On Tuesday, while in New York at Trump Tower, the president held a press conference at which he addressed the recent intense violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, which rocked the city on the occasion of a large number of white nationalists gathering there. That violence left three people dead, including 32 year old Heather Heyer, after she was hit in a car ramming attack.
Trump initially refused to expressly condemn the white nationalist groups at the center of the violence, opting to say instead that responsibility rests with “many sides.”
He eventually admitted that yes, Nazis are BAD, and he was pressed about this issue at his Tuesday press conference.
It didn’t go well.
He told a reporter, speaking of last Saturday’s car ramming attack:
‘What about the alt-left that came charging at the — as you say — the alt-right? Do they have any semblance of guilt? What about the fact that they came charging with clubs in their hands, swinging clubs — do they have any problem? I think they do. As far as I’m concerned, that was a horrible, horrible day.’
He added a claim that “you had a group on one side that came charging in without a permit, and they were very, very violent.”
Heather Heyer was not being violent. She was crossing a street, when James Fields rammed his car into her. There really isn’t any room for questions here. When the people that Trump mentions approached Fields’ car, he was already suspiciously close to the protesters that he had no business being that close to in his vehicle.
At another point in that same news conference, Trump defended the white nationalist protests of Charlottesville plans to remove a statue of Confederate General Robert E. Lee, comparing him to George Washington and noting that both men owned slaves.
For one, all slaves were not treated equally. In the context of the era of United States history when large portions of the population owned slaves, simply owning slaves doesn’t necessarily mean anything as to the slaveowners actual opinions of those slaves.
General Lee fought for the right of people to abuse their slaves if they so desired; George Washington pretty much fought for the exact opposite.
Michael Moore summed up the president’s press conference nicely, writing on Twitter:
‘OMG. What did we just watch? He blamed the anti-racism protesters. He likened George Washington to Robert E. Lee. Donald. Trump. Fuck. You.’
OMG. What did we just watch? He blamed the anti-racism protesters. He likened George Washington to Robert E. Lee. Donald. Trump. Fuck. You.
— Michael Moore (@MMFlint) August 15, 2017
Watch a video clip of some of the president’s Tuesday remarks at his New York press conference below.
Check out Twitter’s thoughts about Moore’s response to Trump’s press conference below.
Featured Image via Drew Angerer/ Getty Images