Donald Trump addressed the country in the midst of the chaos and deadly violence surrounding an alt-right Nazi rally in Charlottesville, Virginia on Saturday, but he refused to denounce white nationalism when asked several times by reporters.
Instead, after he finished his planned remarks, the president roamed around the room unsure of where to go, signed a bill, and then walked out without answering some of the most softball questions ever asked of a president.
— CBS News (@CBSNews) August 12, 2017
When reporters asked him whether he wants “the support of these white nationalist groups who say they support” him or if he’s “denounced them strongly enough,” Trump strolled out of the room, likely planning his next round of golf in Bedminster, New Jersey.
Condemning violence of any kind and issuing a blanket statement that people “on many sides” are to blame, which Trump did today, is a coward’s way out. It does nothing to calm the chaos in Virginia, and it may actually make things worse by creating a false equivalency between the counter-protesters and the alt-right Nazis.
The willingness of this president to ignore what is specifically fueling the outbreak of deadly violence and hatred in Virginia will only give oxygen to those causing it.
A shameful day in America was made worse on Saturday by a president who, once again, refuses to fully distance himself from the most extreme hate groups in America – all because they helped put him in the White House.
Sean Colarossi currently resides in Cleveland, Ohio. He earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Massachusetts Amherst and was an organizing fellow for both of President Obama’s presidential campaigns. He also worked with Planned Parenthood as an Affordable Care Act Outreach Organizer in 2014, helping northeast Ohio residents obtain health insurance coverage.