In what was supposed to be an announcement about rebuilding America’s roads, bridges and airports, President Donald Trump seemingly walked back his comments condemning last weekend’s demonstrations by right-wing groups, including neo-Nazis and white supremacists.
During a contentious impromptu press conference, the president attacked the media and said that counter demonstrators didn’t have a permit while right-wing groups had lawfully assembled.
“I do think there is blame – yes, I think there is blame on both sides,” Trump told reporters. “You look at, you look at both sides. I think there’s blame on both sides, and I have no doubt about it, and you don’t have any doubt about it either. And, and, and, and if you reported it accurately, you would say.”
FULL VIDEO OF TRUMP'S PRESS CONFERENCE
The press conference touched off fury across the country with politicians, including Speaker of the House Paul Ryan, quickly taking to Twitter to reiterate their position opposing the events that happened in Charlottesville, Va over the weekend as abhorrent.
House Majority Leader Rep. Kevin McCarthy, who is on a trip to Israel, quickly issued a flurry of comments via twitter.
“Saturday’s violence and tragic loss of life weres a direct consequence of the hateful rhetoric and action from white supremacists demonstrating,” McCarthy said.
By Tuesday night the hashtag “impeach Trump” was trending No. 1 on Twitter and stayed there for the rest of the night. Late-night comedians and pundits quickly attacked Trump’s press conference.
LISTEN TO SCOTT COX'S TAKE ON EXTREMISM
Some of the strongest comments against Trump’s words today came from members of the Republican Party. Sens. Marco Rubio and John McCain came out with strongly worded statements against any defense of white supremacy.
“Mr. President, you can’t allow
#WhiteSupremacists to share only part of blame,” Rubio wrote on Twitter. “They support an idea which cost the nation and the world so much pain.”
Comedian Jimmy Kimmel told his audience that he tore up his prepared monologue to rewrite his opening act in response to Trump.