As President Trump continues to face backlash over his reaction to the violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last weekend, one senator has spoken out in strong defense of the president, saying Trump “doesn’t have a racist bone in his body.”
In an interview with CBS affiliate KUTV in Salt Lake City, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) said he had visited with President Trump by phone regarding the events in Charlottesville, and he condemned those who are trying to blame the violent events on the president or accuse him of racism.
“To ascribe racism to the president, which some people are trying to do, is not only hitting below the belt, it’s vicious stuff,” Hatch said. “He’s done a lot to try and help quell racism in this country.”
Immediately after the violent rioting Saturday, including a vehicle attack in Charlottesville that killed one woman and injured 19 others, President Trump spoke out in condemnation of the hate and bigotry, but the left was not satisfied since he did not specifically condemn the KKK or white supremacists. Instead, Trump said, “We condemn in the strongest possible terms this egregious display of hatred, bigotry and violence on many sides, on many sides.”
Hatch said of President Trump’s phone call to him after the Virginia incident, “I think the real reason he called was to acknowledge that I care for him. He’s actually a very good man.”
“He’s a very warm person, very smart, and very tough if he disagrees with you,” Hatch said, adding, “He’s a successful man who has become president of the United States, doesn’t need the pain and the problems that come with that job, but loves it and wants to do the best job he possibly can.”
Hatch also slammed the mainstream media who has continually been biased against Trump. “He has no friends in the national media — I don’t think, at all,” the senator said.
He admitted that perhaps Trump could have addressed the Charlottesville situation differently, but insisted that Trump did make it very clear that “there was no excuse for this racism.”
Hatch said, “I don’t think anything he said would have been accepted by the mainstream media.”
“There are those who would love to undermine him any way they possibly can, and if they can distort what he says and distort what he means, even though they know it’s otherwise, they’re going to do it,” Hatch said.
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