As Trump faces fierce criticism over his response to the past weekend’s deadly violence in Charlottesville, Va., where a man linked to white supremacist groups plowed his car into a group of anti-racist counterprotesters who had gathered in response to the protest over the removal of a Confederate statue, the latest covers of three major news magazines are also holding the president’s feet to the fire.
— TIME (@TIME) August 17, 2017
— Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) August 17, 2017
Our cover this week pic.twitter.com/lYD3HLXvSC
— The Economist (@TheEconomist) August 17, 2017
They covers all rebuke how the president reacted to the violence in Charlottesville — by effectively pandering to white supremacists and neo-Nazi groups.
Trump reignited the debate over his hesitance to condemn white nationalists and racists on Tuesday after telling reporters there is “blame on both sides” for the deadly violence at the Charlottesville white supremacist rally, asking reporters “what about the alt-left that came charging at the alt-right?”
Trump conducted an impromptu press conference at Trump Tower to unveil his infrastructure plan this afternoon, but he quickly faced a barrage of questions from reporters about why he waited days to directly condemn neo-Nazi and KKK protesters by name.
On Tuesday, Trump doubled down on his initial remarks to the violence on Saturday when he condemned the violence “on many sides,” saying on Tuesday there is “blame on both sides.”
“What about the alt-left that came charging at the — as you say, the alt-right?,” Trump asked reporters. “Do they have any semblance of guilt? What about the fact they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs? Do they have any problem? I think they do. As far as I am concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day.”
“I will tell you something. I watched those very closely, much more closely than you people watched it,” Trump said. “And you had a group on one side that was bad, and you had a group on the other side that was also very violent.”
“And nobody 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.”
On Tuesday, Trump said that not all of the white nationalists protesting were racists. Some, Trump said, had gathered to protest the taking down of a Confederate statue.
“I have condemned neo-Nazis. I have condemned many different groups, but not all of those people were neo-Nazis, believe me,” Trump said, walking back his Monday condemnation of hate groups.
“Not all of those people were white supremacists, by any stretch. Those people were also there because they wanted to protest taking down of a statue Robert E. Lee.”
White supremacists have praised Trump’s Tuesday remarks.
White nationalist Richard Spencer praised Trump “for speaking the truth.”
Former Ku Klux Klan grand wizard David Duke tweeted, “Thank you President Trump for your honesty & courage to tell the truth about #Charlottesville & condemn the leftist terrorists in BLM/Antifa.”