H.R. McMaster, President Donald Trump’s former national security adviser, said the President’s refusal to condemn white supremacy during Tuesday night’s presidential debate was “a missed opportunity.”
“To use a sports analogy, condemning white supremacists should be a layup for any leader,” McMaster said in an interview with The Atlantic. “What we’re undervaluing these days is the importance of bringing Americans back together to reinforce our common identity.”
McMaster was firm in his assessment that Trump’s failure to disavow white supremacist groups “gives space to these groups that foment hatred and intolerance.”
“And whenever you have a group at one end of the spectrum who define themselves in a particular way, you tend to get an equal and opposite reaction on the other end of the spectrum … Our leaders should give voice to those of us who reject extremists and intolerance,” he added.
McMaster succeeded Michael Flynn as Trump’s national security adviser in 2017. He was dismissed the following year after disagreeing with the President’s foreign policy.
Trump ignited controversy after he told the white nationalist group Proud Boys to “stand back and stand by.”
“Proud Boys? Stand back and stand by,” said Trump. “But I’ll tell you what, somebody’s gotta do something about antifa and the left, because this is not a right-wing problem; this is a left-wing problem.”
Earlier this morning, Brian Kilmeade, one of the hosts of “Fox and Friends,” urged Trump to “clarify” his statement.
“The President of the United States would do himself a solid and his party a solid to take some time today to clarify about his white supremacist statement. Whether it was the franticness of the night, but a lot of people are forced to explain it today that have other things to do, like for example, getting his Supreme Court justice confirmed,” he said.