As Washington braces for the far-right anniversary rally of their murder of an innocent woman, senior adviser to President Trump Kellyanne Conway was focused on fighting back against allegations by Omarosa in her book that President Trump is a racist, so she claimed that the media was “just not covering” the president’s repeated denunciations of white nationalists.
“He’s calling for unity among all Americans and he denounced all forms of bigotry and acts of violence and racism,” Conway said on ABC’s “This Week.”
Watch Jonathan Karl struggle with reality v Kellyanne Conway here:
Transcript from ABC:
CONWAY: And I – I do have correct the record, you said that the president has never denounced white supremacists. I want to read you his quote from August 14 of last year because it’s missing from the conversation.
And I quote, “racism is evil, all those who cause violence in its name are criminals and thugs” quote “including the KKK, neonazis, white supremacists and other hate groups that are repugnant to everything we hope to do (ph) as Americans.”
KARL: Kellyanne, as – as you know, the president also said there were very fine people on both sides in that rally. That was a rally led by neo-Nazis and white supremacists. Does he –
CONWAY: And – and he denounced them, but you’re not covering that.
KARL: No, no, but he said there were very fine people on both sides.
CONWAY: — why doesn’t that matter? Why doesn’t it matter that you’re not taking the totality of his comments over the stretch of days, John?
KARL: Well because I think it’s still a question of who were the very fine people on the side of the neonazis?
CONWAY: Well he’s telling you who’s not, he’s saying he denounces, quote, “the KKK, neonazis, white supremacists and all those who cause violence in the name”. And yesterday, in a very, very strong statement, he said that last year there was senseless and death and division.
He’s calling for unity among all Americans and he denounced all forms of bigotry and acts of violence and racism. And –
KARL: Still – still not specifically calling out the neonazis or the white supremacists or –
CONWAY: — (inaudible) you just don’t cover it.
Do you even have – excuse me, does ABC even have the quote in your file that you’re able to put it up right now for all your viewers? Probably not. But I just read it –
KARL: I think – I think the fact that he said very fine people on both sides, and one of the sides was lead by neonazis and white supremacists.
CONWAY: He denounced –
KARL: I still don’t understand –
CONWAY: He said they’re criminals and thugs –
KARL: So who were – who were the very fine people marching with the neonazis?
CONWAY: — white supremacists. He – he denounced all of them, you’re just not covering it.
KARL: OK you’re not – you’re not answering that question
CONWAY: I answered the question. But you’ve got to show all the quotes to be fair.
That’s Kellyanne for you. Whining about a lack of fairness while parsing the president’s words and then condemning the media for covering the part she left out. You know, the important part where he blamed innocent people who stand against neo-Nazis as being just as bad as neo-Nazis or the part where he couldn’t manage to unequivocally condemn white supremacists and neo-Nazis. And still can’t.
1. “He’s calling” is present tense, it happened semi-fully this once; it was not “repeated,” so how could the media have covered something that did not happen.
Saturday was the first time the Republican President has managed to form those words without equivocating, sharing the blame, or backtracking (and there’s still time for that and it’s probably coming). And he still didn’t denounce white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
On Saturday, Trump finally managed to condemn “all types of racism” a whole year after the tragedy in Charlottesville, Virginia when an Ohio man, James Fields, drove his car into a crowd of counterprotesters and killed Heather Heyer.
At that time, Trump said there were “very fine people” on both sides, equating counterprotesters of white supremacists and neo-Nazis with actual white supremacists and neo-Nazis.
Trump called for “Peace for Americans!” which is exactly like screaming about war and expecting peace (something some on the alleged far left do with regularity, along with calling anyone who doesn’t vote green a “corporate wh*re” as their actions elect the biggest corporate enablers over and over again). Name-calling does not beget peace, nor is it a sign that you dealing with someone who actually values peace; quite the opposite.
2. “Unity” is not something you call for and it appears magically. Unity is not a unicorn.
Unity is not something you can call for with a straight face when you behave like a spoiled child and insult everyone who doesn’t give you your way, only govern for the people who voted for you, left Puerto Ricans to die because you couldn’t be bothered dealing with people who didn’t vote for you, insult and falsely malign California as they struggle with the largest wildfire in modern history — that now appears to be have been started by a QAnon, read TRUMP SUPPORTER, conspiracy believer whose “thinking,” if it can be called that, mirrors our president’s) by blaming them incorrectly for the fire, mock Republican Senator John McCain as he struggles with brain cancer, insult Democrats and then wonder why they won’t negotiate with you even though you don’t stick to your side of agreements, and on and on. These are not actions designed to bring about unity; quite the opposite.
Name-calling is not the path to unity. Trump has insulted people on both sides of the aisle, and our allies, when he doesn’t get what he wants right away.
It doesn’t work to announce that he denounces bigotry and racism after offering supporters paid legal fees if they beat up protesters. Yes, it will take a bit more than a begrudging statement a year in the making.
Denouncing racism is the easy part. Trump shouldn’t have taken a year to get there.
The hard part, the real part, is action that follows, like actually caring about the systemic inequities in our judicial system and the issues with some bad apples in our police forces who are routinely protected from their actions (yes, I’m saying bad apples because most people who are police officers do want to help people, but the profession also attracts its share of sociopathic abusers, much like politics, Hollywood and sports, and much like politics, Hollywood and sports, power seeks to hide its abuses, which means the good people get tainted by the bad people because they are not speaking up enough).
Trump himself is the walking embodiment of division and hate. He creates animosity wherever he goes. He employs a mob mentality when dealing with other nations and any adversary. He won an election by stoking division and hate, and spreading falsehoods.
Bad news for Ms. Conway: Unlike the Trump White House, we can’t just make stuff up. So we can’t cover things that haven’t happened. That is why the media is not covering Trump fully, like a grown up, denouncing white supremacists repeatedly. Because he has not actually done this.
Ms. Jones is the co-founder/ editor-in-chief of PoliticusUSA and a member of the White House press pool.
Sarah hosts Politicus News and co-hosts Politicus Radio. Her analysis has been featured on several national radio, television news programs and talk shows, and print outlets including Stateside with David Shuster, as well as The Washington Post, The Atlantic Wire, CNN, MSNBC, The Week, The Hollywood Reporter, and more.
Sarah is a member of the Society of Professional Journalists.