Nation): “The comments by Donald Trump on Tuesday, August 15th, have created a new stain on the American flag.”

John Dingell (former GOP Rep.): “If you refuse to denounce these animals, you stand with them. If your elected officials won’t call this what it is, they are unfit to serve.”

PM Theresa May (UK):  “I think it is important for all those in positions of responsibility to condemn far-right views wherever we hear them.

Rep. Ed Royce (R, CA-39): “The President needs to clearly and categorically reject white supremacists. No excuses. No ambiguity.”

Rep. Pat Tiberi (R, OH-12): “POTUS deflected from the fact that a young woman was killed & others were injured by a bigoted follower of the white supremacist movement.”

General  Mark A. Milley: “The Army doesn’t tolerate racism, extremism, or hatred in our ranks. It’s against our Values and everything we’ve stood for since 1775.”

Republican Jewish Coalition: “There are no good Nazis and no good members of the Klan.”

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-UT): “We should call evil by its name. My brother didn’t give his life fighting Hitler for Nazi ideas to go unchallenged here at home. “

Rep. Carlos Curbelo (R, FL-12): POTUS just doesn’t get it. There is no moral equivalence between manifestations for or against white supremacy. He’s got to stop.

VA Secretary David Shulkin: “It is a dishonor to our country’s veterans to allow the Nazis and the white supremacists to go unchallenged”‘

Philip Bump (Washington Post): “Trump … sides with the alt-right in Charlottesville”

Rep. Peter Roskam (R, IL-6): President must not allow neo-Nazis, white supremacists or Klansmen any refuge in his statements. Their views are unequivocally repugnant and have no place in our public square.”

Rep. Barbara Comstock (R, VA-10): “Mr. President, there were not ‘very fine people’ on the NeoNazi, white supremacist side; only haters. Grateful DOJ understands this.”

Editorial Board, USA Today: “After Charlottesville, time to censure President Trump”

Sen. Tammy Duckworth (R-IL): “You cannot call yourself a patriot and be a racist, neo-Nazi [or] white nationalist at the same time. If the president cannot or will not recognize the threat these terrorists pose to our country and our people, then true patriots must ask what side he is on.”

Rep. Scott Taylor (R, VA-2): “I think that yesterday’s [press] conference was a failure of leadership. … There is no question about it. There is no moral equivalency. They should absolutely condemn the Nazis and the KKK.”

Rep. Mike Gallagher (r, WI-8): “White Nationalism and racism antithetical to our fundamental values. The president needs to be crystal clear that hatred has no place in our society, but he is currently failing at it.”

Rep. Justin Amash (R, MI-3): “America’s children are watching. Denounce white nationalists & their evil ideology. They are enemies of liberty & our Constitution.”

Rep. Rick Crawford (R, AR-1): “The president missed a window of opportunity to reject categorically the white supremacy groups that marched in Charlottesville and to name singularly their blame in the death and violence.”

Rep. French Hill (R, AR-2): “He would’ve helped the country and helped our communities deal with this by standing by his earlier statement and calling for communities to come together and work out differences and reject … the hate that we saw on display in Charlottesville.”

Rep. Kevin Yoder (R, KS-3): “I think the president has made a mistake and missed an opportunity to unite this country. And every time he equivocates on the matter, I think he’s encouraging these groups to believe that they’re legitimate.”


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Top image by Mike Licht. Download a copy here. Creative Commons license; credit Mike Licht,

Comments are welcome if they are on-topic, substantive, concise, and not boring or obscene. Comments may be edited for clarity and length.

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