Donald Trump doubles down on ‘both sides to blame,’ energizing the alt-right

As I posted yesterday, the takeaway from Monday’s “press availabilty” is that Trump was forced to make a more forceful condemnation of white supremacist groups because he had to staunch the flood of bad press he has been getting since Saturday. The sincerity of his statement was seriously in doubt.

If you have not seen Tuesday’s press availability, you really must watch a replay. Donald Trump had a total meltdown today, returning to his “blame both sides” position on Saturday, and destroying whatever political cover he gave to Republicans yesterday with the prepared remarks that he had obviously been forced to give. Trump made things worse today.

Watch the entire heated exchange between Trump and reporters over Charlottesville.

This was a big “fuck you!” to his White House staff, to reporters and pundits, and to other critics of his belated and weak response to events in Charlottesville, Virginia. This was Donald Trump unchained and out of control.

It is being reported that Trump was not supposed to take any questions today and went rogue. His staff  is reportedly stunned by what they observed today, as were reporters.

This Washington Post report really does not do this press availability justice. You have to see it to fully appreciate what happened. Trump again blames both sides in Charlottesville, says some counterprotesters were ‘very, very violent’:

President Trump said Tuesday that counterprotesters at a white supremacist rally in Charlottesville acted violently and should share the blame for the mayhem that left a woman dead and many injured.

Speaking at Trump Tower in Manhattan, the president called the events of Saturday at the “Unite the Right” rally a “horrible thing to watch,” but he emphasized that both sides acted irresponsibly.

“You had a group on one side that was bad and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent,” Trump said.  “No one wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now: You had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent.”

Trump made clear that he believed that some of the counterprotesters were armed and took aggressive actions that helped spark the violence.

“What about the alt-left that came charging at the alt-right — do they have any semblance of guilt?” Trump said. “They came charging, clubs in hand, swinging clubs.”

So now the white supremacists, KKK, Neo-Confederates and Neo-Nazis are now the victims of violence from the “alt-left” on Saturday in Trump’s view?  The counter-protestors would not have ben there but for the “Unite the Right” rally. The term “alt-Left,” coined by Trump, is not widely used. What is the ‘alt Left’? “Alt-right” is an attempt at rebranding by white supremacists.

Trump’s remarks came a day after he belatedly condemned the Ku Klux Klan, neo-Nazis and other hate groups that organized and participated in the rally. He had faced mounting pressure from lawmakers and civil rights groups over his failure to do so during his initial reaction to the violence, when he denounced violence “on many sides.”

But Tuesday, Trump defended his handling of the Charlottesville situation, stating he did not want to jump to conclusions in his initial remarks. “There was no way of making a correct statement that early,” he said in an impromptu news conference in the lobby of Trump Tower, after an announcement about infrastructure. “I had to see the facts, unlike a lot of reporters.”

Riiight. Ask yourself how many times Trump has waited to see the facts and not jump to conclusions before tweeting some insane comment or shooting his big mouth off. That would be never. Literally no one believes this bullshit excuse.

Trump called the driver of the car that killed counterprotester Heather Heyer, 32, and injured 19 a “disgrace to himself, his family and the country,” but he stopped short of declaring the action a case of “domestic terrorism,” calling that an exercise in semantics . . . “You can call it terrorism. You can call it murder. You can call it whatever you want,” Trump said. “I call it the fastest outcome to a good verdict. … You get into legal semantics. The driver of the car was a murderer. What he did was a horrible, horrible, inexcusable thing.”

Trump emphasized repeatedly that he believed many of the “Unite the Right” rally participants were not members of hate groups and were there to protest the pending removal by the city of a statue of the Confederate Gen. Robert E. Lee.

“You had people in that group who were protesting the taking down of what to them is a very, very important statue,” Trump said, before suggesting that Lee and other Confederate-era generals, including Stonewall Jackson, are the victims of historical revisionism attempting to delegitimize their roles.

Speaking rhetorically, Trump asked reporters whether George Washington and Thomas Jefferson, both slave owners, should suffer the same fate and have their statues removed. “You’re changing history; you’re changing culture,” he said.

Trump is falsely equating the Civil War — a treasonous act of armed insurrection and rebellion against the United States government by slave states — with the American Revolution which founded this country. We should not honor those traitors who engaged in armed insurrection and rebellion against the United States government which resulted in America’s bloodiest conflict , with over 620,000 dead in the line of duty. We should honor our Founding Fathers who established this country (even in the context that they were slave holders, something we hold repulsive today).

Throughout the press availability, Trump  repeatedly attacked the media as “fake news” and “dishonest,” with obvious hostility.

When asked about a statement by Senator John McCain, he attacked McCain. “You mean Senator McCain who prevented us from getting health care reform?”

White House Chief of Staff John Kelly was photographed staring at the ground, arms crossed, as the president fielded questions on Tuesday about a white supremacist rally in Virginia.

Screen Shot 2017-08-15 at 4.08.03 PM

Following Trump’s “press availability,” former Ku Klux Klan leader David Duke embraced his supportive comments. David Duke thanks Trump for blaming ‘alt-left’ for Charlottesville:

White nationalist leader David Duke on Tuesday thanked President Trump for blaming violence in Charlottesville, Va., on the “alt-left.”

Duke thanked Trump for his “honesty & courage” in a tweet.

Screen Shot 2017-08-15 at 3.13.47 PM

The white supremacists and right-wing extremists who came together over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virgina are ready and energized, they said, to set their sights on bigger prizes. Far Right Plans Its Next Moves With a New Energy. Trump’s comments are energizing these groups and giving them comfort.

GOP politicians now must make a choice to disassociate themselves from this president and to disown him after today.

68 Responses to Donald Trump doubles down on ‘both sides to blame,’ energizing the alt-right

  1. Next up, Steve Bannon.

    Steve Bannon, Unrepentant
    ROBERT KUTTNER AUGUST 16, 2017

    Trump’s embattled strategist phones me, unbidden, to opine on China, Korea, and his enemies in the administration.

    Read…
    http://prospect.org/article/steve-bannon-unrepentant

    • From the article:

      I asked Bannon about the connection between his program of economic nationalism and the ugly white nationalism epitomized by the racist violence in Charlottesville and Trump’s reluctance to condemn it. Bannon, after all, was the architect of the strategy of using Breitbart to heat up white nationalism and then rely on the radical right as Trump’s base.

      He dismissed the far right as irrelevant and sidestepped his own role in cultivating it: “Ethno-nationalism—it’s losers. It’s a fringe element. I think the media plays it up too much, and we gotta help crush it, you know, uh, help crush it more.”

      “These guys are a collection of clowns,” he added.

      From his lips to Trump’s ear.

      “The Democrats,” he said, “the longer they talk about identity politics, I got ’em. I want them to talk about racism every day. If the left is focused on race and identity, and we go with economic nationalism, we can crush the Democrats.”

    • Bannon isn’t getting nearly the (media) attention he deserves.

      • For Sure Not Tom

        Bannon’s getting some media attention today. He either screwed up royally or he’s playing games, but he gave an interview and pretty much trashes his people, aka the “alt-right”, known by their more common name, Nazi’s and Klansmen.

        BTW, we’ve posted so much video evidence of Trump’s racism that this page is taking a long time to load!

  2. For Sure Not Tom

    Regarding the “good people” Trump claims were just marching to protect their heritage….

    The statues being removed were NOT installed after the Civil War, they were put up during Jim Crowe and they are 100% symbols of racism and hate.

      • For Sure Not Tom

        Yeah, that story is making its way around the alt-right toll-o-sphere.

        The problem is that the statue isn’t being displayed for political reasons, it’s for sale.

        “The Statue of Lenin is a 16-foot (4.9 m) bronze sculpture of Communist revolutionary Vladimir Lenin located in the Fremont neighborhood of Seattle, Washington. Initially installed in Czechoslovakia in 1988, the sculpture was removed after the Velvet Revolution and brought to the United States in the 1990s.”

        “The Carpenter family continues to seek a buyer for the statue. As of 2015 the asking price is $250,000, up from a 1996 price tag of $150,000.[8][10]”

        So, another alt-right failure through ignorance teachable moment.

        • For Sure Not Tom

          It’s also on private land. The area in that part of Seattle is weird and artsy.

          Not that any of this will stop dumb-as-an-old-wood-fence Nazis.

          Trump will probably retweet it tomorrow.

          • Since Lenin was about as far from capitalism as one could get you’d think the twits would raise enough money to buy & transport it. Or hit Robert Mercer up for the cash.

            But why do that when you can protest for free?

    • You know, it’s not just monuments. It’s street names, names of buildings, public schools… My niece and one of my nephews graduated from a high school in west Jacksonville, Florida, named after Nathan Bedford Forrest. It was renamed in 2014 after many years of controversy, but that’s only because NBF was an evil mofo.

  3. Pence responds to Trump remarks: ‘I stand with the president’
    BY JOHN BOWDEN – 08/16/17 02:26 PM EDT

    Vice President Pence on Wednesday said he stands by President Trump following criticism of his remarks blaming the violence during a white nationalist rally in Charlottesville, Va., on “both sides.”

    “What happened in Charlottesville was a tragedy, and the president has been clear on this tragedy and so have I,” Pence told reporters on Wednesday. “I spoke at length about this heartbreaking situation on Sunday night in Colombia, and I stand with the president and I stand by those words.”

    http://thehill.com/homenews/administration/346835-pence-responds-to-trump-remarks-i-stand-with-the-president

    • Aw, poor Mr. Pence. He wants to be president soooo badly. What should he do? Support the buffoon-in-chief, principles be damned? Stand for something and risk the wrath of the buffoon-in-chief and his supporters including the alt-right?

      Right now he is obviously choosing the low road.

  4. For Sure Not Tom

    From Chris Rock:

    If you have 10 guys who are not Nazis marching and one Nazi joins them, you now have 11 Nazis.

  5. this publicity for alt right will backfire on news media. this media coverage will now attract social misfits and attention seekers. 36% of people are still with trump in non filtered polls. when only likely voters are polled its 42% so they now don’t poll likely voters to keep trump’s numbers down. in last poll more voters would vote for trump over clinton if election were held now.

  6. Yeah, DT, pretend it was your idea…

    Donald J. Trump‏Verified account @realDonaldTrump 2h2 hours ago

    Rather than putting pressure on the businesspeople of the Manufacturing Council & Strategy & Policy Forum, I am ending both. Thank you all!

    • For Sure Not Tom

      You are right to be skeptical. The CEO’s said they decided to disband, and Trump Tweeted that it was his idea minutes later.

      He didn’t want it to look like the rich kids don’t want to play with him.

      Saw this today:

      A Islamophobe, a racist, and a sexual predator walk into a bar…

      Now everyone say it with me…

      And the bartender says “what’ll it be Mr. Trump?”

  7. For Sure Not Tom

    Okay, this is Trump all day long.

    So first he lost 8 CEOs from his business leaderships councils and the remaining CEOs said screw this, we’re outta’ here, and decided to disband.

    And as soon as it hit the news, Trump Tweets that it was his idea.

    http://www.rawstory.com/2017/08/trump-tries-to-claim-he-dissolved-2-councils-of-ceos-after-advisory-group-chooses-to-disband/

    Next he retweets Jacob Wohl, who’s an actual con man that Trump has retweeted before.

    https://finance.yahoo.com/news/jacob-wohl-teenage-hedge-fund-202540921.html

    He’s retweeting a guy who’s been charged with financial crimes and was banned from the National Futures Exchange.

    The GOP elected a childish, stupid, White Nationalist. There is no other explanation.

    Can’t the guy go one day without embarrassing my country?

  8. Playing this for inspiration, y’all. A lot of people out there are needing it…

  9. For Sure Not Tom

    And sure enough, Fox News and the Daily Caller posted a video showing how to run over liberal protestors back in January.

    http://www.slate.com/blogs/the_slatest/2017/08/15/january_daily_caller_video_demonstrates_how_to_plow_through_protesters_with.html

    The Daily Caller has a redirect to their front page when you try to access the link. Probably a good idea from a legal standpoint, but I suspect we’ll hear more about the video in the coming months.

  10. For Sure Not Tom

    I meant to post this here.

    • For Sure Not Tom

      • For Sure Not Tom

        I posted this video not for the “Breaking News Alert!”, my point is in the comments section.

        These are the alt-right folks who Trump supports:

        Another pos sjw dead who gives a fuck

        HH hoax code. Enginnered event was psyop.

        FAKE. STAGED. CONTRIVED. HORSE SHIT.

        100% Hoaxathon.

        Holy f*** Heather’s mom didn’t denounce David Duke and the kkk and hitler!!!?? she must be a racist!!! Van Jones que the alligator tear waterfalls!!! Race baiting fake msm talking heads are gonna have a feeding frenzy of their own defacation!!

        Fake news

        Silly communist, should have stayed at home!

        Boo Hoo….she was part of that BLM, so-called Counter-Protestor, idiots that caused 90% of the crap that occurred.

        Boo Hoo….she was part of that BLM, so-called Counter-Protestor, idiots that caused 90% of the crap that occurred.

        Classy bunch, them alt-right folks.

        The GOP owns this.

  11. For Sure Not Tom

    FYI, there is no such thing as the “alt-left”.

    The term “alt-right” was created by Richard Spencer.

    It’s part of a pattern of updating words to express racist belief’s without using overtly racist language.

    For example, “globalist” replaces “Jew” and “European Culture” replaces “White Power”.

    There is no “alt-left”, Trump was speaking on the fly and making the same tired argument that conservatives always do, the “I know you are but what am I” style of debate.

  12. For Sure Not Tom

    Heather Heyer’s mother just now during her daughter’s memorial service:

    “They tried to kill my daughter to shut her up, well guess what, they just amplified her”.

  13. For Sure Not Tom

    And here’s how Republican Presidents used to talk before the GOP went insane.

    I have a lot of issues with Bush the First, but compare this man to Trump.

    And I did watch the presser and he was unhinged, and he’s encouraging more alt-right violence.

    • For Sure Not Tom

      • For Sure Not Tom

        And here’s a reminder that we used to have a real President.

        https://twitter.com/BarackObama/status/896523232098078720

        Word to Trump, Obama’s tweet is now the most likely tweet of all time and he has three times the twitter followers.

        He’s still getting better ratings than your racist ass.

        • For Sure Not Tom

          And here’s a reminder that sometimes we can find common ground with people we otherwise disagree with.

          John McCain‏Verified account
          @SenJohnMcCain

          There’s no moral equivalency between racists & Americans standing up to defy hate& bigotry. The President of the United States should say so

          • For Sure Not Tom

            And two more people I am not a fan of, but who are on the right side of history this time:

            “”America must always reject racial bigotry, anti-Semitism, and hatred in all forms,” the statement from presidents George H. W. and George W. Bush reads. “As we pray for Charlottesville, we are all reminded of the fundamental truths recorded by that city’s most prominent citizen in the Declaration of Independence: we are all created equal and endowed by our Creator with unalienable rights.”
            The statement continues, “We know these truths to be everlasting because we have seen the decency and greatness of our country.””

            http://time.com/4903103/george-bush-president-statement-hatred-charlottesville/

            Trump and the KKK are not making fans.

      • For Sure Not Tom

        Four Joint Chief’s have now condemned the racists in Charlottesville, defying the their Commander in Chief.

        http://www.cnn.com/2017/08/16/politics/joint-chiefs-charlottesville-racism/index.html

        I suspect a lot of White House employees are going to leave their time working for Trump off of their resumes.

    • When Trump “went rogue” yesterday he sounded like he had spent the last 24 hours isolated in a room with Steve Bannon.

      Honestly, I was stunned. After Trump was pressured into calling out the hate groups, I expected him to start talking about something else and try to ride it out. I guess I don’t know Trump very well. I didn’t think he would fire Bannon et al which would have been the right next step, but I certainly didn’t think he would dig a deeper hole.

      It does appear that Trump believes he can switch this to a “both sides” narrative at least among his supporters. I trolled one of the most popular and vile right wingers on Twitter, Michelle Malkin, and she’s definitely picked up on it. I don’t know how much good this does him with all of the evidence that contradicts a “both sides” narrative, but Trump is the guy who bragged he could shoot someone and his supporters would be okay with it.

      I suppose Trump could have just lost it. He doesn’t like being told what he has to do to appease anyone, including two thirds of the citizens. And the way he handled himself yesterday definitely looked like a tantrum.

      Either way, Trump is a white supremacist who supports the white supremacy movement, and his so called “presidency” is descending further into chaos.

      No one can change this.

  14. For Sure Not Tom

    Here’s your peaceful KKK protestors from the night before.

  15. Trump’s song…

  16. “Donald Trump had a total meltdown today, returning to his “blame both sides” position on Saturday…”

    I had to laugh when I read that. He did not have a “total meltdown”…he was forceful and spoke clearly on something he felt strongly about. If it had been Obama you would have said “he spoke with conviction and force”, but because it is Trump it is a “total meltdown”. Funny.

    ” “No one wants to say that, but I’ll say it right now: You had a group on the other side that came charging in without a permit and they were very, very violent.”

    And where was he wrong, AzBM? If you watch the films, that is exactly what happened. If the leftists had not shown up in large numbers ready to fight and riot, no one would have have died or been hurt and the whole thing would have simply been a stupid display by a bunch of dipshit morons from the white supremacist crowd marching around in their neo-nazi gear, puffing up their chests, and generally looking foolish. It took the catalyst of the leftists showing up looking for a fight to create the situation wherein someone was killed and many were hurt. Itwas a stupid waste all around.

    “So now the white supremacists, KKK, Neo-Confederates and Neo-Nazis are now the victims of violence from the “alt-left” on Saturday in Trump’s view?”

    That is a very good question, AzBM. Who is the proximate cause of the injuries and death? Is it the white supremacists, KKK, Neo-Confederates and Neo-Nazis who showed up ready for a fight and hoping someone would show up so they could bustsome heads? Or the leftists who showed up looking for a fight and with the intent of busting some heads? It strikes me the leftists were the catalyst in this whole fiasco, but they do hold the higher moral ground because they opposed the racist dirtbags of the white supremacists, KKK, Neo-Confederates and Neo-Nazis.

    “The counter-protestors would not have ben there but for the “Unite the Right” rally.”

    Is that really justification for showing up and starting a violent riot that ended in the death of a young woman? Do you really want to use that as your rationale for defending rioters and hooligans bent on destruction? You put yourself in a very precarious position from a moral perspective…if that matters to you.

    “The white supremacists and right-wing extremists who came together over the weekend in Charlottesville, Virgina are ready and energized, they said, to set their sights on bigger prizes.”

    And from the riot that took place, it appears the left is ready and energized to “set their sights on bigger prizes” as well.

    • You’ve officially lost your mind

      • “You’ve officially lost your mind.

        How so, Bob?

        Am I crazy because I am wrong in a factual sense? Are you saying the leftists did not arrive on the scene with clubs in hand with the intention of busting some heads? Did the leftists not arrive on the scene with the specific intent of causing a riot by physically attacking the dirtbags from the right?

        Or, is it because I have taken a very unpopular position and am not willing to look the other way about the violent intentions of the leftists because they are the “good guys” in this stupid fiasco? Am I crazy because I don’t overlook the intentions and actions of the leftists in creating the brouhaha that occurred?

        Or am I crazy because I seem to be defending those miserable extremists that haunt the dark corners of the right and spout their ridiculous and offensive views on white supremacy, racism, violence and genocide? Well, I have been making it clear all along, and I will repeat it here: In no way do I support, condone or otherwise encourage the views, policies or intentions of the KKK, the white supremacists, and similar dirtbags of the type that staged the original protest in Virginia.

        However, I refuse to look the other way and to ignore the actions of the leftists in this sad spectacle. They did not show up to have a peaceful counter-protest (which I would have supported 100%). They showed up with the intention of causing a riot. Their hands were not clean in this. Their cause was just, but their actions were criminal.

        Bob, I noticed you haven’t written anything on confrontation. I would love to hear what you think…