President Donald J. Trump stood in front of an ocean of the press at Trump Tower Tuesday afternoon and answered one question after the next about his comments regarding the events that took place in Charlottesville, Virginia, over the weekend. (see videos below).
The press asked the president to confirm his stance that both sides are guilty of displaying the hate and violence that went on for hours in Virginia, leaving one 32-year old dead and dozens of others injured. President Donald. J. Trump gave the press hard-hitting answers, and never once did he back down.
President Donald. J. Trump repeated what he said on Saturday, which is that both sides are guilty of violence and hate. He said the reason he didn’t call out David Duke on Saturday is that he did not know the former leader of the KKK was at the event. “I want the facts before I make a statement,” said Trump, who claims he did not know all the facts about the event when he made his comments.
Not happy with his answers, the press asked him to clarify if he denounces the white supremacists and neo-Nazis who attended the event. Trump said he does not support the hate and rhetoric of the KKK and white supremacists, but he also stated there is hate on the side of the “Alt-Left.”
President Donald. J. Trump said the “Alt-Left” had people at the Virginia park Saturday who came prepared to fight with clubs and bats. “How about them? Do they have any responsibility?” he asked.
The press continued to pound the president with questions and allegations about his connection to the white supremacists who voted for him in 2016. President Donald. J. Trump said he has already condemned “many hate groups” and he continued to pound home the message that “all-sides” are responsible for the hate. “Ask President Obama,” he said.
Trump then asked, “They’re out taking down statues. Who’s next, George Washington?” He continued, “How about Thomas Jefferson, he had many slaves. Are we taking down his statues next? Where does it stop?”
Trump was asked how the race relations in America will improve. He answered, “Jobs,” and continued, “We are adding over a million jobs. People want jobs right now … good paying jobs, that will help.”
Trump also pointed out that there were people from both sides at the Virginia rally who are not haters or part of fringe groups. He said the people who were there that do not fall into those groups are getting unfair treatment by the press.
Trump was also asked to address the comments made about him by the CEO of Walmart. Trump said he’s a nice guy who is being political.
Trump tried to get into a conversation about infrastructure, which is why he held the presser in the first place. Only one person asked him a question about infrastructure: “How do you expect to pass an infrastructure bill when you cannot pass a healthcare bill?” Trump responded, “We would have passed a bill had it not been for Senator McCain who voted against the bill. … Ask him why he voted against the healthcare bill.” He then continued, “We will pass health care, and we will pass infrastructure. I think we will have bi-partisan support.”
He was also asked about Steve Bannon, his top policy advisor. Trump said, “Bannon is a very nice guy — he is not a racist — he gets a bad rap from the press.” As to whether Bannon will remain on his staff, Trump said, “We’ll see what happens.”
Trump’s press conference was one of the more interesting he has held during his presidency (see videos below). Many in the media are saying it was like the pressers he held prior to the election.
Read the comments from the Walmart CEO about Trump:
“Respect for the individual is one of our core beliefs at Walmart. And the role we play in communities around the country to build a more diverse and inclusive society is more critical than ever as the tragic events in Charlottesville over the weekend painfully reminded us. Our prayers are with the victims and their families.
“As we watched the events and the response from President Trump over the weekend, we too felt that he missed a critical opportunity to help bring our country together by unequivocally rejecting the appalling actions of white supremacists. His remarks today were a step in the right direction and we need that clarity and consistency in the future.
“Our country is facing some very difficult issues that require our elected officials, business leaders and community-based organizations to work together. Representing a company with the largest and one of the most diverse groups of associates in the U.S., and an even more diverse customer base of tens of millions of customers, we believe we should stay engaged to try to influence decisions in a positive way and help bring people together. I will continue to strongly advocate on behalf of our associates and customers, and urge our elected officials to do their part to promote a more just, tolerant and diverse society.
“Thank you for representing Walmart and our values today — and every day.”
— Bloomberg (@business) August 15, 2017
President Trump on Charlottesville: "What about the alt-left? … Do they have any semblance of guilt?” https://t.co/1tOJpFdxmH
— CNN (@CNN) August 15, 2017
— ABC News Politics (@ABCPolitics) August 15, 2017
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